Today the Dragon Wins

"Today the Dragon Wins" offers information from Fantasy Author and Professional Editor Sandy Lender. You'll also find dragons, wizards, sorcerers, and other fantasy elements necessary for a fabulous story, if you know where to look...

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Sandy Lender is the editor of an international trade publication and the author of the fantasy novels Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings, available from ArcheBooks Publishing, and the series-supporting chapbook, What Choices We Made.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

The Dragon Welcomes Megan Kissinger
Or…learn from a master artist this week

Megan Kissinger brings a wealth of artistic know-how to The Dragon this week. From personal advice to personal anecdotes, here’s an artist who’s willing to open up and give it to you straight. Artists, welcome to The Dragon and to the words of wisdom from Southwest Florida’s own artist extraordinaire.

How we met
In early 2005, I had the pleasure of hiring Megan to work as a graphic artist for The Angelus newspaper in Southwest Florida. The institution that published/bankrolled the fledgling paper also needed an artist for creating marketing pieces, flyers, invitations to events, calligraphy work for special events, and myriad other projects that would boggle the mind if listed here. Needless to say, Megan needed to be versatile. She needed computer graphic art skills on both Mac and PC platforms. She needed fine art skills. She needed a keen eye for space, concept, color, and typestyle.

She had it all.

And it certainly didn’t hurt that this well-rounded artist had a pleasant, calm personality that could set the institution’s president’s wife at ease when that woman came tearing into our office with demands that had to be set in front of our other deadlines (plural). Megan could also set crazy, demanding advertisers at ease. Color me thrilled. She was an associate publisher’s dream-come-true.

Neither of us works at that institution any longer, praise God, but we’ve kept in touch. You see, one day, I looked at Megan and said, “Hey, could you help me with something completely non-work-related?” Thus the map for Choices Meant for Gods was born. I couldn’t have selected a better person to create that work of art. I don’t know how thrilled she was by the end of the process…

Megan’s insane list of credentials
I could take up pages of internet space listing Megan’s awards and accolades. So let me hit a couple recent highlights just to give you an idea of what she’s capable of. As a new illustrator with the Ft. Myers News Press, she won an SND.ies award from the Society of News Design. These are international awards so her team was up against the world. The Society of News Design, North Kingstown, R.I., was founded in 1979 with the mission of enhancing communication around the world through excellence in visual journalism.

She’s also participating in the Tropicalia’s April Fool’s Day issue, creating “The Foolish Field Guide,” which lets her creative streak really run wide. She’s made up a plethora of funky critters for people to “watch for” on their nature walks around Southwest Florida.

In something less electronic, Megan won a regional award with a metal sculpture of Sandhill Cranes about a year or so ago. Because I worked with her at the time, I got to witness the new cuts and gashes she sported as the birds took shape…

Now she has 15 pieces selected for display in the new luxury condominium high rise Oasis by The Related Group (check it out at Five hundred artists submitted works for this Southwest Florida community, but only 50 made the cut. One of Megan’s sculptures will be displayed in the site’s sculpture garden.

What Megan brings to The Dragon
The examples I’ve listed of Megan’s accomplishments are just a spattering of what she’s capable of, but they demonstrate her skill in both the computer graphics and fine art realms of the art world. That’s a rarity in artists. At least it’s rare for an artist to be “good” at both. Trust me: I’ve seen a lot of portfolios in my day. My positions with the companies I’ve worked for have involved hiring not just the artist who lays out the magazine, but the artist who develops the website or the corporate image or the marketing pieces, etc. Finding someone who can blend the skills Megan does is a blessing, and it was an honor to work with her in our professional setting back at that institution I mentioned and when we were creating the map for Choices Meant for Gods.

The information Megan shares with aspiring artists this week is the real deal. Enjoy! We’ll start the interview and share some images starting tomorrow morning.

“Some days, I just want the dragon to win.”

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