Postmortem Studios launches Darkzel Scholarship For Artists To Honor Their Friend

By Alasdair Stuart

DarkzelJames ‘Grim’ Desborough, is one of the most impressive tabletop game designers and RPG writers working today. The owner of Postmortem Studios and co-author of the award-winning Munchkin’s Guide to Powergaming, he’s in the process of getting the Darkzel Scholarship off the ground. Here he is with the details:

Earlier this year I discovered that my good friend, Zachary Harris – better known to you as Darkzel – had been killed. He was in Korea, teaching English, when he was struck by a bus crossing the road and killed. A tragic, pointless waste of the life of a talented artist who – I believe – would have had a grand future ahead of him.

I have struggled to think of a useful and respectful way in which to honour Zel’s memory and to continue his legacy. In many ways our relationship was defined by the fact that the work I gave him helped pay him through his schooling and that we became friends as I watched him grow.

Life is tough for students as a whole and art students, perhaps, in particular. All that work, often without the support of friends and family, chasing a dream that may, ultimately, never work out and never pay. Fantasy artists are being crunched quite a bit as well, work is scarce and pay hasn’t really increased – at least in analog gaming – for some years.

If in some, small way, I can help other art students to get through their schooling, even if it’s just to make sure they’re kept in ramen noodles, that strikes me as a good way to remember Zel and to continue to help.

It’s an admirable goal, honoring a friend and offering a hand to artists who are having to work harder for less month on month. The scholarship is open until the end of February and the amount offered will consist of the previous year’s stock art sales from Darkzel’s work, as well as that of any previous winner’s art. The first year it will run, 2014, that amount will be somewhere over $250.00. Here are the submission guidelines:

  • You will submit a piece of art at least A6 in size and at least 300 dpi, by email to grim@postmort.demon.co.uk
  • You grant permission, should you win, for this piece of art to be sold as stock art on RPGNOW.com. Money raised from these sales will go to next year’s scholarship.
  • You will include the name you wish to be credited by. The terms of use of the stockart license requires the users to credit you.
  • You will include a link to your online portfolio, deviantart page or similar.
  • You must be able to accept payment via Paypal.

Further details can be found at Grim’s blog. If you’re an artist with work that fits the bill, go take a look.

Alasdair Stuart is a freelance journalist, podcaster and RPG writer. He’s written for the Doctor Who, Primeval and Victoriana RPGs and hosts Psuedopod (www.psuedopod.org), a weekly horror fiction podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @AlasdairStuart