Official Contest: Artwork Contest!

Aspiring artists from the MTG community, this is your chance to show off your skills in both artwork and card-making, and be handsomely rewarded for it!

Create a Custom Card that would/should exist within a Core set, using original artwork created and owned by you. Cards will be judged on both standard contest design rules, as well as the artwork design and relation to the card concept presented.

Entries will be accepted from July 16 - Aug 10th. Winners to be chosen by our League of Judges and announced the week of Aug 20th. You may only enter one card url, so search submit wisely. Cards may be directly edited (premium feature) on the same submission URL until the final day of the contest, but you cannot re-post/enter more than once.
Flip Cards:You can certainly make flip cards, but only the first card submitted will be entered and considered.

1st: Custom MTGCS Avatar from your original Artwork + M19 Bundle Box + 3 months of premium membership
2nd: M19 Tezzeret Planeswalker Deck + 2 months premium
3rd: 3x M19 Booster packs (donated by Scott_Anderson - thank you!) + 1 month of premium

That's right, if you win, you have the option to add your artwork as an official avatar to the site!
The winner will have the Artisan's Choice™ of the following:
  • 1. Keep the Avatar for him/herself only.
  • 2. Add the Avatar to the list of Premium Avatars (and themself).
  • 3. Release the Avatar for everyone to use.
Physical prizes available for US residents only, international winners will have the option to receive digital prizes of equivalent value.

Do not fear about your artistic abilities, we want to see it all, really!
To get the ball rolling with custom art, here's a custom card directly from yours truly:

Show us what you've got!

Eligibility - Entrants must be over the age of 13 to redeem prizes. Residents of the United States are eligible for physical prizes. Each entrant/address may only win one prize. Previous contest winning cards or featured cards are not eligible, sorry. Each entrant authorizes their card submission & username for contest and future promotional use by MTG Cardsmith. By following the contest entry steps listed here you agree to the terms and rules of the contest. Limit 1 entry per person. These rules are subject to change, by participating in the contest you agree to these terms.



  • Alright it's go time finally! Can't wait to see the cards and their art. Good luck to everyone!
  • edited July 17
    A useful article on the topic of what makes a core set a core set:
  • edited July 18
    A good time to return to the site and practice some of my art :)
  • edited July 25
    Wolf of Summer's Eve

    I had so much fun making this, thank you to the site admin for putting this contest on. I got to try something I never thought I could do. But I need to officially withdraw my entry, because I can't really use the prizes offered and they should go to someone who plays paper mtg/online mtg. I wish everyone luck in the contest!

  • Ohhh... this one pains me a little. Such lovely prizes and opportunity. My only issue is uh, I do pixel art. Not really mtg-ish. So... meh. Good luck to you all!
  • edited July 17
    They want to see any and all art (take a look at the example above)! Don't let you inhibitions preclude your entry!
  • edited July 17
    Edit - Removed
  • @Shadow29870
    You can't post card links here unless they are submissions...
  • @Faiths_Guide

    Ah, wasn't sure about that. Thanks.
  • @Shadow29870
    Feel free to PM though ;)
  • Can someone tell me if my card idea is balanced so I know if I should go ahead with the art?
  • @baryonyx69 plenty of nice cardsmiths did so for my entry, I'm sure they'll do for yours, I'll try to provide feedback too :)
  • @baryonyx69
    PM me the link?
  • Hey @MTGCardsmith and whoever else is judging this competition (@Corwinnn maybe?), would making a Bidoof be acceptable as long as it is simple enough for a core set? What about making the last member of an incomplete cycle? What about both?

    I should have asked that earlier, sorry.
  • edited July 19
    I don't think anything is "disallowed" but you might be judged more harshly with something far from typical MTG.
  • @Faiths_Guide I mean, my design is very close to 5 other actual magic cards- It's just a Bidoof in addition to its other types.

    I'm just not sure whether this is an amazing fantasy Art contest, a Design contest, a "Realistic" design contest, a mix bag, or just something completely different. If my art turns out the way I want it to, it is going to look amazing. I just don't want to invest the time (which I don't really have to begin with) in creating art which might not even be consider on precedent.

    Although I do think anti-Bidoof sentiment (if it exists- I'm not accusing anyone of it) is a bit weird considering wizards is including Literal Furries in their most recent sets. If that abomination is allowable by Wotc's standards, then I can't see why what amounts to a Mountain Beaver wouldn't be.

    Rant over. Sorry.
  • edited July 19
    Leonin and furries couldn't be much different. Are you opposed to Ajani (who's been around since M11)?

    Bidoofs are rather ridiculous concepts from a different game/world (I'm not trying to be mean or anything, but I do hold with "anti-Bidoof sentiment"). They couldn't be further from appropriate in The Multiverse.

    Personally I would totally discount such an entry from a shot at the podium, but I'm not a judge and I don't think the judges would rule along those guidelines. However, you are asked to create something that would fit within the confines of a core set and that makes me think that it should be appropriate within WotC perimeters at the current date (creature types, rule text, formatting, and all the rest).

    It's up to you how to enter, and I mean no offense!

  • edited August 5
    Oil painting!
    Full art:

    Full art:
  • @KrampisZman
    Looks like the criteria is steeply based on the description...

    Create a Custom Card that would/should exist within a Core set, using original artwork created and owned by you. Cards will be judged on both standard contest design rules, as well as the artwork design and relation to the card concept presented.

    I think anyone judging this would deem Bidoofs outside of the MtG realm and more in the Pokémon realm, much in the same way they might relegate Goku to Dragon Ball Z rather than accept him in MtG.
  • edited July 20
    I've been assisting @baryonyx69 via PM and I feel that some of the information I gave there will also be good to share with those that are hesitating to start or having any general difficulty.

    For either traditional or digital, I recommend starting very lightly to get a feel of were each element should be in the frame (art on a card is roughly 2" x 1.5", so keep that ratio in mind when you create your art, 4 width to 3 height). Afterward, you can do a darker final sketch over the top.

    Less is more, don't over-complicate your artwork. It will be tiny on a finished card so prioritize clarity over complexity (if you end up with something you like and some extra time, that's when to add some details).

    Do a light sketch first, see where things seem to fit best, and relax! You'll do great. ;)

    Pro-tip: If you've got some 3"x5" sticky notes lying around, you can ignore one inch of the width to get a perfectly sized practice area. You can quickly thumbnail your design to see what looks good before a bigger final piece!

  • While none of it is particularly good, I have a lot of recent artworks you can browse:
  • edited July 21
    well, @Faiths_Guide, seeing your art that you say is "not particularly good" (lies!) makes me feel a whole lot better in this challenge. :[ groan. Im still going to create something, just haven't made up my mind yet on what the site could use for a new avatar to add to its growing collection and that will be my biggest influence for my entry whenever I submit it... I mean, I have to keep a ray of hope, right?
  • @sorinjace
    Ya, sorry, not trying to talk anyone's art down. I just wasn't particularly pleased with my latest posts XD
  • Thank you @Faiths_Guide for the huge art lesson for aspiring cardsmiths! This is some amazing info and thumbnailing is an excellent practice to get into early and often.
  • edited July 21
    Glad to be of any assistance!

    I'm happy to help anyone with any part of submissions for this contest via PM or in a card comment sections (for premium members). I am currently helping 3-4 people (you know who you are) so I may not be super quick in getting back to you, but I'll do my best!
  • @sorinjace

    I'd suggest doing what I'm doing, minimalist. Don't do anything... overly big n flashy. I'm trying something small and simple, but with lovely amounts of detail and such. I could show you sometime and help you out as need be. :3
  • And @Faiths_Guide , looking at that stuff dude, ohmygosh. I'm a little bit rather sure entirely you're gonna do good in this challenge lad.
  • edited July 22
    @Shadow29870 thanks! I can draw as well but I also want my card to look as good and as believable as possible. I had deleted this faerie card I made quite a while back I wish I didn't do that because its my art all done in charcoal. It wasnt the grestest drawing but it was fun to create! I was thinking about doing my art in charcoal for this project as well, but I also want it to have color.
  • edited July 22

    For charcoal, just do a black card. :3

    But yah. I'm doing pixel art cause... well, that's all I can do. I just hope I can detail it enough and have a good enough card for it to work and get at least somewhere in this contest.
  • edited July 22
    I honestly don't mind if I win anything or not, it just feels good to have done something I never considered myself capable of doing. Was so satisfying to draw something. I'm drawing more art for other cards of my own now just because now I know I can do it, and maybe even slowly get better at it.
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