The artist behind Magic: The Gathering's Ixalan Commander Deck Wayfarer's Bauble card has admitted to "screwing up" after being accused of stealing someone else's artwork. This comes after another artist noticed strong similarities between their work and part of the art on the Wayfarer's Bauble card.
David Sondered, the MTG artist who worked on the Wayfarer's Bauble card, has admitted to using fellow artist Lorenzo Lanfranconi's work as a reference for the illustration. In a statement, he says has "not done a good job" of making the card's artwork unique from the reference he used, and admits this was "a very bad call" to make.
"In my process of painting I collect references, especially for things I feel uncertain about, and sometimes I put those positioned on the canvas and paint over them," explains Sondered. "I sometimes use this as a way to make my illustration unique by overpainting and altering the reference until it isn't possible to see the original piece anymore.
"In this case, I have unfortunately not done a good job of turning it into a uniquely mine painting. I could show how I have painted over things but in the end it does not matter."
He goes on to admit that the card "looks too close" to Lanfranconi's original artwork. "It is 100% on me, and I made a very bad call on this one. Most likely (as it is so long ago) I came to a point where I wasn't looking at the reference anymore and was just trying to make sure all the colours and lighting matched."
Sondered has reached out to explain the situation to Lanfranconi and Wizards of the Coast. Lanfranconi has accepted this explanation, but it's not clear if WotC will take any action, or make a statement on the incident.
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