In today’s article, Wizardry Foundry is honored to be featuring Sk0oma Alters. An alter artist all his own, his style combines the dark, with sketchy realism. He doesn't shy away from human imperfections and creates eye catching works of art.
We introduce to you: Jay Sage - better known by the MtG alters community as Sk0oma!
Artist Name: Sk0oma Alters
Real Name: Jay Sage
Time Doing Alters: over 2 years (started October of 2015)
Foundry: Thanks for joining us today, Jay! When and how did you start altering?
Sk0oma: So I have been doing this for a little over 2 years now, I believe it was back in late October of 2015?
I have been playing Magic since basically the beginning and I've tried to make my living as a fine artist for most of my professional adult career.
I had previously heard of alters through some friends of mine at a local game shop while living in Denver and having a bit of a tough time with the economy there...they suggested that I try it to make some extra money and showed me some examples on their phones (BigUp and Klug etc…).
I have always done large-scale paintings and seeing these tiny canvases made me a little hesitant, but I tried a few practice pieces out, the usual border extensions and funny pop culture references, basically just mimicked what my friends had shown me...and they SUUUUUUUCKED! OMG they sucked so hard!
So, that was the end of that! I went about my life with no intention of ever looking back at a tiny canvas again. Of course, you know that's not how the story ends.
Foundry: Sounds only natural to combine the two loves! So, what’s your favorite style of altering? Your style is pretty unique - how would you describe it?
Sk0oma: Gangnam Style.
But seriously, I definitely lean more towards a combination of ultra-detailed and sketchy...not too much of either but a nice balance.
Super clean lines and smooth colors, hyper-realism, abstract, they all have their places, but I like to find the in-between place, the place where you can see the “human” aspect of the art, fingerprints, intentional rough lines, controlled chaos, all while providing an incredibly sleek, smooth, and clean finished product that feels professional and personal all at once.
Foundry: Throughout your career taking commissions for altering, what’s the craziest thing someone has asked you to do?
Sk0oma: Well I think that's going to have to be a client who commissioned a complete set of custom full art Power 9 AND a complete set of Duals, AND multiple deck boxes and leather playmats for GP Vegas...there is another long story here but to answer your current question, his request in the end after all was said and done was for me to go F#<* myself.
It amazes me still what some people think they can get away with and how they treat us (the artists) and what they will do to get out of paying you for your time and hard work.
Fortunately this type of thing is rare and almost every person I have had contact with has been an absolute pleasure, but I think it's important for people to know that this type of thing actually happens and to understand that we are professionals, and you don't take your car to the mechanic and just decide after all the work has been done that you don't have to pay because it's not “worth it” to you and think you get to drive off…
Foundry: The commoditization of art is killing the industry for sure! Do you recall any cool stories from your time altering?
Sk0oma: Oh man, so many!
I cut my hand open with an Xacto knife by accident one time and bled all over a commission I was doing, that was a weird and creepy Bob Ross moment, but honestly most all of the best ones involve meeting cool people or cool situations... at GP Vegas I was hanging out having a conversation with Wedge and when he said my name (Sk0oMa) someone nearby waiting to talk to him and get an autograph said, “wait?! YOU’RE Sk0oma?!”
Turns out he was a follower of mine on Reddit and was actually a current client in my queue, I ended up hanging out and spending some time with him after that, but it was just such a cool random scenario and was really weird and shocking for me to be recognized, especially at such a large event with so many people...
Foundry: Who/what would you say is your biggest influence on your alters work?
Sk0oma: Well, I guess this is where I finish the story, yeah?
Alright, so we last were in Denver creating horrible insults to artists everywhere and reevaluating our entire career choice... fast forward a bit to a new city with a much smaller studio and no (good) art scene to speak of.
I needed to make money and my options were pretty limited, when suddenly I remembered my brief experimental foray into the world of alters and decided to give it another shot, only this time, I was going to do my own thing and not try to replicate what everyone else was doing...
I joined the MTG Altered cards and artwork community Facebook page and researched for a bit until I found a few artists who seemed to be doing their own thing as well, and I befriended them and stole all their secrets and combined them with my own into one hell of a drug! (Kevin, Thomas, Malte, now you know, you created this monster!)
Foundry: We love it!! What other creative things do you do?
Sk0oma: As I have said, I've been primarily a larger scale gallery and performance artist for most of my career...
I work in oils, spray paints, gunpowder etc... and pretty much anything else.
I work with leather and wood (see my deck boxes and playmats), I also create sculptures and artistic furniture in my spare time as more of a way to relax and kind of zone out as well.
Foundry: So diverse! Do you have any other comments you want to tell your fans and our audience?
Sk0oma: Thank you, just thank you SO MUCH for all of your support throughout getting started and making my way to where I am now...
I know that occasionally I can come across a bit rough as I tend to have a broken filter sometimes, but know that I love what I do and I love all of my fans and followers (and peers) and I am always available to answer any questions you may have or help you with some tips and advice etc...and if that question is “do you take commissions?”
My answer is yes, and my advice to you is DO IT!
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