Friday, August 19, 2011

8 Bit Champions

Here's my piece for the upcoming 8-Bit Champions show in Paris, France. My first international show! I also designed a poster for the exhibition, so once I reveal that I'll post all the details.

I've been playing a lot of Zelda lately as I unwind in the evenings, so it was the game I chose to illustrate. There's a lot of funny stuff you can point out about Zelda games, and one of my favorites is how there's always an amazing amount of side quests to undertake while you're supposed to be saving the princess from imminent danger. The dialog in the game usually reflects this, with lines like "Hurry, Link, was must head to the next temple! There is no time to waste!" And yet if you want to get a few extra goodies to aid you in that temple you'll need to spend a couple hours at the pond leisurely fishing. All the while Princess Zelda is presumably suffering at the hands of Ganon.

So I tried to illustrate that idea, showing link more interested in finding money than saving the princess. I also tried to work in the fact that it's funny to me how Link goes around breaking stuff in people's houses and stealing what's inside.

Since this is intended to be based on the first Legend of Zelda game, I wanted to stay somewhat true to that visually. (Also the name of the show is 8-Bit Champions and it bugs me when people call any older video game "8-Bit," like Atari and 16-bit era games for example.) I thought it would be cool to make Ganon a giant detailed beast, yet keep true to his simple sprite appearance in the game. Ganon never seems to have a consistent look from game to game, so this was pretty easy to get away with. I also like the more cartoony, Mario-proportioned Link from the first game, (especially as seen in the manual illustrations,) as opposed to the fantasy art-inspired guy that he's become in the later games. So I mixed that original Link a bit with the Windwaker style and put my own spin on it.

Fly safe, little package.

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