Mark Tedin is one of the artists who worked at Wizards of the Coast since before Magic: The Gathering. As soon as he graduated in St. Louis, he moved to Seattle and, alerted by a colleague of his, Anson Maddocks (author of Sengir Vampire art and 112 other cards), that there was a small gaming company that was working in an RPG, sent some drafts there and was hired. “Just a few months later, in November or December 1992, was when the Magic project came out,” recalls Tedin, author of iconic cards such as [mtg_card]Timetwister[Mtg_card], [mtg_card]Mana Drain[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Necropotence[/mtg_card].
Experienced in Magic’s large events, Tedin is impressed by what he sees in Las Vegas. “This is the biggest event to date. I’ve been to Vegas in 2012, and it’s been a huge event, but it’s the first time there are three GPs at the same time. It’s wonderful to see so many people with so many different interests. People are here for Vintage, Modern, Legacy, Side Events”. Author of 195 Magic cards, he reveals that in the early hours of the GP, after signing “a few hundred cards”, the ones that he most signed were the Urza Lands. “I think it’s because of the Modern event, and it’s a cool thing because they fit together. The [mtg_card]Sol Ring[/mtg_card] of the basic sets is also very signed.
The artist remembers how was the process of illustration for a card in the early days of Magic: The Gathering. “It was something much simpler than today”. The art director would call me and read a list of the available cards, so I choose by name. I did not know what it was or what it did. [Mtg_card]Helm of Chatzuk[/mtg_card]? Nice, I’m going to do this”, he says, revealing that Helm was the first card to which he made a draft. The first card he painted, however, was [mtg_card]Lord of the Pit[/mtg_card]. “Since I chose cards by name, I think that’s the reason I’ve illustrated so many rare and black cards”.
In the event, in addition to signing cards, the artists make lots of illustrations in playmats, sell artwork prints from their main cards and alter cards, too. “If I alter Mana Drain? Of course I do, but first I ask if the person is really sure that he wants to do it. It’s such a remarkable and powerful card.”
Mark Tedin was in Brazil for the last GP São Paulo in 2016, liked the country and left a message for the Brazilians. “Keep playing, you add a lot to Magic, your enthusiasm is incredible, thank you very much for your support.”