Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Wheel of Time Art Contest

As many of you know, Robert Jordan is battling a nasty blood disease – amyloidosis – that has the potential to cut his life short. His recovery is going rather well at the moment, and his experience has made him a bit of a champion to the cause – so he worked out a nice little contest. From his blog:
Hi, guys. Sorry this isn’t the usual health update, but I’ll get to that in another post shortly. A few days, but no more, I promise. This is about something else completely. In fact, it was inspired by a comment someone posted on the blog. I liked the idea and took it to my agent and my publisher. They like it, too.

We are going to run a contest to find the 15 best pieces of fan artwork out there. I know there is some really professional quality work because I have seen it. Submit your work to Jason Denzel ( those who read a version of this announcement on a few other sites will see somebody else to submit to; dinna fash yourself. That means don’t worry about it.). Jason and a few other webmasters will act are first judges as to
which pieces to send on to me for final judging. The winning pieces will be gathered into a calendar, and here comes the important part. The normal royalties this calendar will earn, along part of the profits, will be donated to Amyloidosis Research at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. They are really home base for that in this country, quite aside from keeping me alive this far. Now that means that by submitting and having a piece chosen to send on to me, you will be signing away future publication rights for that piece. Winners will get a copy of the calendar, of course, with my autograph and a note of acknowledgement on the page containing your artwork. For monetary rewards, you’ll have to hope that some publisher sees and likes your work well enough to offer you a commission. Publishers are always on the lookout for new artists. Otherwise you must settle for the glory, such as it is, of being published in the calendar. Style doesn’t matter in this. Manga, hyper-realism, current cover-art. Whatever. Anything and everything is acceptable as a possibility. It will be the quality that counts, not the style. If you want to try it the way you think Rembrandt would have done it, go for it. Though I have a hard time picturing that. Rand as a member of “The Night Watch?” Well, maybe. Try whatever you like. I hope to keep this contest running year after year for a number of years. Possibly, in a few years, there will be enough winners to collect as an art book, perhaps fleshed out with a few artists who didn’t quite make the cut in their particular year. So go for it, guys. Let the farce be with you. Oh. Sorry. That’s another series, isn’t it?

Take care, everybody.

Back to you, soon.
RJ

10 comments:

Carl V. said...

That's a really great idea. I look forward to seeing the winning entries. Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series is one of the great sadnesses in my life. I started reading them about the time the third book came out and tore through all three. Then the waiting came. I eventually gave up the idea of ever reading them until after he finishes because it was just too ridiculous to wait so long between books. Since then I've heard complaints about whole books with 'nothing' going on and I wonder if I'll ever read them. In the end I will probably wait to see if, when the last book is done, people are raving about how he tied everything up. If its good enough then I know it will be worth the effort to read them again.

Neth said...

I also think it's a good idea even though I'm not a big fan-art fan. It's good exposure for the aspiring artists and a potential fund raiser for a good cause.

WOT holds a special place for me - in a lot way it has been a gateway for me into much wider avenues of SFF, and I've been reading and re-reading it for a dozen years or so. It does bog down a bit in the later books (I would say it's a failure for editors to keep the big money maker in check), but I it seems to be turning around. You should give it another try when he finishes the final book (hopefully earlier than the anticipated 2009).

Carl V. said...

I know several of my friends who are big Jordan fans who hope and pray that he does indeed finish before health concerns hamper his ability to write. I will definitely be tempted to start it again once they are all done. I would have to agree with the editor comments. I think several authors get too big for their britches and editors become afraid to truly edit their work. It is sad because a good editor is such an instrumental part of making a book great rather than merely good.

My hope with this project is that the 'fans' whose art are chosen turn out to be really talented people who are indeed fans of Jordan's work rather than amateurs whose work is sub-par. To make money he is going to have to have some pretty amazing works for each month or it will be a flop.

Neth said...

In Jordan's case I would say that he gets carried away with writing rather than 'too big for his britches', though that could just be the fanboy in me. In any case, it's probably semantic. A good editor is key to a book's success as a piece of writing.

I hope that this contest does really keep with the fans of the series as it's intended, rather than falling to all aspiring artists out there, many of whom don't know who RJ is.

Carl V. said...

'too big for his britches' was definitely the wrong wording to use. The other day someone said, or I read, something to the effect that sometimes editors appear to be afraid to edit authors whose works become really successful. I believe they were talking about J.K. Rowling as an example but I have heard similar things said about Tolkien, Jordan, etc. It is actually probably more of the fault of an editor than the author. It makes me think that one would be truly blessed to have a skilled editor who is willing to edit honestly regardless of the status of the author.

Neth said...

Yes, that's a good way of putting it.

Carl V. said...

And there's nothing wrong with being a fanboy! Like I said, I really enjoyed the first three books in this series. In fact they remain some of the very best fantasy that I have ever read. Quitting the series for me was simply about the time between books. There are so many characters that I had to take alot of time to reacquaint myself with them once a new book came out and it was just too much for me. I'm probably just a lazy reader that way.

Carl V. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neth said...

-Carl, I'm the same way with Martin's ASOIF. I've read the first three, but I haven't picked up AFFC yet with the long wait between books. I know I need a full re-read and I have plenty of good books as it is and no desire to get stuck waiting for years again. I'll wait until he finished before continuing.

Carl V. said...

Funny that you brough that up because one of my friends, Jeff (who I think posted on your previous Martin TV post), is the 'friend' who bought me the first Martin book in this series because he is a huge fan. I want to be a gracious gift receiver and read it but I am loathe to do so until he is finished for fear that I will love it and have the same Jordanesque issue all over again.

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