In today’s article, Wizardry Foundry will be featuring an artist from Málaga, Spain that we have admired for quite some time now. His style and technique of bringing pop-culture icons to beloved cardboard has made many fans very happy customers.
We introduce to you: Fernando Delgado - better known by the MtG alters community as Nando Alters!
Artist name: Nando Alters
Real name: Fernando Delgado
Time doing alters: 5 years
We have included Fernando’s social media info below should you want to message him about getting your cards altered! Click below for more of his work and to contact him.
Foundry: Hi Fernando, when and how did you start altering?
Nando: The first time i painted an MtG alter was a long long time ago back in 2001. I altered a playset of the card Moment's Peace with a four seasons theme. Nobody called it an alter - everybody thought I was crazy for painting on a Magic card! I sold it for a mere $12!
Although I haven’t played MtG since 2007, I started my way to become a professional alter artist in 2012, when i lost my job. A close friend told me “Hey Nando, remember that thing you did painting on cards? A lot of people are doing it and getting paid, you should try it!” He recommended my work to a group of players in my birth city, and they commissioned me 3-4 alters.
Evolution of Nando's alter work - featuring Yoda!
Foundry: Wow! From Zero to Hero, huh? We love a good redemption story!
What’s your favorite style of altering?
Nando: I love focusing on characters. I also have a deep love for anime, comics, illustrations, and realism… However, I’m not a huge fan of painting landscapes or alters with super complicated backgrounds. Truthfully, I don’t think I’m good at landscapes or backgrounds, haha... It’s important for a professional to know what he/she is good at and focus on it. Just be honest with yourself and your fans.
People sometimes call me “Nando Babes Alterer” or “Nando Anime Lover” or things of that nature. However, I simply paint what my clients commission me, and they usually ask for what they see. So if I post several women with a sexy suits, it’s expected that several other clients ask for the same. But my style is not limited to women. I also paint monsters and men.
Foundry: Throughout your career taking commissions for altering, what’s the craziest thing someone has asked you to do?
Nando: A guy asked me to do The School of Athens by Raphael. I told him that the details were crazy but I would do it and quoted him a several hundred dollar figure. He told me “Oh no, I have a very small budget of $35.” - I wished him good luck! Some people expect masterpiece detail work and to not pay top-dollar!
The School of Athens by Raphael
Nando: Many of my commissions go through that challenge of detail. For example, one of my top favourite alters is the Back to the Future alter. I had to do two tiny portraits and clothing of differing textures with an airbrushed background. It was crazy, but I loved the result.
Foundry: That’s why we love your work - it’s so detailed!
Do you recall any cool stories from your time altering?
Nando: One time, Terese Nielsen commented on my alters.
Otherwise, sadly, I haven’t been in direct contact with my clients. Living in Spain and having a 5-year-old daughter makes it almost impossible for me to travel much to the US or Europe for big MtG events.However, my work has been sent to the US, Japan, Canada, Australia, and other European countries. It’s like a part of me goes there too.
Foundry: You mentioned Terese Nielsen - she’s awesome!
Other than her, who / what would you say is your biggest influence on your altering work?
Nando: My influences are artists like Artgerm, Sakimi, and Campbell… Clients ask me to use their art as references numerous times - I had to adapt their illustrations to small cardboard area. Cesar Santos is actually my favourite artist alive.
Foundry: What other creative things do you do outside of altering MtG cards?
Nando: My true passion is classic figurative art. I love learning to paint portraits with oils like the old masters. I have painted historical miniatures for many years too, and I use a similar surgical-like technique on my alters!
Foundry: Do you have any other comments you want to tell your fans and our audience?
Nando: First and foremost, I want to thank my clients for making it possible for me to do alters full-time!
I also want to thank my fans for following and supporting me. I’m getting close to hitting 2500 followers on Facebook and I’ll do a giveaway for fans very soon to celebrate it.
To Wizardry Foundry’s audience, thank you for reading my interview. Please contact me for any questions - I answer every single person who contacts me, so don’t be shy!
For people that haven’t altered before but want to start, I recommend visiting the MTG Altered Cards and Artwork community on Facebook for some tips.
Lastly, for beginners - there’s only one way to get better - you have to work a lot. I am using the same brush and paint brand that I used when I started. The difference is thousands of hours of hard work and discovery, no magic involved.