This entry is part 11 of 14 in the series Massive Art Attack

Posted by Chris-B

This week we take a dive into the altered art of Xela.  Xela is a Magic enthusiast and card alterist whom I have had the pleasure to meet through a mutual friend.  The first time I had a chance to flip through the binder of works she has done, I was amazed by how crisp and vibrant her works was.  I hope you enjoy her work as much as I have.  There are plenty of pretty pictures to look at, so lets dive in.




To kick things off, Xela gives us some background about how she got into doing alters and how she got into Magic in general:

“I only got into Magic about a year and a half ago. I had always been interested in learning to play, primarily because the art appealed to me. When I was really little and would go to the collectibles store with my dad to buy booster packs for the Lord Of The Rings card game we played, I would always look at the Magic cards and wanted them just for the artwork. As I got older and Magic grew in popularity I always looked over the shoulders of those playing seeing what the pictures were and wondering how the game was played. Then, after to many years of just wondering how the game works and having gained some amazing friends who are really passionate about the game I finally got into playing the game!
It would take some six months before someone looked from my canvases to my magic cards and said to me, “You should paint Magic cards.”
I was already a painter, but my personal work is in oils. That lead to a long experimentation phase in which I used bad paint and poor judgement as to what would work, but after some time I found a comfort zone. It has been a year now and I have had some amazing commission opportunities and love having this work to turn to and remind myself that I can be appreciated as an artist.





You may remember, but if you haven’t been reading Massive Art Attack since day 1 I gave everyone a glimpse of Xela’s work in my first article  She did some pretty amazing alters for our friend’s sliver commander deck.  Go check that out as well!

Xela also gives a glimpse into the woman behind the art:

“I am 23 years old, only a year out of college and living in my fathers basement while simultaneously robbing him of his attic as I use it for a studio. I studied Art History and Philosophy, which would lead one to reasonably conclude that I must not have a job, but my studies were to great avail as I now work as an educator in a local museum. I am an artist that needs to paint more and a writer who is not published, (though this is also known as being in your twenties). I try and mix two of my many loves, painting and youtube, on my youtube channel XelaTheGeek and somehow magic cards end up being altered in the process.

I do not know how to drive a car. At all.

(I figured that after saying so many things that I am doing, I should mention a common thing that I never, ever do.)”

Be sure to take a look at her Facebook profile as well!






I also requested Xela pick out a couple of her favorite works to share.  Here are a couple great pieces that she selected:


It’s Zedruu, king of unwanted gifts.  Playing against this guy you’re sure to be in line at the customer service exchange counter the next day.  Except he’s a total dick and he didn’t give you a reciept, so at best you are getting store credit at the Illusions of Grandeur Outlet.


Xela says: “This is the alter where I feel I best blended my work with the original art.”

I’ll agree, if Zedruu is going to ruin your day she might as well look good doing it.









Who would want to crash the gates when they look this good?  My favorite detail is the edge of the steps continuing to the left side of the text box.  I’m amazed detail that small can be painted.  I know I certainly couldn’t pull that off (mostly because I can barely write legible words never mind paint.)

Xela says: “And this Selesnya Guildgate is the piece I am most proud of.”

A great choice indeed.















To cap off this article I leave you with a time lapse alter.  As always send your comments or alters to  Be sure to check out and enjoy more of Xela’s work.  Also a big thank you to Xela for sharing her work with us this week.  Keep up the awesome work!


Series Navigation<< Massive Art Attack 10 – The One Where I Try To Make Card Frames InterestingMassive Art Attack 12 – A Sliver of Pain >>