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Artist Spotlight: Clint Cearley

What makes the Inked Gaming artist community so special is that it’s made up of talented designers who consistently deliver stunning art that we can’t wait to see printed on our goods. If you look through some of our more popular pieces, you’ll see that Clint Cearley is clearly one of them! 

Clint has been in the artist community for quite a while and developed a following among our fellow gamers. This comes as no surprise since Clint’s collection of art looks absolutely amazing on our playmats, mousepads, dice bags, and more. By now, Clint’s designs have become so recognizable that we don’t even have to scroll to see his name. Knowing an artist’s work is one thing, but actually knowing the artist behind the work is another. That’s why we have this Artist Spotlight!

Just like the other artists we’ve featured in this series, we sent Clint a list of 10 questions, which he was nice enough to promptly return with 10 thoughtful answers. These questions are meant to give us a peek behind the curtain, so to speak, and allow us to learn more about the artist themselves. We want to know who Clint is. What inspires him? What kind of music does he listen to? Which color crayon is he? You’ll learn more about that last one, and the others, in the Q&A below.

Let’s begin!

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Clint Cearley, an illustrator, and art instructor. I’ve created many images for Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons, I was a Senior Art Supervisor at Blizzard, and I’m the creator of Swatches Academy where my wife and I teach professional illustration and concept art.

What inspires you?

Most often I’m inspired by other art. That’s what got me into drawing as a boy, an image giving me an idea, then wanting to explore that idea and wanting to see if I can achieve something similar. As a professional, I’m also “inspired” to paint whatever my client hires me to illustrate ;)  

Moonlit Vampire Castle

What are some hobbies you do when you’re not making art?

I enjoy getting out in nature, doing travel photography, teaching, and reading.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?

Form before detail. In art, it refers to the need to establish the sense of 3D volumes before applying the minor details to them, in the same way you need to build a foundation before building the house structure. If you try to build the house first, the whole thing will be unstable and eventually collapse. It’s easy to get caught up in the superfluous details of a project, any project, and it’s crucial to keep a broad view of what needs to be done and go at things in the right order.


What would your perfect Saturday be like?

Getting out of the office to take a short road trip to a beautiful hiking trail. After enjoying nature for a while, I’d return home for some outdoor grilling and relaxation.

A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a little hat. What do they say and why are they here?

With a soft pant he closed the door, then doffing his cap to me he said, “Sir, no pleasantries I’m afraid, we haven’t much time. I need you to come with me.” No explanation was needed, if he was here it meant the Duchess had traced down the last book, and the Librarians wouldn’t be far behind. I nodded to my new chaperone and grabbed the satchel containing the last written words. While I secured the satchel strap across my chest, he pulled out a piece of chalk and drew a crude door on the bare office wall. He gave the door two quick knocks with the back of his wing and two soft knocks echoed back a moment later. The wall-door swung gently inward, not to my bedroom which was on the other side of the wall, but to a dim earthen tunnel. “Sir” he said as he gestured inside. It had been good here…for a while. But, this was always a possibility and I knew it at the start. With one deep breath, I fixed a smile in place and headed off once more.

Toad Rider

How do you know when your art is finished (if ever)?

In most commercial art it’s often very easy to know; it’s when you hit the deadline. Personal work can be harder to judge but a guiding question that can help is “Does the piece say everything it needs to?”. Answering this necessitates that you know what the piece is about and trying to say before you began. A piece may also be considered finished when adding more would overwork it, and begin to lower its energy, or when more would be superfluous and less would be inadequate.  

You’re a new addition to the crayon box… What color would you be and why?

Stygian Blue or Hyperbolic Orange. If you know the colors, you know why.

Neo Tokyo

What's your favorite genre of music to jam out to?

Cinematic orchestral soundtracks or oldies most of the time.

Where can we find more of your awesome artwork?

My portfolio can be viewed at, you can watch art videos with me on my channel, and learn illustration with me at You can also find my art on over 100 MTG cards and in various D&D books, including the cover of Candlekeep Mysteries.”



Did you enjoy Clint Cearley's Q&A? So did we. In fact, this is one Artist Spotlight that we were really looking forward to, and we appreciate Clint taking the time to participate. Our gratitude extends to you too, the reader. It’s nice to know that we have followers who are interested in learning more about our artists.

Speaking of, if you haven’t already, be sure to swing by Clint’s collection page while you’re here. In addition to a short little bio, you’ll also find more awesome designs, which are featured on a host of different items. Also, feel free to leave us any thoughts, comments, or questions in the section below!

Happy Gaming!


Inked Gaming


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