Legendary fantasy artist Brom worked for TSR during the company’s heyday — right before it went bankrupt:
Most of TSR’s management in that day were non-creatives — neither artists, nor writers, nor even gamers. Did this stop them from telling the creatives how to do their craft? Nope. Not one bit. A line I will never forget came about as I was starting a new cover. I was informed that this was a very important cover and told to use only my most expensive colors. What? Huh? Did they want me to paint the damn thing in rose madder and cobalt violet? I knew of no way to answer them that wouldn’t have gotten me fired.
Brom’s childhood drawings look like ordinary kids’ drawings:
I remember always being able to draw at a level above my peers, so there was a certain amount of natural talent at play, but by my early teens I became obsessive, drawing every day, it was all I wanted to do. Also, I was never satisfied with my work (even to this day) and I think that drive to find that perfect painting is what pushes some ahead of others and certainly keeps an artist growing.