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Art Collections
Dragon's-Eye View
By Jon Schindehette

D o you love art?



Okay, let me get more specific. Do you love Dungeons & Dragons art?

One of the most common questions I get when I'm on the road is this one: "When are you going to do a cool D&D art book?" Art books ARE cool! Well, they are to an art lover, and we have done a few for D&D over the years. But it's been awhile, so let's talk about art books for a few minutes and discover what you might like to see in one if we did one in the future. Actually, I'm just going to ask lots of questions. Your answers will help inform and educate on what you are really interested in seeing in the world of art books.

First, let's go over what you expect from an art book. Obviously, an art book should have art. But should it have only art? Do you want additional prose as part of an art book, and if you do, what kind of prose interests you and adds value to the book?

 Along with my art, I want prose about:  
Forget the prose; just give me lots of art.
I want to learn more about the art process. Tell me stories about the images and how they came to be.
I want to learn more about the artists.
I want short stories or poetry to accompany the images.
I want to know about the history of D&D.
I want other types of prose. See my comments below...

When it comes to art, I get a lot of conflicting opinions. Some folks tell me that they want a "best of" art book. You know, pull together some of the best art, from the best artists, from the most popular products, and showcase it in the art book. Other fans tell me to skip the idea of rehashing artwork and show them only new stuff—stuff from their favorite artists or on their favorite subject matter.

 >In your art book, do you want to see:  
My old favorites—favorite art, favorite artists, favorite subject matter from the past.
New art that I've never seen before.
I want to learn more about the artists.
A mixture of old and new.

Speaking of new art, after we ran my devils article a few weeks back, I received a lot of feedback saying that a book of devils and demons art would be "Awesome!" That sounds like fun. The question then is whether it should be old art or new art or a mix?

 If I were to pull together a book around a particular subject, would you be interested? We can talk about subject matter later. Maybe you can even vote for your favorite subject matter!  
My old favorites—favorite art, favorite artists, favorite subject matter from the past.
I'm not interested in such a narrow vision in an art book.
How about a slightly wider point of view? Maybe a larger subject.
Other. (Comments below)

Although you might not consider it an "art book," some folks have been screaming for D&D coloring books. I remember some of the D&D coloring books from the 1980s, and in fact I might even have a couple hidden away.

 Would you love to see some coloring books for your kids or for the kids at heart?  
Yes.
No.
Other.

 Last question. What if we can never figure out a good way to make art books viable in the print form? Would you be interested in a digital "art book," or a print-on-demand option?  
Yes.
No.
Other.

Thanks for playing along with my question-and-answer period on art books. For those of you who have clamored for them, let's see if the answers to these questions help give me some options to answer your call.

Previous Poll Results

Which of the following best represents the way you envision nymphs and dryads?
The nymph is a stunningly beautiful generic fey creature with elf-like looks, while the dryad is a specific type of nymph that is associated with a tree. 1951 71.5%
The nymph and the dryad are completely different creatures and should have different visual representations. 639 23.4%
Other (comment below). 62 2.3%
I have no opinion on this. 75 2.8%
Total 2727 100.0%

What do you think of the idea of the dryad being depicted as a monstrous creature (like in the painting by William O'Connor above)?
The idea of the monstrous dryad is a good visual direction for the dryad as depicted in D&D. 750 29.0%
The monstrous dryad is not a good visual direction for the D&D dryad. 1534 59.3%
Other (comment below). 192 7.4%
I have no opinion on this. 109 4.2%
Total 2585 100.0%

Jon Schindehette
Jon Schindehette joined Wizards of the Coast in 1997 as the website art director. In the intervening years he has worked as the marketing art director, novels art director, and creative manager. In January of 2009 he moved into the role of senior creative director for D&D. Jon is a long time D&D player (started in 1978), and currently plays in a Tuesday night game and DMs a random pick-up game for younger players. He can be found on Twitter (@ArtOrder) and at theartorder.com.
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