2018 in art
2018 was the best year of my life. I know I said that about 2017 too, but there just seems to be an upward trend happening. Coincidentally, it was also a really good year for my art. I explored new subjects, remedied some of the weaknesses, got back to working traditionally, and tried whole new mediums.
These were some concept pieces for The Sin of Man. I wanted to explore some not-exactly-human humanoid species in the world. So I started with giants and pygmies. I’ve started writing some stories showing off a bit of their culture and behavior, too. I’ll publish some of that in 2019.
Some work done for Guilds of Ravnica for Magic: The Gathering. I’m including them here because this is around the time I painted them, sequentially.
The Legendary Sorceries! Dominaria was a dream job for me. I got to paint epic, iconic work in exactly the sort of formal way I love. Mark Winters gave me incredible freedom with these and I think they’re some of the best work I’ve ever done for Magic. I was honored to get to do justice to so many iconic characters/moments.
All of these were painted in 2017, but I had to sit on them for a long time.
A bit of apparel design, just because. When we were in Bali and Thailand I got the itch to try something entirely new for me. I wanted to make some cool clothing with my art on it. So I designed some work specifically for that purpose. I had to wait till we flew back to Europe and had a more consistent shipping address to see the samples, but it was a great feeling to see my work on a wearable piece of clothing.
I now sell apparel on my website and am gearing up to launch some new designs in the coming weeks/months.
Over the summer, I re-ran Art Camp 3: Landscapes. It was a chance for previous students to do it all over again as well as for a new wave of students to dive in. I hadn’t done anything with Art Camp in 2017, so it felt good to get back to it.
It’s inspired me to start working on making Art Camp 4 for 2019.
We started a podcast called Creators Chat. We had been having so many good conversations about art, life, writing, working, motivation, goals, inspiration, etc. and felt like they were good things to share with the world. So we set up a camera and started recording. We’ve now done 10 episodes and are planning on more in the coming year.
Rachel and I took the month of November to focus on writing. Her on her novel and me on my non-fiction book, How to Be a Creator. While neither of us were strictly following the guidelines of the challenge, we both wrote a tremendous amount and managed to hit our goals. It was an exhausting month and a strain to try and force so much writing out of ourselves, but it was a hell of an accomplishment.
Afterwards, I focused more on sketching and doing personal work because I needed some art therapy after all of those words:
I didn’t paint this card this year nor did it come out this year… but I did put together this video recently. So I guess that counts.
I’ve continued to experiment with new sketches as you can see above. As well as diving into some personal pieces in oils both as preparation for a refocus on traditional media and practicing to teach oils. Art Camp 4 is just around the corner, after all.
Which brings us to now, right on the cusp of a new year.
I have so many things I’ve done and so many more that I’m planning to do. I’ve never had so many possibilities or excitement for my future. I’ve mentioned probably half of the things I’ve been up to and am planning on, which should give you a pretty good idea of what my life is like right now.
I’ve already set my goals for the new year and have begun moving toward them. I’m hitting the ground running and it’s gonna be a wild ride. I hope you’ll follow along.December 30, 2018 at 9:53 am
The best books I read in 2018
I’ve read a lot of books this year. I didn’t hit my target of 100 books, but I think 73 is still pretty good. I wanted to share my favorites in case you’re looking for something to read in 2019.
Most of the books I read this year were audiobooks through Audible. I’m able to listen while I paint, lift, or drive–which is a lot of listening time. I’ve had a lot of success with listening at 1.5x or even 1.75x speed. I find my mind tends to wander less at the faster pace.
I’m a really slow reader, so audiobooks help me to read more than I would normally be able to. And while quantity (obviously) isn’t everything, I tend to have a greater output when I have a constant stream of quality input. It’s an easy source of motivation for me.
The links below are all for the kindle editions, but if you go to Audible you can grab the audiobooks of all of them. You might also have luck at your local library.
The Lessons of History
Short but enlightening. Will and Ariel Durant have a lyrical way with words that makes their subject sing. This is one that is sweet and concise enough that I intend to regularly revisit it.
Man’s Search for Meaning
Viktor E. Frankl has a powerful story of holocaust survival to share and an essential lesson to teach us. If he can find power, meaning, and some measure of fulfillment even while undergoing tragedy, surely we can too. Not only one of the best books I read this year, but one of the best books I’ve ever read.
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
We listened to this twice this year, both because it’s so short and so helpful. While written for writers, the lessons apply equally well to most creative pursuits. It’s also really entertaining and she’s a lot friendlier than Stephen King (though we did also listen to and enjoy On Writing this year, which deserves an honorable mention).
“Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”: Adventures of a Curious Character
Funny, but with soul. Good lessons on the importance of practical understanding of even abstract subjects. And a lot of good stories from an interesting life.
A World Undone
I was shamefully ignorant of WWI before this book. Extremely well written and interesting, this book helped to spark a greater interest in history for me. I also suggest reading his “The World Remade: America in World War I” which, obviously, covers America’s involvement as well as the motivations of all sides.
Theodore Roosevelt series (The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Theodore Rex, and Colonel Roosevelt)
Incredibly good biographies of a larger-than-life man. Gave me a greater appreciation for his merits and flaws and that fascinating life he lead.
East of Eden
I make a note of reading fiction before bed every night. I find that non-fiction tends to spark too many ideas and too much motivation to be conducive to restful sleep. This was the best one I read this year. Steinbeck’s masterpiece is a sweeping look at humanity, morality, and myth. Fascinating characters and strong prose. It’s quite long, but worth the journey.
A badass pixel art fire tutorial I made when I was younger.
Want to pay less in taxes? Contributing to retirement accounts can help with that.
Because nobody likes paying taxes. <3
Gonna have some extra room at my booth at #SCGCON this weekend, so I’ll be bringing the original for my BFZ Swamp. Come check it out. 🙂
20 minute monochrome landscape sketch in oils: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5xVC5GnUw8
Come see me at #SCGCON this weekend! I will have prints, playmats, artist proofs, and a few History of Benalia canvas prints. 🙂
Hope of GloryDecember 1, 2018 at 7:03 am
November is over and I now have a completed first draft of How to Be a Creator.
Now the interminable editing begins.
Quick sketch for fun because I’ve been writing so much this past month.
Need some presents for the artists in your life? Need presents for yourself?
Then check out my article, 10 Books Every Artist Must Read
What Lies Beyond Every Bitter EndNovember 26, 2018 at 3:37 pm
I support my fellow artists and want a restoration of guest privileges but I will not be boycotting any events for now.November 26, 2018 at 8:49 am
Sexy beach Noah playmats for 20% off. Literally the best Cyber Monday sale.
https://noahbradley.com/products/sexy-beach-noahNovember 25, 2018 at 10:01 am
Best typo from this morning’s writing session: “scream of consciousness.”
The Day God Died
Prints & playmats are 20% off this weekend: noahbradley.com
Less than a week to go in this writing sprint! Almost hit my goal of 30k words this month. It’s been fun (and a little exhausting). So many ranty opinions.
Writing word goals for this month are progressing well. howtobeacreator.com is gonna be a real thing! :O
New episode of Creators Chat is now live! We talk all about the joys of writing and #NaNoWriMo
(Sorry about the video–somehow it just didn’t record)
“The problem with friends and family is that they know us as we are. They are invested in maintaining us as we are. The last thing we want is to remain as we are.” – Do the Work by Steven Pressfield
Playing today.November 15, 2018 at 9:35 am
BTW, I’m active on instagram again: instagram.com/noahbradley/November 15, 2018 at 7:55 am
“It is easy enough to learn to draw; it is very difficult to learn to think.”
– Howard Pyle
Tracking word count for howtobeacreator.com this month. On target, still. 🙂November 14, 2018 at 7:59 am
The Three Sisters Blind
https://noahbradley.com/products/the-three-sisters-blindNovember 13, 2018 at 9:53 am
In writing how I’d like things to be in the future for Creators, I very quickly become equal parts idealist, hippie, and conspiracy theorist.
So basically we’re all gonna live in creative communes to get away from the Man.November 12, 2018 at 8:07 am
Artist proofs available right here: https://noahbradley.com/collections/artist-proofsNovember 11, 2018 at 9:29 am
One of the best books I read this year was A World Undone (and the accompanying The World Remade). It gave me such a fresh insight into the horrors and sadness of WWI. Give it a read: https://amzn.to/2Dy2SjTNovember 11, 2018 at 9:27 am
We watched Annihilation last night and holy shit that is my kind of movie.November 10, 2018 at 3:51 pm
After considerable beating my head against the wall, I’ve now written 10000 words this month.
howtobeacreator.comNovember 10, 2018 at 8:01 am
The Coming Darkness
Prints & playmats here: https://noahbradley.com/products/the-coming-darknessNovember 6, 2018 at 8:51 am
6000 words closer to a book.
I’ll be making the entire book free to read online. And proceeds from the book will go toward producing translations of the book in different languages (as well as making an audiobook, of course). <3November 5, 2018 at 9:00 am
GRN Promo land proofs now available! 😀
Only in foil, so only 30 copies of each. Go get them: https://noahbradley.com/collections/artist-proofsNovember 5, 2018 at 6:05 am
https://noahbradley.com/products/moatNovember 4, 2018 at 8:45 am
4 days in and still hitting my writing goal of 1000 words a day. Maybe next year I’ll have to do this same thing with an actual novel. 🙂
An old, old sketch when I was first trying to photobash.November 2, 2018 at 5:42 pm
I may have almost blacked out earlier but hey I’ve got calories for a glass of scotch now so yeah you could say this cut is going pretty greatNovember 2, 2018 at 8:46 am
Kayaking & camping with my woman. <3November 1, 2018 at 10:09 am
I’m sorta-but-not-really participating in #NaNoWriMo
I’ll be taking this month to finish the rough draft of my book, How to Be a Creator.
It already feels like beating my head against the wall. It’s great.
howtobeacreator.comNovember 1, 2018 at 6:07 am
Only two months left to complete all of my yearly goals. Well, shit.October 31, 2018 at 11:28 am
A new piece for The Sin of Man. Prints & playmats here: https://noahbradley.com/products/polymorphousOctober 30, 2018 at 8:37 am
I’ve got one last event I’m attending this year: SCG CON December 7-9 down in Roanoke. Hope to see y’all there. 🙂 https://scgcon.starcitygames.com/October 27, 2018 at 6:03 pm
Thanks to everyone who came by my table at #GPNJ. 🙂 See y’all next time!October 25, 2018 at 8:35 am
Hey y’all I’m at #GPNJ tomorrow and Saturday all day! 😀October 24, 2018 at 3:22 pm
I’m at #GPNJ this weekend on Friday and Saturday to sign cards, sell prints, and kick ass (metaphorically). Come say hi. 🙂October 18, 2018 at 8:25 am
A short story from The Sin of Man: https://www.thesinofman.com/the-peaceful/October 15, 2018 at 7:16 am
The River of Dreams
thesinofman.com/the-river-of-dreams/October 15, 2018 at 5:28 am
She is Our Desire
thesinofman.com/she-is-our-desire/October 15, 2018 at 3:16 am
The Last WhisperOctober 13, 2018 at 10:22 am
20GB+ of completely free reference photos. Use ’em for commercial or personal projects. No attribution required. gum.co/referenceOctober 13, 2018 at 10:08 am
20GB+ of completely free reference photos. Use ’em for commercial or personal projects. No attribution required.
A very, very tiny snippet of a personal piece I’m working on finishing.October 13, 2018 at 5:48 am
The Desperate LamentationsOctober 12, 2018 at 2:36 pm
Gonna reupload the Creators Chat episode once I figure out all of the weirdness happening with the audio.
Learning new software is hard.October 12, 2018 at 9:48 am
The latest (and rather overdue) episode of Creators Chat is now up! We chat about personal projects and how great they are. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALG1oDJ1bagOctober 10, 2018 at 6:09 am
Still doing mailed-in card signatures, y’all. https://noahbradley.com/products/mailed-in-card-signaturesOctober 10, 2018 at 5:21 am
One of my year-end paintings. Feel like I should do one for this year, though I don’t know if I’m capable of doing something so intensely happy as this year deserves.October 8, 2018 at 9:55 am
The more I read, the more ignorant I realize I am.
Maybe in 20 years or so I’ll start to feel like I know a few things. Though I doubt that.October 8, 2018 at 8:41 am
Good news, everyone!
I’m gonna be at GP New Jersey in a few weeks. Come by and get signatures or prints or mats or just hang out. See y’all soon. 🙂
Primevals’ Glorious Rebirth
AKA Why Does Darigaaz Have Wings That Connect To His NeckOctober 6, 2018 at 8:23 am
Made a set of wallpapers of the 48 Laws of Power, in case anyone’s interested. I set ’em as a slideshow on my desktop.
I have reached the strange epoch of my life wherein I am genuinely happy about a new set of sheets.October 5, 2018 at 9:10 am
Pro tip: make your own glass palettes.
1. Glass from Lowe’s/Home Depot
2. Back with foam board.
3. Put gray paper between for better value/color picking.
4. Duct tape the shit out of it.October 4, 2018 at 8:35 am
One of the first imaginative environments I ever painted. Oh how things change. 🙂October 3, 2018 at 5:54 am
So Hand in Hand They PassedOctober 3, 2018 at 4:58 am
Starting at 10am EST I’m doing some live critiques/paintovers for Art Camp students of their finished pieces. Come learn how to do better finished environments. 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mPSjwq995IOctober 2, 2018 at 7:51 am
<3October 1, 2018 at 6:51 am
Sketches for Extraplanar LensSeptember 30, 2018 at 8:13 am
I lived the Izzet dream yesterday. <3
Went 4-0, because niv mizzet is dumb.September 29, 2018 at 6:35 am
Have a good prerelease, y’all. <3September 28, 2018 at 2:52 pm
I don’t get paid to promote it or anything, but damn Arena is great.September 28, 2018 at 7:36 am
Prerelease tomorrow! 😀September 27, 2018 at 10:06 am
Sketch for Cloudstone CurioSeptember 27, 2018 at 9:05 am
Alternate sketch for Endless Sands. I really, really wanted to do a Star Wars homage piece.September 27, 2018 at 8:05 am
The alternate sketch for everyone’s favorite disco ball, Prophetic PrismSeptember 26, 2018 at 1:58 pm
Super tempted to take the time to finish this sketch.
Process video available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90Skwr63SOoSeptember 26, 2018 at 1:10 pm
Previous buyer pulled out, so here it is again: Cintiq Companion 2, i5, 128gb. Looking for $800 (which seems cheaper than any I saw on eBay) firstname.lastname@example.orgSeptember 26, 2018 at 11:10 am
Can’t make it to a GP? Well I’m now, by popular demand, signing cards by mail: https://noahbradley.com/products/mailed-in-card-signaturesSeptember 25, 2018 at 8:47 am
Sketched a more “normal” fantasy landscape yesterday. Process here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_kywAEK1VQSeptember 25, 2018 at 6:49 am
I think realistic expectations for creators are essential for happiness & sustainability.
So, realistically for me:
Good work day – 3 hours
Fantastic/exhausting work day – 6 hours
Trippy landscape, process here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtL_CzS30JwSeptember 24, 2018 at 2:54 pm
Defining a new genre: Erotic Landscape Painter.September 24, 2018 at 12:20 pm
So @ImRachelBradley just made me the best necklace.September 24, 2018 at 8:47 am
I’m doing mailed-in card signatures now: https://noahbradley.com/products/mailed-in-card-signaturesSeptember 24, 2018 at 6:58 am
Quick sketch of an underground throne.
Process video here: https://youtu.be/V3F_dzNwVZw
“Let’s have a weekend!”
“…sooooo what do people do on weekends?”September 21, 2018 at 8:04 am
Check out some of my new Magic pieces for next yearSeptember 21, 2018 at 4:19 am
Echoes of Another Life
Art Camp students start with their first finished landscapes this week. Always fun to watch. 🙂September 20, 2018 at 10:40 am
Process video right here: https://youtu.be/vgJ8y3R8IiMSeptember 20, 2018 at 4:38 am
New sketch experiment from last night. Uploaded a process video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57znv-Wo4H8September 19, 2018 at 6:34 pm
Just playing.September 19, 2018 at 8:54 am
Somewhere Between Here and ThereSeptember 18, 2018 at 12:07 pm
Quick sketch from the other day.September 18, 2018 at 8:28 am
https://noahbradley.com/products/godless-shrineSeptember 17, 2018 at 11:56 am
The sketch for Mizzium Mortars.
Raise your hand if you’re totally forcing Izzet at the prerelease next weekend.September 17, 2018 at 10:00 am
The awesome folks at Possibility Storm have put together an all-Noah-Bradley edition of their MTG puzzles. https://www.patreon.com/mtgpuzzles
The sketch for Boros Guildgate
My initial rough sketch for Izzet Guildgate.September 15, 2018 at 11:10 am
This was the alternate sketch for Strionic Resonator.September 15, 2018 at 11:08 am
Surreal landscape from the other day.
Quick process video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oJtbFdPBYM