Interview with Isaac Stewart, the man behind the maps of Mistborn and The Way of Kings! Also, a free t-shirt contest! Yay!

"Save the puppies."
Permit me a nerd-like "squeee!" before I start this one. I'm not ashamed. Okay, now that's taken care of, let me tell you what the big deal is all about today. As you can see in the post title, this month's interview is with Isaac Stewart, hence my excitement. He's just the guy who created the maps, symbols, and chapter headings for Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series and The Way of Kings, in addition to a ton of other cool stuff. But I'll let the interview detail the rest of that. There's some seriously good info in here boys and girls, so make sure to pay attention.

WANT TO WIN A FREE T-SHIRT? 

The other big thing is this: by coming to my blog and checking out this super-sweet interview, you have taken the first steps toward the possibility, nay, the opportunity to win a free t-shirt of your choice from InkWing.com, the merch site for everything Brandon Sanderson (which is run by, guess who, Isaac Stewart). How does one win such a prize, you ask? By leaving a comment of course! Each unique visitor's comment will be assigned a number, which will then be pulled from a hat (you'll have to trust me that I'm actually using a hat, and not a coffee can or something). Please make sure you leave a way for me to contact you if you are the winner! (That's important.) Multiple comments by the same person will be considered as only ONE submission. The contest will close on April 15th, 2012, and the winner will be announced on this blog on April 16th, 2012.

UPDATE: Due to the volume of awesome people commenting (like you!), Ink Wing Arts would like to throw a second shirt into the contest! Meaning you no longer have to sharpen your swords to fight for just one shirt, but two! (Still only one shirt per winner; your chances simply went up.) Keep em coming!

UPDATE UPDATE: The contest has officially closed. Winners have been announced, check out the latest post for more info! Thanks everyone for your support!



Okay, on to the good stuff. I met Isaac at a book signing with Brandon Sanderson, oh, maybe a year ago. He was laying down his John Hancock on some seriously huge bookmarks (of which we scored a couple). My wife and I took the opportunity to talk with him a bit, asking some stupid questions since we had never met him before. He was pretty down with talking to everyone, which is always great. We've kept in touch since then and chatted at some more signings and a con. He's a dang nice guy and I'm sure he'd love to have you all shoot him a tweet saying "hi." Alright, enough from me, on to the questions!

First off Isaac, thanks so much for taking time out of your busy, busy schedule to do me this favor. I know there's a lot of people who will be really thrilled to hear some of the great info you have for us. Getting started, how about you tell us a little about yourself?
Telling stories and drawing have always been my first loves. And Legos. As I got older, I added more loves to that list: my wife, my kids, learning, languages, traveling, creating music. I could’ve tried to make a lot of those into careers. But life is short, and I’ve already spent too much time as a jack-of-all trades. These days, I focus on my family, my writing, and my art. A more in-depth biography can be found here.

Most of us know you for your work on Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn and The Way of Kings. What are some things you've been involved with that we might not be as familiar with?


I’ve been working in the 3D animation field since 2000, specifically educational videos, graphic design, and video games. A couple of the more well-known projects I’ve worked on are A Kingdom for Keflings for xBox 360 and Twisted Metal for the PS3. For a while I co-authored a webcomic, Rocket Road Trip (link here) with my good friend Shawn Boyles (link to his site here). We highlight the everyday life of a family of monster hunters who take their monster-hunting life on the road. We rarely update anymore, due to demands on both our time, but what’s there is certainly worth a read through.  

Your website mentions a lifelong desire to write and illustrate books. Tell us what's been going on with you writing-wise.You have a book coming out soon through Deseret Book, right?  

Kenneth Pike and I put together a book called Jacob's Journal of Doom (link here) Deseret Book acquired for publication on July 31st of this year. Anybody familiar with the Wimpy Kid books will see the initial similarity: a story unfolds through the writings and drawings of an eleven-year old keeping his journal. The goal here was to create a character and story that LDS middle-graders can identify with without hitting them over the heads with heavy-handed lecturing. Besides being LDS, one of the things that sets Jacob apart is his imagination. There’s a bit of a Calvin and Hobbes vibe as Jacob imagines himself as a ninja or his family as space aliens.  

You've been involved with some pretty big projects over the last few years. Tell us what it's been like working on the art for novels such as the Mistborn trilogy and The Way of Kings.

Writing, art, and book publishing have always been my biggest interests, so working on these great books has been very fulfilling.

I get the manuscript early on in the process, print it out, and go through the whole thing with a pencil, marking it up with notes about artistic details and tiny maps marking places in relationship to each other. Then comes my favorite part of the process: working with Brandon and his assistant Peter to make sure that my vision melds with Brandon’s vision for the book. We usually do a lot of revisions and emails to get to the point where we’re all happy with the results. I cannot say enough good about Brandon and Peter; they are both gentlemen to the core.

I know some of us have heard the story of how you came up with the symbols for Mistborn, but tell those of us who haven't how they came about.
Click for a larger view.
I’d drawn about a half dozen pages of symbols inspired by my first reading of the book. Pages with dozens and dozens of tiny, intricate symbols--maybe someday I’ll write a post about the process: Failed Allomantic Symbol Designs. But nothing was really working for me or Brandon.

I’d collected a lot of reference material for the steel inquisitors--nails, railroad spikes, those sorts of things--and one day when I was looking at a picture of a rusty pile of bent up nails, I saw the symbol for Iron. It was a Beautiful Mind experience. The symbol just jumped out at me. Glowing and everything.
After that initial experience with the symbol for Iron, it was easy to come up with the others. The bent nail part eventually became the crescent shapes used in the final book.
On a similar note, The Way of Kings has a lot of symbols associated with different aspects of the book. Were you involved with creating those, and if so, how did you design them?
I created forty-plus symbols for The Way of Kings. Many of these are found in the color charts in the hardcover version of the book (link here). My absolute favorites are used at the beginning of each Part (one of them is debossed on the book’s hardcase beneath the dust jacket). I used Arabic word art and the shard blades as inspiration for these. Many of the originals were drawn on an iPod Touch and later brought into Photoshop for clean up.

You did the maps and artwork for Vodnik by Bryce Moore, which just came out recently. (For those of you who don't know, Vodnik is set in Slovakia, which is a real place. Just, you know, FYI.) You told me a while back that designing a map of an existing place has some unique challenges. What were some of the things you came up against, and how did you overcome them?

This is an excellent book.
Read my interview with
 Bryce Moore here.
Designing the book, cover, and maps for Vodnik had some unique challenges, many of which Stacy Whitman (Bryce’s editor) and I have already detailed at these links:

How a Book Gets Its Cover: The Prequel (Click here for link.)
Design 101: How a Book Cover Gets Made Part 1 (Click here for link.)

Design 101: How a Book Cover Gets Made Part 2 (Click here for link.)
These were the first maps of a real place I’d ever done. The biggest problem we had to overcome with them was finding open source satellite images I could use as reference in making the maps. Google Fu came helpful here as Bryce used his Librarian powers to find maps we could legally use.

I think a lot of people have little to no knowledge of how a professional-grade fantasy map comes about. How do you go about designing a world based off an author's ideas? Do you just throw some stuff onto a squiggly coastline and call it good?
Making a map is quite the process. I read the book and make location notes (sometimes I find myself noting geographic references in books I’m just reading for fun--it’s become a habit). I really try to make the map match the tone of the book and to make it more than just something for the reader to keep track of where the characters are. I’ve brought back maps from many of the real-world countries I’ve visited. I’ve marked on them where I’ve been. I’ve planned trips on them and dreamed about going to some of the places. Fantasy maps are the same way. They’re a real thing--souvenirs that the reader can bring back with them when they’re done visiting the book.
Do you feel like the art you've provided for the various novels has fueled your desire to create your own worlds, or is it a separate animal all together?

Stories and art were always separate things in my head. But my art has somehow begun to pave the way for my own story-related projects. My love of art and story have accidentally collided. It’s so obvious, I didn’t know why I didn’t think of combining them that way before. Talk about the biggest duh-moment of my life.

Are you currently working on any other writing projects?

I finished a middle-grade novel a year or so ago. Since then I’ve put it through four revisions and am part-way finished with the fifth draft.

There's a lot of different people involved in designing a book, not just in the writing itself. What are some of the job-titles of everyone involved in the art of a finished novel, and what do they do?

Usually the Editor or Art Director will contact the Book Designer, who will read the book or a description of the book. The designer will then come up with thumbnails for the cover and interior design, which thumbnails are then presented back to the Editor and Art Director. Sometimes the President or VP of the company might even see these thumbnails and give feedback. The book’s Publicist, the Marketing Department, and the Book Buyers for book stores and distributors might even get involved in helping choose a direction.

Once the direction is chosen, the designer will create a more-polished version of the cover and interior, which is then approved by the editor/art director (and so on). Sometimes an Illustrator or Photographer is involved with the actual cover art, and sometimes the designer will use stock photos or create the art herself for the cover.

When typesetting is done, the book goes back to the copy-editor to make sure final changes are added (and to look for any mistakes that might have been introduced during the process). The designer fixes these, submits the book again, and if everything looks good, the book goes to the Printer.

At a smaller publishing house, sometimes one person will take on more than one of the roles mentioned above. I might be missing a few job descriptions from the process (Project Managers), but as you can see, there are a lot of people involved to ensure the quality of the book.

What are some of the books you've been a part of, and what exactly were you in charge of?

I’m responsible for all the maps and symbols in the four (so far) Mistborn novels as well as all the symbols, chapter headings, maps, color end pages, and Navani’s notebook pages in Brandon’s Way of Kings. (The other artwork in the book was done by Michael Whelan, Ben McSweeney, and Ben Call. I’m thrilled to be showcased in the same book with these amazing artists.)

On the design side of things, I’ve been designing self-published books--covers and interiors--for a while, but recently had the luck to get into the business professionally with the book design for Bryce Moore’s YA novel, VodnĂ­k. I’ve also done covers for some ebook re-releases of some science fiction and fantasy classics from the 80s.

In addition to Brandon’s maps, I’ve also worked on maps in the re-release of Robert Silverberg’s Nebula-winning novel A Time of Changes and the upcoming reprint of his very-enjoyable Downward to the Earth.
What's been the most difficult thing about being associated with such largely successful novels?

Finding the time to fit everything in. These days I have to be very selective about what I take on since I’ve committed a lot of my future time to working with existing clients. I rarely take on new clients because there isn’t enough time in the day to work a full-time job, be a husband, be a dad, serve in my church, do existing freelance projects, and work on my own projects. Sometimes I find time to breathe and blink.

(At this point I'd like to once again thank Isaac for taking the time to do this interview. Makes a fellow feel loved you know?)

What's the best about it?
The best thing about seeing your friends succeed in writing books is also recognizing the pattern of success and realizing that becoming a full-time writer can actually happen. When I find myself in the occasional moment of frustration, I count how many people I know who have “made it.” If I don’t give up, I tell myself, I’ll make it too. This makes the chains of all-nighters more bearable.

I believe you create merchandise for The Way of Kings and Mistborn. How's that going? Do you ever see people wearing your stuff out in the wild?

InkWing Arts (link here) is the business my wife Kara and I have put together to showcase the artwork I’ve created for Brandon’s worlds. Right now we primarily sell bookmarks and t-shirts, but watch in the future as we add patches, art prints, and games. The goal there is to make cool things based on cool worlds. It’s been a lot of fun to interact with fans in this way.

I mostly see the shirts at Brandon’s signing events. But my eleven year old son came to me the other day and said he saw someone wearing one our shirts at the grocery store. He thought that was pretty cool. So did I!

How often does the author end up hating the art that's provided for their book (be it cover design or chapter art)? Has anyone ever been less than thrilled at something you gave them?

Occasionally I hear about authors who aren’t thrilled with their book cover. More often, I see cover reveals where the author is ecstatic. Designers, artists, art directors, and publishers really want to design beautiful book covers that will get their books into the hands of those who will enjoy the books the most. In the process, you’ll wind up sometimes with authors whose opinions differ from their publisher’s, or in some cases, the cover might truly be awful.

No client has ever come to me and said they hated what I did (doesn’t mean there isn’t someone out there who hates what I’ve done for them--if there is, they just haven’t told me). Usually the process we work through to get to a final idea weeds out the awful stuff. Ideas and thumbnails are thrown out all the time because they stank like week-old dead fish. Sometimes you’ve got to sift through the fish to find the roses. That’s a terrible metaphor, but you get the idea.

What's the first thing you'd tell someone looking to get into designing maps and artwork for fiction?

Join the cartographersguild.com. See what’s being done today. Work on your craft. Study real maps. Study fantasy maps. Work on your craft some more. Put together a half dozen examples, then start meeting editors, art directors, and authors at conventions. Study the masters of illustration. Work on your craft until your fingers bleed. Find out the art submission guidelines for publishers and submit your portfolio. Draw, draw, draw, draw, draw. Enter your artwork into the shows at conventions. Paint, draw, and keep on working hard.

It’s a difficult industry to break into. It’s even more difficult if you want to make a living creating artwork. But one thing remains the same. If you are excellent at your craft and you’re putting yourself out there, you will find those willing to pay you to create artwork.

Do you have any advice for us writers, from an artist's point of view?

When I work on a video game, one of most-important things I have to keep in mind is the Tone of the game. Whether you’re the writer, a concept artist, a level designer, an animator, or an interface designer, each of you are working on the same project, and all your art and design needs to work together to create a consistent Tone.

To do this, we often will put together a “tone” folder where the project directors can put stuff: sample music, sample photos and artwork, a text file with words and descriptions that describe what the game is about (ie. ash, gothic, misty, overcast--you can probably tell what setting I’m describing just from those words alone).

Tone is a very important part of writing novels. I recommend creating your own Tone Folder and adding items that fit with the feeling of your novel. This is your target. This is the emotional feeling you want readers to experience when they enter your world. Now, don’t spend so much time working on your tone that it keeps you from writing, but taking an hour at the beginning of your project will help you create a cohesive world.
(Side note from Trevor: I absolutely love this idea. I'd go even further and add this: If you have room for cork boards or whiteboards where you spend time writing, go ahead and start pinning physical copies of the above to them.)

How about as a writer yourself?

If your lifelong dream is to write, then prioritize your life so that writing takes precedence. I wouldn’t suggest putting this before taking care of your family. If you become a writer but in the process you have also become a jerk, then you really haven’t gained anything worthwhile.

There are a few “rules” I’ve come up with that help me as I work on a writing project.

First Rule of Writing Fiction:
Strive for Emotion. You’re trying to make the reader feel something and then care about what they’re feeling. Use the “objective correlative” to master showing. Know when to tell.

Second Rule of Writing Fiction:
If it’s boring, cut it. If the information is crucial, find a new, non-boring way to present it. In essence, write what you think is cool and skip the boring stuff.

Third Rule of Writing Fiction:
Is this the best thing for you to be writing right now? Is it an original, high-concept idea that's worth spending your time on it? Write what excites, intrigues, fascinates you, and makes you FEEL. If you’re not passionate about it, nobody else will be either.

What's the next "Big Thing" for Isaac Stewart?

I’ll be sending my revised middle-grade manuscript to agents early this summer. Then I’ll start work on another middle-grade novel/graphic novel hybrid.

Thanks for being a wonderful guest Isaac, I very much appreciate the consideration.
Thanks for the chance to be interviewed on your blog, Trevor. I’m interested to see where your writing and webcomics take you. I’ve done a fair amount of both (writing and comics), and they’re fun roads to travel.

There you have it kiddies! All you could want to know about Isaac Stewart! Make sure to check out his sites and stop by InkWing.com to start browsing their wares for when you become the inevitable winner! (Once again, just leave a comment on THIS post to be entered into the contest.)

http://www.isaacstewart.com
http://www.facebook.com/izykstewart
Twitter: @IzykStewart

http://www.inkwing.com
http://inkwingarts.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/InkWingCom/109397795797630
Twitter: @InkWing

If you feel so inclined, please follow my blog and/or Twitter to read some other awesome interviews with the authors and creators of your favorite books! Interviews post monthly, with more contests to come!

-Trevor

114 comments:

  1. Great interview. Isaac, I have a book you might be interested in. It's all about the history of fantasy maps, with full page examples throughout. My library was going to toss it, but I snatched it away. Remind me to bring it when I come out at CONduit.

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  2. Very nice interview! I've only seen the artwork for Brandon's novels, I'll have to check out the other works.

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  3. I'm seeing a lot of visitors stop by without commenting! If you want to be entered into the free t-shirt contest, you have to leave a comment here!

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  4. Great interview and great maps.

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  5. I love this guy. Sanderson's lore wouldn't be the same without him!

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  6. Angela1:45 PM

    Fantastic interview, very interesting!! Thank you!

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  7. Lots of cool stuff in here... I really enjoyed the interview.
    Keep up the good work!

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  8. I've only met Isaac once, and he was nice, but I know he's married to an amazing woman!

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    2. You bet she's amazing! She's the engine behind InkWing (and the most-supportive person I've ever met). Thanks for dropping by Trevor's blog!

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  9. Thank you for the fascinating interview and the giveaway. There is a ton of good stuff in this interview. I especially liked the Mistborn series, so the little details about coming up with the symbols is interesting to me.

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  10. Loved the interview. It was interesting to hear how some of his symbols and designs were created.

    I hope I get a free shirt. :-)

    eric.schwartz02[at]gmail[dot]com

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  11. I didn't know Isaac did 3D animation, or that he ran InkWing! Or that he did the symbols in Mistborn, too. Guess those earrings I saw at this Zombie Run were indirectly from him... ;)

    Good advice on tone. Something I will definitely keep in mind!

    Great interview!

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  12. Sammy Cole4:02 PM

    I am a fan of The Mistborn series and Way of Kings and I love InkWing.com, so I found this a really interesting interview.
    However I'd be lying if I said that my main reason for wanting to tell you this, was anything other than a shameless atempt to try to win one of those fab tees!

    sam@corporatefs.co.uk

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  13. Thanks to the both of you for this- there is some interesting stuff in here.

    I think I will implement the 'tone' folder/board idea, it sounds cool.



    by the way, Yay! I have been admiring the t-shirts on Inkwing for a couple months now!

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  14. "Sometimes you have to sift through the fish to find the roses". Greeeaaat analogy. But that's beside the point. thank you Mr.Stewart, for letting me glimpse your mind, it was quite kind of you :)

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    1. I'm glad my mind was worth glimpsing. :) There's a lot of dead fish and roses floating around in it sometimes.

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    2. You know Isaac, 3 comments won't help you win your own t-shirt.... :)

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    3. Haha, well then good luck fishing for the roses, Mr. Stewart. Perhaps you'll win a t-shirt after all... :)

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    4. Sorry, chrisnaemmetsen@yahoo.com

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  15. Woo! I love inkwing BRIDGE 4 <3

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  16. Very nice interview; great to hear from someone who works so closely with Sanderson.

    (/shameless T-shirt entry)

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  17. great interview! learned so much from this. congratulations Isaac!

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  18. Great interview! I really enjoyed it, and I love Isaac's advice!

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  19. Very cool article. I enjoyed reading it. Tell Brandon he needs to work you into an episode of Writing Excuses. I'd enjoy listening to more through the podcast.

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    1. Isaac WAS actually featured on Writing Excuses at one point. You may be able to find it in their archives. But I agree, I think he has enough to say to warrant another episode, plus he's been doing a lot in the mean time.

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    2. Do you know what episode it might have been? If you don't know off the top of your head, I'll search for it.

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    3. Season 4 episode 16 I believe

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    4. Perfect. Thanks.

      And for the record, the Sorensen below this post is not me again. It's my uglier younger brother. :)

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  20. Enjoyable read. The art of Brandon's books is some of the best in the sci-fi, fantasy world. Especially in WoTK. It made the book even more epic! Not that Brandon needs help writing epic novels...

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  21. Trevor - i enjoyed reading your interview with Izyk. He's a good guy to talk to, down to earth. Jacob's Journal of Doom sounds interesting, I'll have to get it for the kids when it comes out. ~ Justin
    justin@randomangst.com

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  22. Isaac - Congrats on all of your achievements. I always knew your imagination would take you big places. By the way, you'll be pleased to know that I have finally read that epic series (closely connected to Mr Sanderson) that you've been recommending to me since Junior High. ;)\

    Jesse Owen

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    1. Jesse! Thanks for dropping by and reading the interview here on Trevor's site. I hope you enjoyed WoT. I'm really looking forward to the last book...been waiting since junior high...

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  23. Thanks for the interview!

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  24. I really liked your tips for writers bit there. And I love the art you do for Sanderson's books. Simply amazing!

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  25. Tim Lambson1:01 PM

    Great work - Maps have always been really intriguing to me, and I love the ones in the Mistborn series.

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  26. Nice article.

    troop36dragon@yahoo.com

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  27. The Way of Kings has the greatest artwork I've seen in a novel. If it wasn't so heavy, I'd carry it around and force people to look at it.

    Really interesting interview, as well.

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  28. Anonymous1:05 PM

    It says that he created the maps for the Mistborn series, does that include Alloy of Law?

    Hoping to win a T-shirt.

    dcreviston(at)student(0)sco(0)edu

    (0)=dot=.

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    1. That's a good question! I believe the answer is a resounding yes!, but I'll have to check.

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    2. The answer is, in fact, yes.

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  29. very interesting interview, thanks!

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  30. Woah! He worked on Twisted Medal! That's neato and kind of huge.

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  31. I would be interested in the book about failed allomantic symbols :-)
    Good to see this interview about the man behind the map. Will Have to check your other works now!

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  32. The maps are lovely, but I <3 the symbols he's come up with. Some of them would make truly awesome tattoos.

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  33. The maps are fantastic! I want some MORE!!

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  34. I came for the T-shirt, but I stayed for the interview.

    That was pretty interesting. :)

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  35. Thanks everyone for stopping by! If you haven't already, tell your friends about the contest! There's five days left as of Wednesday, April 11th to submit! Even if you don't win, be sure to see if InkWing.com has anything to suit your fancy!

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  36. Nate Spector1:19 PM

    Shameless contest entry post :)

    email: nate.spector@gmail.com

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  37. A T-Shirt would be nice but I must admit the interview was cool

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  38. Thanks for the interview, I'm interested in the Tee also!!!

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  39. Great read, neat to see what goes on behind the artwork and maps.

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  40. This is a great article. The Way of Kings is really improved by Stewart's work.

    cmcneely24@gmail.com

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  41. Great interview! I've long loved Isaac's work. Subtle in presentation, but brings a whole other dimension to the reading experience. Thank you!

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    1. Sorry, sean@shunkydave.com

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  42. Anonymous1:26 PM

    Great article, very interesting to hear the inside story of the symbols and maps. Honestly, maps are one of my favorite parts of fantasy books.
    (shameless T-shit entry: godofgnomes(at)yahoo(dot)com)

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  43. I really enjoy the detail you put into your work, it really brings the worlds a bit more alive through my eyes, having something so brilliantly illustrated to visualize in my minds eye whilst reading

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  44. Love your work and love Brandon! (acaelia (at) gmail (dot) com)

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  45. Very informative interview! I enjoyed revisiting the art from Brandon's books and getting insight into the creative process!

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  46. Love the maps! You helped create an awesome world!

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  47. This was a great interview and I love the Mistborn symbols. And winning a free shirt would be cool too :P

    therpgmaker[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  48. Anonymous1:44 PM

    Am really glad Mr. Sanderson posted about this interview. Maps make it so much easier for me to visualize where things take place. ( jovita.cassidy@gmail.com )

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  49. I love having the symbols and maps to check on when locations are mentioned! Great Interview :)

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  50. Love the interview. It's cool to learn a bit more about maps and Isaac.

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  51. Loved the interview. Reading both the Way of Kings and Mistborn, I had assumed these symbols were born totally out of Brandon's mind. It's very enlightening to read how they came about. Looking forward to future joint projects between you two.
    (bendboyd@hotmail.com)

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  52. That was an awesome interview/article! at first look I started scrolling down like, "eh... long long long...."
    but then I actually started reading it, and it's awesome!
    Some excellent advice in there. :)

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  53. Jeffrey M. Kessler1:52 PM

    Really enjoyed this interview. Thanks

    jeffreymkessler@gmail.com

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  54. Great interview!! I love the artwork and maps he does!

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  55. It is always nice to gain a little insight into the great depths of the minds behind the story. I am an AVID Wheel of Time fan that has been following the series for the greater part of my adult life and love that in Mr. Jordans passing his wife and the publishers were able to snatch up Mr. Sanderson. I am just diving into the Way of Kings and started Mistborn awhile back before life caught me up with school and work. This summer I will definately get through the series and see what I have been missing. I love your contributions to their works Mr. Stewart. Vibrant and skillfully executed.

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  56. Loved your work in both the Mistborn series and in Way of Kings, Isaac. Keep it up!

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  57. Wow, I actually had a look at the store a couple days ago and drooled over some of the t-shirts, and also thinking there's not enough stuff here!!! hope you will add more in the future!

    (T-shirt entry: pippuripihvi@hotmail.com)

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  58. Anonymous2:07 PM

    I had no idea this was such a huge process! Thanks for your hard work on these projects... the icons and maps you create really add a ton to Brandon's books!

    jhusband(at)gmail(d0t)c0m

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  59. Now I know the man behind the maps that i go back to every 10 pages ! this is an interesting article. It's a lot more complicated than I thought.

    combet.ju@gmail.com

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  60. Loved the post! Keep 'em coming!

    krogan14[at]gmail[dot]com

    Hoping for the Kaladin shirt!

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  61. Awesome interview

    T-shirt entry (perrytoyn@yahoo.co.uk)

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  62. Such a great interview, i can't wait to see the other stuff that isaac stewart makes.

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  63. what a great blending of wonderful writing (Brandon) and great artistry (Isaac)

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  64. Great interview from a great artist!

    t-shirt entry: johny_greek@yahoo.gr

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  65. I love looking at the artwork associated with fantastic books like Sanderson's.

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  66. Anonymous3:26 PM

    Love Isaac and his lovely wife, love the interview, love Brandon's books, love the t-shirts! (I hope I win one!)

    rachel.biesinger@gmail.com

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  67. Mist born artwork rocks! Keep up the good work.

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  68. Thank you for the interview. Let's see where the tshirt goes :)

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  69. Anonymous4:00 PM

    Cool to hear about this side of the novel world. Great interview. natnoblett@yahoo.ca

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  70. What an awesome interview! I think that is so cool that he can do that for a living. I do a lot of collaborative creative writing and one of my favorite part is to create the world. I always start with the map. If I ever get published, my poor art editor would be stuck looking through all the things I've already drawn!

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  71. Shane5:00 PM

    Great interview! Love Isaac's work, it really helps bring the books to life! One of my favourite parts of the WoK were the journal entries and drawings!!

    Also, shameless tee entry ;)

    spburke@tcd.ie

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  72. *Hurries off to put Vodnik on hold at library...*

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    1. Good! I hope you like it; it's excellent.

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  73. loved the Mistborn and Way of Kings artwork! epic books, great images.

    aaaand t-shirt submission: hdtymeson@email.wm.edu

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  74. Thanks for the great interview. Can't wait for the next book in the Way of Kings. I have in Audible format but now I'm going to acquire the print version just for the artwork. Got some good books to add to my "must read" list too.

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  75. awesome interview. gbrinkerhoff1000@gmail.com

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  76. Everyone, thanks for dropping by and for all the kind words. Being a part of Brandon's books has been one of my favorite things to do ever.

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  77. Excellent interview. I think artists are an under-covered group and I enjoyed reading about Isaac.

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  78. UPDATE: Due to the volume of awesome people commenting (like you!), Ink Wing Arts would like to throw a second shirt into the contest! Meaning you no longer have to sharpen your swords to fight for just one shirt, but two! (Still only one shirt per winner; your chances simply went up.) Keep em coming!

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  79. Great interview!

    As someone who's read a lot of Brandon's books via ebook, I'd be very interested in an "Art of Brandon's Worlds" book in the future - a nice big volume with all the gorgeous maps, symbol tables, and other artwork in it.

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    Replies
    1. I would love to see that book too! Maybe we'll get it someday...

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  80. Great artwork. Wonderful to see a bit of the process behind it, too.

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  81. I never really thought about how the maps in books came about.Iguess I just assumed the authors drew them. Interesting to find out how they really are created!

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  82. This was a great article!~ Very informative for a big geek! Here's hoping I win the shirt :)

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  83. Crystal12:20 AM

    I posted through my google account, but not sure if my name went through, as it says "Unknown!" :) Thanks again for the article

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  84. Thank you for the interview, especially the art section!

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  85. wow, great interview and great artwork! i would love to win a shirt :-)

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  86. I would love a shirt!

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  87. that was excellent! just created my own tone folder :)

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  88. Great article. I'm a writer and I create maps for a lot of my work...mostly because otherwise I can't keep my geography straight :P

    red_wyvern1306@hotmail.com

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  89. Jessica3:16 PM

    That was a very nice interview containing many helpful tips for an aspiring artist/writer. Thanks!

    e-mail: jessica_29wj@hotmail.com

    Never get anything unless you try.

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  90. Awesome interview and very informative. Thanks to people like Isaac and Trevor for doing stuff like this for fans and it helps out so many other people break into the business. Very awesome indeed.

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  91. If stories and Legos are his first loves, I hope we get a Lego-style magic system soon.

    Only half-kidding.

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  92. Excellent interview Isaac! Very interesting read, and lots of good insider information. And I'm not just saying to that get a t-shirt! ;)

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  93. I thought that picture of Isaac look familiar! He taught at great class on map making at LTUE in February. I even posted about his class for my M contribution to the A to Z blogging contest.

    His was a great class! He's so talented.

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    1. It was, wasn't it? It was right after his panel that I made my own map (featured on my blog header). Very informative.

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  94. Anonymous3:55 PM

    Where did the website go? :( It says its hidden now.

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  95. got some cool maps and tips on your page awesome stuff

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