Magic artist Alix Branwyn talks about her favorite MTG art pieces

Magic: The Gathering artist, Alix Branwyn, has been making artwork for the collectible card game since debuting in the set Strixhaven: School of Mages in 2021.

Since then, she has done art for nearly every set since, including Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, Kamigawa: Neon DynastyMarch of the Machines, and the recently released The Caverns of Ixalan (among others, of course).

Amongst the more than 30 cards for which she has done illustrations, a few of them stand out more than the rest.

Of course, nobody forgets their first -- the card Golden Ratio from Strixhaven.

"That was a big deal to me because that card, being my first, it was the first set into the realm of more public-facing side of Magic cards," she says.

Previous to Golden Ratio's printing, she had only done behind-the-scenes concept work for the game.  It's something she had been doing for Magic starting with the set Kaldheim, which came out in February of 2021.  It's a gig she got through her history as a tattoo artist.

"When you concept art, you get credited in the concept book, you get credited, you know, in articles talking about the concept art side of things, but if you don't have something more public-facing, you kind of fly under the radar sometimes and, so, having my very first card come out, that felt like a big realization of a goal that I've had as a kid," Branwyn confesses.  "I used to collect Magic cards for the art during Urza's Saga and that was sort of like the culmination of a childhood dream."


Another piece of Magic: The Gathering art that Branwyn says is highly important to her is the work she did for the Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty card, The Dragon-Kami Reborn.  It was her first foray into creating artwork for the game in a traditional manner.

"[It] was also the largest oil painting I had ever done at the time," she says.  "It was 18x36 [inches]."

Also, the entire background within the work was made from 24-karat gold leaf.

"That was the first major gold leafing project that I'd ever done with oils and it was such a challenge," continued Branwyn.

Her first planeswalker card, The Eternal Wanderer, which came out in Phyrexia: All Will Be One, also stands out to the artist.  It's a piece that she says took her roughly 15 days to complete.

"I felt very honored that they felt like I was up to the task of taking on a planeswalker after only having worked on the game for, like, a year and a half or two years," Branwyn says.  "So, the trust to me to handle an important task like that felt very good."

The artist, who had four cards in Magic's most recent set, says working on the CCG is like a dream come true.

"I really love working on this game," she says.

Barry White

Barry White is a longtime Magic: The Gathering player, having started in 1994 shortly before the release of 'Fallen Empires.' After graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno, he went on to a 15-year journalism career as a writer, reporter, and videographer for three different ABC affiliate newsrooms.