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Art of the Weatherlight Crew


I wrote a post on MTG Art Market the other day breaking down who owns the original art for the Weatherlight Ship and Crew, asking if the owners would let me post images in today's article and whether the works are for sale, not-for-sale, or NFS. The post was flooded with artworks and one even changed hands. This is yet another example of visibility impacting price. Showing artworks as part of art shows creates demand, but that's another article entirely.

I posed this question on MTG Art Market to find out whether anyone would post the new Weatherlight Crew art from Dominaria. They didn't because they couldn't, they're all digital:

Thanks to the good people over at MTG Salvation, this is the new Weatherlight Crew. In case anyone isn't familiar, the crew consists of the following:

Other than one painting by Zack Stella of Teferi, the rest of the crew are all digital creations or non-existent in Dominaria. (He has not yet taken offers or auctioned his Teferi painting, but I'm sure he will soon.)

Even the next line of possible crew members, Karn, Scion of Urza, Squee, the Immortal, Danitha Capashen, Paragon, and Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar, are also digital creations.

Since none of the major characters have traditional art, the next place to look to satiate demand isthe magical artifacts the crew has onboard the ship. I see Navigator's Compass, Temporal Machinations, Unwind, Weight of Memory, and even Zhalfirin Void are also digital. I didn't expect a "Return-to" set to have an overwhelming number of Weatherlight crew members, considering the previous iteration of the crew had numerous opportunities for at least a few traditional paintings per crewmember, but having zero is a bit odd to me.

What This Means

By having only Teferi be traditional, it creates a correction in the art market.

Art collectors are unable to own Slimefoot, the Stowaway or Tiana, Ship's Caretaker. Instead, what is already happening is a revitalized interest in the original Weatherlight crew artworks to fill the nostalgia void. How people are finding them is the easy part; they're just checking Scryfall.

If you looked for the old Weatherlight Crew in art, you'd find this one by Monty Ashley listing ten instances of Karn on card art. When you search the tagger.scryfall.com site, you'll easily see a few more than ten instances of Karn including this beautiful land. If you have a favorite character, try out Tagger to find your favorite.

With no artworks of the new crew available for purchase, people are looking back to see what's still out there. What's out there or around, or even still with artists, is covered below. I encourage you to look first at the art, then hover over the name for the card. It's surprising how many good artworks are on forgotten or unplayable cards. With nostalgia in mind, and all the marquee paintings owned, there is a small window where art of your favorite crew member still for sale. And if not for sale, it's just not for sale right now.

To start, we have to talk about the one collector who has nearly all the original crewmember card art. He's looking for the remainders, of course, and while they're all very much not for sale, they do exist and, one day, maybe a Magic art show will showcase them for you, the players.

And onward to a few selected depictions of the crew as cards:

Sisay's Ingenuity by Pablo Parente

Acrylic on artboard, 9.8 x 11.8"

In a private collection

These works aren't framed yet, which implies a few things.

Contempt by Val Mayerik

Acrylic gouache, 18 x 25cm

In a private collection

Dehydration by Val Mayerik

Acrylic gouache on artboard, 10 x 10"

In a private collection

Ransack by Ron Spencer

Acrylic gouache, colored pencil on artboard, 11 x 26"

In a private collection

Chromatic Sphere by Luca Zontini

9 3/4" x 12"

In a private collection

Could be for sale

Squee's Embrace by Rebecca Guay

Mixed Media

In a private collection, NFS

Vhati il-Dal by Ron Spencer

In a private collection, open to trade

Arrest by Dan Frazier,

Acrylic on board, 10 x 12"

In a private collection, NFS

Intruder Alarm by Donato Giancola

Oil on board,

In a private collection

Gerrard's Verdict by Carl Critchlow

In a private collection

Anoint by Eric David Anderson

Acrylic on artboard, 10 x 7.5"

In a private collection

Yes, he is sitting on all Goblin Game cards too.

Goblin Game by Tony DiTerlizzi

Acrylic and gouache on paper, 9.75 x 12.75 in

In a private collection, clearly.

Ascendant Evincar by Mark Zug

Oil on artboard, 18 x 18"

In a private collection

Gerrard, Duelist cover by Terese Nielsen

Mixed Media

In a private collection

Duelist comics by Kev Walker

In a private collection

And finally, a few artists actually still have Weatherlight Crew art. This means it'll be a hair cheaper than the secondary market and you get the joy of purchasing directly from an artist, which is always fun. Randy Gallegos still has his Vanguard Ertai, and I know it's for sale at 11x14", if that character is up your alley and finding the original Terese Nielsen one is a little out of your reach.

Ertai by Randy Gallegos

Acrylics on illustration board, 11 x 14"

For sale by the artist

Clearly, Pete Venters, having worked in house on these very characters, would have a more than a few pieces still available. Pete also "opened his vault" a little later than other artists, after the rise of Magic's player base thanks to Zendikar and Innistrad, following the recession. Most of them are reasonably priced and people can find him on Facebook if interested:

There is art out there of the original Weatherlight Crew. The new crew is hardly represented in terms of number of artworks. There are no combat tricks featuring the new crew. Instead, we only see a few cards like Temporal Machinations and they are all done digitally.

However, if traditional art of the crew doesn't exist yet, Wizards has allowed for fan art to be made, so you can paint some yourself.

This brings me to my final point. When the only people, crewmembers, are painted digitally, owning a painting is only satiated by a print, and that's only if the artist makes them and usually only if they attend Grand Prix events. If neither of those are true, you can paint your own depiction, like Evelyn Hewett did, to ramp up the hype on the new set. But what if you aren't Evelyn and can't paint like that? When fan art isn't marginal sketches found on 2002 forums anymore, artists should be begging the question, especially digital Magic artists who have picked up on the valuation that the Magic art market weighs on traditional media.

This begs the question of whether Slimefoot paintings will emerge, since he's a fan favorite people want on their wall. If a Magic artist is paid to draw a 4x4" Slimefoot on a playmat with a sharpie at a Grand Prix, no one bats an eye. Normally they push for something they created, though it's far from rare to see it occur. What the Magic community is not allowed to do is pay for fan art in a public forum or place.

What our community will add next is convention sketches.

$1 signatures on cards was first, sketches and lineart/color works on site is coming, and the demand for Weatherlight Crew members will push it over the top, especially as the small second set of Dominaria became the summer core set.

When an original painting doesn't occur, and fans wish to have a spiderman ink or lineart drawing, show up to most conventions and any artist who worked on that property will likely create one for you. You want him and Venom? Easily done.

You want to visit Grand Prix Las Vegas and want a lineart drawing of Slimefoot and Jhoira, or Tiana and Arvad? How is that so different? Were a painting to exist, someone would buy it. In the absence of that, the market will find a way. Let's hope we put artists first, supporting their careers with commissions and sales. The legal teams will figure things out too. Just know, they're coming.


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