Magic artist Jeff Laubenstein talks about his favorite MTG art pieces

Since making his debut in the set Tempest, Jeff Laubenstein has created artwork for 25 different Magic: The Gathering cards.

As one might expect, there are some pieces that he's done for the game that he prefers over the others with two in particular standing out to him.

"Show and Tell was simply I need a kid in a classroom with a box of tentacles," tells Laubenstein.  "That's what I painted.  All the silly people around it and stuff, that was just me having fun and goofing around a little bit."

Laubenstein says that he enjoyed adding visual narratives to his Magic art and the piece he did for Show and Tell was no exception.

"We had all sorts of freedom, so my picture of a guy with a box of tentacles also has kabuki guy and a cactus with weird blue nobs all over it and just silly elements that I thought were fun and playful," he expands.


As for Recurring Nightmare, "[It] was literally just a guy having a bad dream."

"I did three versions of it," continues Laubenstein.  "The guy laying down was the consistent element in all three."

Laubenstein recalls that one of the versions had three stumpy aliens behind the guy, but the one that Wizards of the Coast went with was the one with a monster of many teeth and eyeballs in the background.

"For the most part, the first piece was the composition that most people liked and that was the composition that was painted," he says.  "For whatever reason -- maybe it was all the freedom -- but the ideas came together quickly, easily, and they were super fun to draw."

These days, Laubenstein doesn't do much in the way of artwork for Magic: The Gathering, but that's not really the point for him.

"25 years later, pretty much, I'm able to travel all over the planet and meet people whose lives included those couple little cards I've painted," he says.  "And people ask me all the time 'What's your favorite piece?'  The thing of it is, I enjoyed all the work."

Laubenstein says that, for him, the Magic: The Gathering experience has been a treat and he's glad to be a part of it.

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.