Today, our guest is Julia, the artist who literally created the world of Deck of Ashes from scratch. I managed to get Julia out of a busy schedule to interview her in our cozy tavern. Hi Julia! Tell me how long have you been in the AYGames team and what do you do?
Hello, Black Seprant! I've been with the guys for two years now. I'm a CG artist and an animator.
What were you inspired by, literally, creating the world of Deck of Ashes from scratch?
Oh, well, we reviewed a bunch of different artworks to get something of our own. Of course, one cannot fail to mention the Darkest Dungeon graphics - medieval engravings also became a source of inspiration. The artist Mignola really inspired me, and there is also the Polish artist Jakub Rebelka, who painted cartoon promotional videos for The Witcher. In general, a style was invented that looked like a comic book and a little grotesque.
It's always been interesting for me how the artist starts his drawing. For example, you get a task: to draw a cat-scene with an incredible battle and epic outcome. What will be your first step towards creating a masterpiece?
I think, as the artists say, "from the spot", I try to break the composition as interesting as possible. I think that I will have in the foreground, the second, and how to make the background. Where is my compositional center, and how to set the mood as much as possible using the angle and lighting. After I decided on the general silhouettes, I look for suitable angles, poses (references) - this facilitates the drawing process and speeds up the overall production. Sometimes I even ask friends to get in the right position or take pictures of their hands from the angle I need. You often have to look at facial expressions. For a CG artist, the ability to use references is quite important, and this concerns not only the accuracy of poses and angles but also everything that surrounds us. Let's say you need to come up with armor. You can invent it out of nothing, you need to familiarize yourself with the existing information, delve a bit in history - to understand its structure. And then you can easily come up with your fantasy armor without arguing with the main essence of the subject. It is very important not to lose the general mood of the whole work. If we are talking about an epic battle, then it is obvious that the composition will be dynamic, possibly saturated. There are also various artistic techniques to further emphasize the expressiveness of the scene. Let's say we make less contrast or take away in the fog not very important elements of the composition and, conversely, emphasize the active, making them more detailed. We break down the plans clearly. We give the viewer an opportunity to understand what, in the artist's opinion, is important in this composition, where to turn the view. It is as if we are telling a story, and it is important to tell it fascinatingly.
How does an artist not lose his inspiration by drawing every day? Maybe there's some advice?
I think we are all unique and do not want to give any specific advice. It is important not to lose interest in drawing. You need to be curious and not be afraid of the new. Well, that is, you can be afraid, but you don't need to retreat :) And it's also important to understand that if you are tired, this is normal! Give yourself a good rest, do not overwork, and you will find harmony :)
I can't believe that the big guy Buck and Charon are your work. Tell me, where did you get the inspiration to create this big guy and his four-legged buddy?
When we were inventing Buck, he had to be really different visually from Sly. I made this colossus, with two swords (it's a reference to the Witcher), and a pet! We like Charon in our team so much, he is like a totem. The pet indicates that Buck has a big kind heart and underlines the contrast between appearance and inner world. As a result, we have such a good team. They're so different, but still together.
Is it true that the Magnus' Spider form is completely your idea? How did it come to your mind?
Yes, I had to think and invent right along the way. Well, the Boss Spider is a classic, haha :) In general, I just wanted to point out in some way Magnus' rotten and vile essence. Initially, Magnus was supposed to be a jester with magical abilities and no-frills, but somehow everything spun around and now ... I hope I was able to convey its whole essence :)
And finally: blitz! 1) Buck or Me ?! 2) Poison or knife? 3) What is the power of an artist?
1) Buck (I'm sorry) 2) Knife 3) This is your brain!
I won't forgive you for that... (joke... or maybe not!) Thank you for stopping by to chat, it was great!
It was nice to be your guest! Have a good day and inspiration, everybody! Thank you for reading this interview :)