About the artist
> Where are you located?
I moved from Athens, Greece to the UK in 2012. Now I live in Hertfordshire, SouthEast England.
> Are you married?
That's a personal question. Don't be rude! :)
> Did you go to an art school?
No. I'm self-taught as many other fellow artists. That doesn't mean that you don't have to go to an art school though.
> How long have you been working as a freelance illustrator?
My career as a freelance illustrator started in 1999. For many years I was working as a product illustrator for Advertising Agencies in Greece. When I moved to the UK I decided to do what I loved most, so I started a new career as a fantasy illustrator.
> What are your hobbies?
I spend some of my free time riding my mountain bike and maintaining my saltwater aquarium.
> Would you be up for speaking on my podcast as an interview guest?
I'm sorry, but I don't do interviews.
About the craft
> Where can I find one of your traditional paintings?
I paint digitally. That being said, you can only find prints of my artwork on my online store.
> Do you take private commissions?
I only take commissions from companies, independent game developers, authors, etc. I don't take commissions from privates. There are very rare exceptions though.
> I want to learn how to draw like you. Is it possible?
Yes. It takes a lot of practice though. There's no other way. You have to sacrifice a part of your life to do that. For starters, draw stuff from your everyday life i.e. a bowl of fruits, your favourite movie scene, your friends, etc. Anything that you'd love to draw. Or you can copy one of your favourite artists/paintings. You can go to an art school, take art courses, join a workshop or an online art community and show your work. Be open to criticism and any kind of feedback from other artists. Your friends will say that your art is awesome, great, the best, but other artists will spot any flaws, mistakes or problems. That's how you get better and improve your skills.
> I'm an aspiring artist. How can I have a break into the industry?
First of all, you have to be really good with what you're doing. Secondly, you have to be very punctual. Art directors don't like working with artists that blow off their deadlines. Go to conventions and show your portfolio to the art director from the company you'd like to work for. Many of these companies accept submissions from aspiring artists. Show them your best work, 4-5 pieces that you're really proud of. Be polite and, again, accept any criticism and feedback. Perhaps you won't make it the first time. Don't give up! Work hard, improve your skills and try again. If an art director is your friend, you're really lucky! If not, start working for independent game developers. This is a good way to learn how to be a professional and get paid while building a decent portfolio ;) Don't be shy. Ask other artists if the company they're working for is hiring. Several companies are constantly looking for new blood.
> How much does a fantasy illustrator earn?
That depends. When I started my career as a fantasy illustrator, at first I was taking commissions from independent game developers. I didn't have a day job. I was working 5-8 hours a day to earn £300-500 ($400-600) per month. The first company that I worked for was paying £60 ($100) per piece. Not much, I know. I didn't want to be a bottom feeder though. So I raised my rates. How? I've never made a lowball offer just to get a job and I tried to take new assignments that were paid more than the previous ones. Eventually, I got my first well paid commission and had a contract signed with a big company. All I'm trying to say is that if you've a strategy and work hard, you can earn enough to make a decent living.
> So, how much do you earn exactly?
Well, you're being rude again!
> I have a limited budget and I want a cover for my book. I want a dragon attacking an army of knights and a couple of wizards casting spells. Will you do it for $100?
> I need an illustration for my website/youtube channel/book/etc. You won't get paid for it, but I have 999,000,000 followers and I will give you credit. Are you interested?
> I really love the art you did for this game/book/etc. Can I have a high resolution image, so that I can print it on my own stuff?
Artwork that's been done for games/books/etc is property of the client. They own the copyright. You have to ask their permission to use any copyrighted artwork. Personal artwork also can't be used without permission and without paying for using it.
About Magic the Gathering
> Do you play MtG?
I used to be a MtG player many years ago. Due to my workload and family I don't play MtG, or games in general, any more.
> How is it to work for a company like Wizards of the Coast?
Awesome! The company is great to work for; and the art directors are really cool to work with! Very professional and, being artists themselves, they understand and respect their artists.
> Are you attending any MtG events?
I am attending some Magic the Gathering Grand Prix events each year as a guest artist. Not many though, due to my workload. If you're a MtG player you can subscribe to my newsletter and receive updates for any future events.
> Do you do card alters?
> I have some cards and I'd like you to sign them. Is it possible?
Yes. Please contact Mark Aronowitz (firstname.lastname@example.org) and he will make all the necessary arrangements. I will also be happy to sign them in person at any convention or tournament that I attend.
> I love the artwork for this card, but I can't find a print on your online store. Can I order it?
Yes, just ask and I can send you a print/poster. Please bear in mind that it will be more expensive though. The more copies I order from the print shop, the lower is the price I achieve per copy. Hope that makes sense.
> I really love the art you did for this card. Can I have the high resolution file, so that I can print it on my own stuff?
No. You have to ask Wizards of the Coast. They own the copyright.
> I'd love to use one of your images on my youtube channel/website/etc. Can you send me the high resolution file?
No. You have to ask Wizards of the Coast. They own the copyright.
About the online store
> How long does it take to receive my order?
Usually 1-2 weeks, depending on where you live.
> I haven't received my order. What can I do?
On very rare occasions an item may be lost during transit. It has happened in the past. Please choose the tracked and signed shipping option while checking out. Better be safe than sorry. I'm not responsible and I can't issue a refund if you've placed an order of £100/$100 of value and have chosen the standard shipping option. However, sometimes the tracked and signed method turns out to be too expensive if you want to order i.e. one print or an Artist Proof. In this case I am willing to help if your order's lost during transit. Please let me know and we'll work something out.
> I've placed an order a month ago, but I haven't received it yet. What is the problem?
Due to my workload, orders including Artist Proofs with sketches take longer to be processed. Usually 1-2 months. If you're not happy waiting that long, and you've already placed the order, please let me know and I'll issue a refund.
> How do I know that I will receive my order intact?
I try to ship all orders in damage-proof packaging. I use postal tubes for prints and postal boxes or cardboard envelopes for APs.
> I received my order damaged. Can I have a refund?
In case you've received your order damaged, please contact me as soon as possible. Send me an email including a photo of the unopened damaged packaging and a photo of the damaged item/s after you've taken it out of the packaging and I will decide if I will issue a refund. You can't have a refund if you send me a photo only of the damaged item; or if you let me know of the problem a week/a month/etc after you've received your order.