This is part of a continuing series where we get to know the masterminds behind the RPG that goes where no RPG has ever gone before – Star Trek Adventures.
I have gushed before about how much I like the art in the core rulebook and supplements. Hence, I have been hunting down the artists of STA.
Today, I choose to use a sling and netting made from palm leaves to capture Conner Magill, the devious mind behind some of my favorite seen and unseen pieces!
Michael: How did you get involved with doing the artwork for the Star Trek Adventures game?
Conner: I had been aware of Modiphius for some time as I am a fan of Role Playing Games. So, I dropped them an email with a few samples of my work. I got an e-mail back a few weeks later asking if I would be interested in working on Star Trek Adventures. Being a huge Star Trek fan, I didn’t even have to think twice. I jumped at the chance to be able to work on such a historic IP (intellectual property).
Michael: How much creative freedom were you given when you were commissioned to work on the project? Was their an already established storyline involved?
Conner: I had some freedom in how I wanted to depict the scene. But for the most part, the story was set and they knew what parts they needed illustrations for. Sam the Art Director was a joy to work with. He had great ideas. It was really good to bounce my ideas off him and see where it took us.
Michael: What was your favorite part of doing the concept art for Star Trek Adventures?
Conner: It is hard to pin down a favorite part. All of it was really fun. Each illustration was something completely different. I guess in the end, I would say seeing the fans’ reaction to the project and how well received it has been would be the best part.
Michael: The quality of the book is phenomenal. I want to ask, was there any art that didn’t make the cut?
Conner: There was.
Michael: What?!? Can we see it?
Conner (walking to a vault located behind the fridge, inserting a coded key card, and slowly opening the vault door while staring at me ominously): Sure.
Michael: Whoa! I am loving the Klingon battle scenes!
Conner: Those are a few images of the initial sketch ideas and finished illustration, as well as a few ideas that were not used.
Michael: Aw. Maybe they will be picked up in the future. So, when did your passion for art first develop?
Conner: I grew up in a very arty household. My mother was a painter as was my grandfather. So creating art has always been a massive part of my life.
Michael: How long have you been a fan of Star Trek? What was your first exposure to Star Trek?
Conner: I think I must of been about 3-4 years old when my mum would watch TOS. Then I remember my dad got me the two fist VHS of TNG that had the first 4 episodes. I must have been about 5 or so at this time and Encounter at Far Point just blew my mind. I was obsessed with Q for a very long time! From then I watched Star Trek pretty much every day after school growing up as it was always on. I must of seen every episode of TNG/DS9/Voyager and the new Discovery multiple times.
Michael: What advice do you have for any artists looking to get into publishing work with role-playing games?
Conner: Just work hard. I started late when it came to illustration. After university, I spent about 8 years working in Graphic Design until one day I was like, “You know what? I want to paint pictures all day for a living.” From then on I practiced every day for hours on end to achieve this.
Surround yourself with better artists and learn from them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and advice. Still to this day I regularly ask fellow artists for critique on my work.
Finally, if you really want to work for a certain IP, do lots of fan art for it and build up a portfolio, and send it off. Even if you don’t get in the first time, use it as fuel to push your self harder and try again.
Michael: Fantastic advice! Who is your favorite character in Star Trek? Why?
Conner: This is a hard one. Its kind of weird as I have always liked Q. There is just something awesome about being omnipotent. I will probably get loads of grief for this one, but hear me out. I liked Wes from TNG, not really due to his character, but when he decided to follow The Traveler. As a creative person, I always wondered what kind of possibilities that would open up. Exploring different planes of reality and what they would encounter really kicked my imagination into overdrive.
Other than those two, its all about Worf, son of Mogh!!
Michael: And, finally, what are we most likely going to find you doing when you aren’t working on Star Trek Adventures?
Playing with my daughter. Painting. Reading. And when I finally get a few free minutes, slaying Demons in DarkSouls or Bloodborne.
I think we are all juiced and jazzed about you opening the vaults and showing us never-before-seen artwork! Anytime you want to throw some scraps our way, Continuing Mission will post it, sir!
Now get back to playing with your daughter. Stay on her good side. I actually think she’s a Q!
(Can’t get enough of Conner’s art? Check him out at https://www.artstation.com/conr)