FAN ART – Mass Effect, Witcher, Dragon Age by Shamiana

Featured

Shamiana is 17 and lives in Germany where she attends school. While that doesn’t leave as much time for her art as she’d wish, she does plan to make a living out of it eventually. She’s also an avid gamer who is especially into games with character and narrative focus such as Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Elder Scrolls, The Witcher and so on. In the meeting of those passions, she produces spellbinding art with a shimmering almost trembling quality of that indrawn breath before movement.

 

Dragonborn by Shamiana (Click the image to visit the original)

Dragonborn by Shamiana
(Click the image to visit the original)

I asked what sort of games Shamiana likes to play:

When it comes to gaming, I’m a really big RPG fan. BioWare’s games are obviously among my favourites but if I had to pick one franchise I’d probably go with The Witcher. Simply because I read the books and very much enjoyed what CD Projekt Red did with the story.
But I also picked up Rise of the Tomb Raider recently and as far as I can tell, it’s really good!

 

What does it take for a game to fire you up to start painting?

I guess the one thing it actually takes for a game to make me paint some fanart are good character designs! If a character looks boring or the design just isn’t balanced I won’t want to draw her/him. But, of course, it also needs a good story and fleshed out characters – because otherwise I wouldn’t be invested in the whole thing at all.

 

The Warden by Shamiana (click the image to visit the original)

The Warden by Shamiana
(click the image to visit the original)

 

Can you give some examples of what rounds out a character for you?

Something that’s really important, in my opinion, is that a design does not only look good but is also able to fulfill its purpose. If you’re going to draw a knight, for example, his armor should look like it is actually able to protect him from any harm. So you have to research how armor works, how it looks like and how it functions.

But, at the same time, you can’t just copy what you research because then you’ll end up with something very unoriginal. And if you’re designing the main protagonist of a game, e.g., then that’s not very good, since the protagonist has to look memorable, hence you have to be more innovative.

For a simple illustration, on the other hand, that’s already good enough.
So this is something I always consider when I’m designing characters myself and something I also look for in video game characters.

Unfortunately, I don’t have many artworks that depict the whole character, but one of the few I do have is my fanart of Evie Frye.

 

The Piece of Eden by Shamiana (click image to visit original)

The Piece of Eden by Shamiana (click image to visit original)

 

Character design is something that Ubisoft generally does really well in Assassin’s Creed. Almost all of their main characters (that are supposed to fight) look like they are actually able to handle themselves well in a brawl and, at the same time, most of their outfits look very innovative and memorable.

Another character whose design I absolutely adore is the design of Yennefer in The Witcher 3.

 

Yennefer by Shamiana (Click image to visit original)

Yennefer by Shamiana
(Click image to visit original)

 

What I love about her design is that it just represents her personality perfectly. CD Projekt Red designed her exactly the way Andrzej Sapkowski described her in the books and they ended up with a very unique design (or at least I haven’t seen anything similar yet) that also made a lot of sense in the world The Witcher is set in.

 

tumblr_o4y45ogzrz1vop8afo1_1280
Is there an example of a character you were very disappointed in? Or have you found yourself painting a character to improve on what it sounded or looked like?

I don’t think I’ve actually encountered any characters that I was genuinely disappointed in, at least not in the games I’ve played. 

There are, however, a few characters whose design I always change just a little bit. For example, I absolutely can’t stand drawing Ciri’s high heels (From The Witcher 3) in any paintings I do of her and I always end up changing her boots to flat ones, because it looks less ridiculous. Apart from that though, I really like her design as well. It’s just this one little detail that always bugs me about her design.

 

Cirilla by Shamiana (click the image to visit the original)

Cirilla by Shamiana
(click the image to visit the original)

 

So boob armor? Does it annoy you?

It depends!
If a game is very story- and character-driven, boob armor really does annoy me a lot. Because it just doesn’t make any sense. 
But if it isn’t, I actually don’t care too much about it. Though I still think it’d be hilarious if the male characters got to wear something similar, just to balance things out.
I also don’t mind revealing outfits – I loved Morrigan’s design, for example. It’s just the bikini-armors that I don’t get.

 

Mass Effect Andromeda is less than three months away and there’s that gorgeous Cora you drew in your gallery. Is that the next big thing on your gaming horizon?

Oh no, that’s not Cora, that’s supposed to be my Ryder, haha.  But I must admit, they do look very similar. I designed her a few months ago, back when I had no idea how Cora was going to look. Seems like I unintentionally made them look alike.

 

 

Not Cora! ME Andromeda by Shamiana (click image to visit original)

Not Cora!
ME Andromeda by Shamiana
(click image to visit original)

 

That’s too funny! But then Peebee sure caught your eye, yes? Given how little we know about the crew so far, what is it about her that intrigued you?

I found it interesting about Peebee that she seems so different from a lot of the other Asari we already know from the original trilogy. While they were cold and graceful, her personality is described as bubbly and impulsive – she’s basically the opposite of them – and I like that a lot. 

 

 

Andromeda II by Shamiana

Andromeda II by Shamiana

 

And what are you hoping for Andromeda? Something different than Mass Effect 3, something similar?

I’m hoping that Andromeda is going to be very different from ME3, or any Mass Effect game for that matter. We’ve got a new protagonist, a new squad, even a new galaxy. If it isn’t different at all I’m going to be disappointed!
But I’m also hoping that they included fewer fetch quests than in DAI. Preferably, no fetch quests at all. That was a nightmare.

 

We can hope and in fairness Mike Laidlaw, Creative Director of Dragon Age: Inquisition has indicated on behalf of BioWare that they’ve learned from the Hinterlands experience. \ o /

A big thank you to Shamiana for agreeing to this interview and letting me show off her art. Please visit her galleries at deviantArt and throw her some likes and comments!

I like comments too, those go down below!

Meet the Artist – Evolvana

Taking illustration to the outer limits of what is epic and grandiose – meet Evolvana, a gamer and visual artist from France who will woo you with grandiose views of Middle Earth or behind the Wall. Vana  has spent a lot of time in New Zealand and Japan before returning to France during which time she also journeyed in games and books from the Thrawn trilogy and Final Fantasy to Game of Thrones and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Join us after the break as we talk about her travels, her own dark fantasy project and the do’s and don’ts of in game romance.

Meet-the-Artist-Evolvana1440

Continue reading

Meet the Artist: Kaela Croft – SWTOR, AC3, Elder Scrolls and More

Meet Kaela Croft – avid Assassin’s Creed and Star Wars fan – and her graceful lines and strong women. Scroll down for the full interview where we talk about her arts, future and favourite games as well as show off a handful of  her newest works! In the meantime I hope you will forgive me for hijacking the article with a bit of exposition on what the plan is going forward with fan art posts here on the WeeMadAggie blog.

Fan art, in its countless guises, can be everything from the most sincere expression of appreciation to some very disturbing what-if scenarios and everything in between. This means that as an art genre the word itself is almost meaningless. We use the term to describe anything that builds upon the original work of another, which comes with its own bit of of hypocrisy: What bit of “original” work doesn’t build on previous works in the same genre.

Good artists borrow. Great artists steal.
– Pablo Picasso

So when I tell you that I would like to bring you an injection of fan art as often as possible on these pages, I mean a very specific sub genre of the nebulous term: Gaming and nerd culture fan art. The reasons are both complex and very simple at the same time. Put in simple terms I wish to celebrate us. You and me and the interests we share which include games, movies, TV, books and cartoons. When I look at a talented artists rendering of his or her love for a certain game or story that I also loved, that connection is made manifest in that piece of art, regardless of what form that art takes.

As gamers, sci-fi and fantasy lovers we have come a long way from tacking up the Baldur’s Gate map on our wall because it’s cool. Mind you, that map still is cool but many of us may not have upgraded it to a frame for various reasons. Gaming still carries its portion of stigma, but if, like me, you spend more than an hour a day on games or on science fiction or fantasy tales, then why shouldn’t you show off that love in your home and in your life? I want to inspire you to sport fan art of your favourite interests on your desktops, phones, clothes or walls and feel good about it. Even if I can’t entice you to seek out an artist and buy up all her works in print, I’m still happy to bring you a little colour and a little love for our shared interests during the week. I’m convinced it’s good for you.

MTA-Kaela-Croft

Kaela Croft is 20 and from Denver, Colorado where she is a student at Arapahoe Community College. Right now she is getting her Associate of General Studies at the end of this semester but the plan for the future is to get a toe into the gaming industry. Right there is our first clue that Kaela is also a gamer.

Last time we spoke, you were heavy into Skyrim and Deus Ex: Human Revolution but that was back in October last year. Is that still the case or are you playing something new now?

I still play Skyrim frequently, however, ever since Assassin’s Creed III was released I’ve been playing the multiplayer of that game nonstop. I’m super competitive and like to keep my ranking and stats decent.

“Assassin’s Creed III” by Kaela croft

Any titles you are planning on picking up in the near future?

I’m a huge Tomb Raider fan. I played the first two games when I was maybe eight or ten, I don’t remember exactly. I wasn’t exactly allowed to play shooter games so I played in secret. Now I can’t wait to get my hands on that new Tomb Raider game.

Oooo! Any chance we’ll be seeing some Lara Croft pics from you when you do, do you think?

I definitely see some Lara Croft pictures in the future. I think I’m going to try and get something done before the release of the new game, so early March.

You said you’d like to break into the game industry. Is that still the case and if you could pick any where, any company what would you do and where?

Yup, that is still the goal I have. As much as I would love to stay and work in Colorado, I wouldn’t mind working outside of the USA for a really large company such as Sony or Blizzard. I would want to work with concept designs or do texturing. I’m leaving my options open really.

“My Darkside” by Kaela Croft

Do you play SWTOR? Seems you are inspired to produce a lot of very touching fan art for the game?

Actually, I’ve never played the SWTOR series! If I had a computer that could handle the game I totally would. I just get a lot of commissions to do artwork from the game.

Two characters in particular keep showing up in your works; the light saber wielding lovers Derek and Sakiko.

“Hey There Stranger” by Kaela Croft

Could you tell us a little bit about who they are?

Oh, Derek and Sakiko… These are two of my Star Wars original characters.
Derek is a Sith and Sakiko is a Jedi. Initially they started out as enemies, but they become unexpected allies as time goes on. As they get to know more about each other during missions they develop a bit of a romance. Derek is completely attached to Sakiko, yet Sakiko is torn between her loyalties to the Jedi and her love for Derek. There is so much to say, but that pretty much gets the point across!

They are definitely an eye-catching pair and it’s been lovely to see their features evolve and solidify over time!

Here is Sakiko with her padawan:

“Taking a Chance” by Kaela Croft

(One of my favourite aspects of Kaela’s art, apart from her gorgeous colour palettes are the hair and cloth movement. It’s so swirly and caught in motion!)

I was looking at this piece of yours, “Hunted By The Thalmor” (see below) and first I have to say he’s very interesting (/fans self).

“Hunted By The Thalmor” by Kaela Croft

I may have to change my plans regarding one of my future characters thanks to this. But I was curious about what you wrote in the note for this image in your deviantART gallery. You noted that you had to cure him of being a vampire in Skyrim, because it was too annoying; what happened?

Altmer are a fun race to play for their appearance alone. I had to cure him of vampirism because I kept forgetting that I need to feed before he reaches stage four otherwise everyone attacks when you approach. It got in the way of selling items and going near any cities.

“Elegance” by Kaela Croft

Have you given any thought to The Elder Scrolls Online? Do you think you’ll play?

I recently found out about The Elder Scrolls Online, and after looking it over I’m very excited to play this. As long as the game runs smoothly on my computer I’ll be playing.

I was also admiring this piece, “Easy on the Eyes” (again, see below) and it made me realize that the women you portray in general are all very ‘normal’ looking (as opposed to overly skinny with balloon boobs) is that a conscious choice or did that just happen along the way?

I like to give my women realistic proportions. Logically if the woman has a small frame she’s going to have small breasts. If she is a bit heavier then she’s going to have larger breasts.

“Easy on the Eyes” by Kaela Croft

From your lips to the ears of a great many cartoonists in the world! Thank you Kaela (again) for indulging my curiosity. And dear readers, this was a very small selection of Kaela’s work. Please visit her galleries at Kaelacroftart.deviantart.com for the full experience. And if you want to team up with Kaela on the Playstation for some AC3 multiplayer, her PSN tag is: sakiko0art.

Feel free to call out in the comments below, both Kaela and I would love to know if you have a favourite among these pieces and why! And let me know if you liked the article set up, image, title and so on or not. Every bit of well meaning advice, suggestion or opinion helps.