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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
(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).
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.
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.
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.