Magic: The Gathering Artist Spotlight: Rebecca Guay

Greetings to fans, players, and collectors of Wizards of the Coast's ever-popular trading card game, Magic: The Gathering! We have gotten a few chances so far to write up articles pertaining to various Magic artists. From new and bold artists such as Seb McKinnon to older, iconic artists like Carl Critchlow, the game has a vast number of artists, all with very distinct styles and methods of artwork. Today, we are going to look into a specific artist who has developed a cult-level following in the game's fandom: Rebecca Leveille-Guay, better known in the Magic world as Rebecca Guay.

The artwork for Path to Exile, a card from a promotional release for Magic: The Gathering, originally from the Conflux expansion set. Here, illustrated by Rebecca Guay.
The artwork for Path to Exile, a card from a promotional release for Magic: The Gathering, originally from the Conflux expansion set. Here, illustrated by Rebecca Guay.

Guay's art style can be seen as remarkably painterly. Most of her art has been done in a watercolor medium, with some touching up done digitally in later cards, one would presume. Her art subjects appear very inspired by nouveau styles, hearkening back to art done in the 1890s and beyond. Guay seems to continue this style in her works, portraying a certain fantastical romanticism. This may be because of Magic: The Gathering's expectations as a whole, but it may simply be because it's what she likes to do most.

The artwork for Bitterblossom, a card from the Morningtide expansion set for Magic: The Gathering. Illustrated by Rebecca Guay.
The artwork for Bitterblossom, a card from the Morningtide expansion set for Magic: The Gathering. Illustrated by Rebecca Guay.

Sadly, her early infamy in Magic for doing these pastoral watercolor moments in the storyline had brought on a fair bit of controversy in that a large number of people did not think this to be proper for a card game focal around combat and sorcery. This was later lampooned in the Unhinged card Persecute Artist. Nowadays, it's clear that, while her art is not as often seen on new cards in Magic, Rebecca Guay's work on the game has been elevated to an iconic level of style and class.

The artwork for Priest of Titania, a card from the Urza's Saga expansion set for Magic: The Gathering. Illustrated by Rebecca Guay.
The artwork for Priest of Titania, a card from the Urza's Saga expansion set for Magic: The Gathering. Illustrated by Rebecca Guay.

Still, even with the support of Wizards of the Coast and a burgeoning crowd of fans, Guay has not done much for Magic: The Gathering as of late. There are a few shortcomings to her art style, sure, but that she may have a bit of trouble getting commissions for red cards (as Guay has only done five so far out of well over 120 cards with her artist credit) shouldn't be a reason to dismiss her work as "too feminine" for the game. Her style is fantastic and evokes something that can't be said to be seen in many other card games.

Magic: The Gathering Artist Spotlight: Rebecca Guay
The artwork for Keldon Mantle, a card from the Planeshift expansion set for Magic: The Gathering. Illustrated by Rebecca Guay.

If you enjoy Guay's work, you can find her artist website here. And if you have any suggestions for future artists to put under the spotlight of Bleeding Cool, let us know in the comments below!

About Joshua Nelson

Josh Nelson is a Magic: The Gathering deckbuilding savant, a self-proclaimed scholar of all things Sweeney Todd, and, of course, a writer for Bleeding Cool. In their downtime, Josh can be found painting models, playing Magic, or possibly preaching about the horrors and merits of anthropophagy. You can find them on Twitter at @Burning_Inquiry for all your burning inquiries.

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