|Status||Active: Portal Second Age to Battle for Zendikar|
Sam Wood is a Magic artist who first started in Portal Second Age. He was born in eastern Washington State. His family moved north, and Wood grew up in a small fishing town in southeast Alaska. He spent a lot of those formative years reading comic books, and he even wanted to become a penciller while he was in high school. But soon higher education reared its head, and Wood was accepted into an Ivy League school.
|“||"When I got into Harvard, I decided to major in biology, mostly because I didn't think art was something you went to Harvard for." But after three semesters as a bio major, Wood decided to give art another shot and transferred into the Visual and Environmental Studies department. He kept a focus on studio arts and "never looked back".
Wood had only been at Harvard for a year when he first heard of Wizards of the Coast in the summer of 1994. "My dentist's sister-in-law was the head of HR at the time, if you can believe that," he laughs. In June of the following year he decided to take a chance. "I flew down to Seattle to interview at Wizards. Once [I was] on the inside (I was a lowly contractor making color proofs in the pre-press department), I got to know some art directors and showed them my work." In his second summer at Wizards, he finally broke into card art, working on several cards for the BattleTech trading card game.
Although he only worked on two cards in the Mercadian Masques expansion, Wood's Darting Merfolk and Two-Headed Dragon quickly became favorites among Magic fans. Why only two? He usually only takes between one and three cards from each Magic set. "I have a lot of other freelance work on my plate most of the time."
Several factors went into his work on Mercadian Masques. "Masques has a strong Mediterranean flavor, which comes through more in Darting Merfolk. Two-Headed Dragon, on the other hand, is fairly setting-independent." Of the two, he does have a favorite: "Definitely Darting Merfolk. Partly because I just like the piece, but mostly because my girlfriend posed for it. I had her lean over the edge of a bathtub to get the pose right, which wasn't at all comfortable for her! That's probably why the mermaid in the card looks so ferocious."