Fan Art Gallery
So Zelda 3's been around for a good while. People have been playing it, loving it, and making various fanworks of it for close to two decades now. In this media-heavy age, you'd think that every stylized, epic, or otherwise interesting version of Link had been created already, and that maybe we should move on to other timeless heroes. So what makes a new piece of art for Zelda: A Link to the Past stand out?
Canadian artist Matt Cummings has some ideas, and you'll see a plethora of them in this gallery. Design blog Cuded also created the mashup heading this post, which is pretty boss (ha!).
There's a lot to love in Cummings' art, but what's most easy to see is the care and detail with which he chose the weapons Link wields in each one. Since most bosses required tactical use of a new item in your inventory, the best memories come from seeing those items in conjunction with the baddies. This is the first set of pieces I've seen to use enemy and weapon effectively in this way.
To look at the set even further, it's remarkable how different each piece feels just from the poses and use of angles. The battle with Blind is actually as creepy as finding a possessed maiden could be, and the Armos surrounding Link show his bravery in a wholly separate way from the hammerspace-type clash depicted with the boss Helmasaur.
So from all the Nintendo fanboys and fangirls, thanks to Matt Cummings for this loving & lovely set of art - it takes us back to the days when hookshots weren't just a travel gimmick!
These days, it's hard to swing a mallet without hitting an art project that reimagines classic game concepts in a realistic fashion. Whether it's the characters
themselves, or even their powerups
, there's something ultimately charming about seeing these recognizable-but-unrealistic objects brought closer to believability.
Such is the case with today's fanart study, brought to you by Kalapusa of 8-Bit Labs. He's been making clay characters for years, but only recently turned his attention to video game models. As he puts it:
Each piece is based on a classic videogame character as seen through the prism of real-life anatomy. They are rendered in clay, painted with acrylics and sealed in resin to give the appearance of a specimen preserved in formaldehyde.
This lends the model credibility--what's the only way a living being can keep its color and shape while being inanimate? Preservation. This adds to the myth of, say, Pac-Man or a Pirhana Plant being parts of our world simply misplaced for a while.
Images like this beg the question: what is fascinating about seeing a gaming icon made real, pseudo-biology and all? Maybe the connection comes from those natural daydreams that plague anyone who grew up idolizing their adventures in the Mushroom Kingdom or trying to break high scores in Ms. Pac Man. Even at the age where such fantasies are a fitting filler for our imaginations, we've parsed enough science to know that floating yellow heads who subsist on dots aren't exactly a natural occurence. Taking this idea to its extreme, finding a physical species (in this case, Pakku rotundus) that has these properties merits the white-glove attention that follows in these snapshots.
Kalapusa's full gallery is definitely worth a look, especially if you like what you see here. The grim versions of Mushroom Kingdom's residents are especially resonant if you've seen the recent wave of realistic Mario paintings ravaging the internet. You'll find some highlights below, but feel free to check out the full body of works, and remember to catalogue your findings.
It's not Friday, but some fanart is too amazing to save 'til the end of the week. Coming out of the UK, digital artist and SCEE employee Ashley Browning has thrown together a set of pixels that speak volumes with what they don't speak.
While even dedicated fans may need some prompting, the effect of this piece once you start recognizing the different characters from the SNES/arcade classic Street Fighter II is striking. Soon, all sorts of questions begin to arise, and all of them point to an essence of game character design that many of us miss: Are colors and proportions really enough to recognize a character once our minds know what to look for? Are size and hue the most important aspects of designing a distinguishable humanoid? Do modern game characters lack this caricaturesque eye-appeal, or is it just overexposure that forces the SFII cast into our collective memories so deeply? And if it's neither, is there really any way to test that without some sort of simplification rubric, which by itself is subject to a skilled artist's interpretation?
On the other hand, these blocky things look like if you took Ryu and people and made them into Atari characters! Haha! Anybody can do that!
More seriously: art that comes out of gaming culture is tricky, because every instance and iota must be derivative. We all want to celebrate our shared culture--the childhoods of staying up late to grind in a Final Fantasy title, the self-gratification of spending your last quarter at an arcade machine on this chance to prove yourself. It's a uniquely geeky hobby that predates the internet, and no matter how easy it becomes to hit the 'matchmake' button, most gamers will always long for these external ways of recognizing each other's interests.
Most art only speaks to that nostalgia and recognition, but Ashley Browning's minimalist bit also shows us how difficult it is to fashion characters that are distinct from each other when you take away the basest of bitrates. If you want to support the artist, you can put it on a t-shirt and wear it around town, smirking at the confusion it will cause in the non-gaming populace.
Ashley Browning's art also includes a set of gaming icons as minimalist faces that continues to grow.
What's the only thing possibly prettier than Okami or it's pup of a DS sequel Okamiden? Only some adorable custom figures and statues of protagonists Amaterasu and Chibiterasu, that's what!
Taking some incredibly impressive artwork over to the art show at Anime Expo 2010, Tomopop user Somakun won the top prise in the figure category and auctioned off sweet little Chibiterasu under the cherry blossoms, fortunately for my wallet. It's just so impressive to see an amazingly beautiful and highly abstract characters and scenes modeled into reality like this. The real question is where is Issun? He has to be there somewhere if I look close enough. Hmmm....
[Promoted Article: Okamiden Sculpture] Tomopop
If you're one of the many fine Mac users who just joined the legions playing games on the Steam platform, then games like Team Fortress 2 may have only recently entered the realm of things about which you care. If that's the case, then you haven't seen the wonder and bewilderment that can come from the game's wide fanbase, who like to infuse the game's nine classes with way more character and injokes than even Valve had originally planned for. There does exist fanart of the characters (not all of it clean), but most of the creative ventures involve using them as puppets in Garry's Mod to hilarious effect. Or, in this case, mockup screenshots of other games.
Yes - sadly, there is no game or mod or whatnot planned for "Fortress Megami Tensei: TF2 Persona" other than a few screenshots. However, these shots may have been what inspired machinima artist Nife to craft an entire two-minute video spoofing Persona 4's intro montage.
You can also find some pretty convincing images riffing off StarCraft, Mass Effect, and Street Fighter--complete with a Pyro-hadouken straight out of an MvC game. The time and imagination it must take to create these nods to classic games are quite impressive, though it does say something about gamers that we're most interested in using games to make art of other games. There's a reason we see so many "Super Mario Bros. World 1-1" levels in Little Big Planet...
If you like what you see here, be sure to revel in the rest of the mockups by TF2 fan Goldenhearted! And for those who saw these shops when they first made the rounds in August, count yourself lucky. I'm just trying to do something nice for the Mac folks this time - they need it after shelling out for the latest iPhone!
For their launch at this year's Japan Expo, French manga-style zine Dokkun! is offering a set of buttons featuring 6 Nintendo favorites all woofed out; they've got Pichu, Mario, Link, Donkey Kong, Ness, and even Tingle in their burly best. Only four of the images are previewed above, but to see the whole set, click the picture below or stop by their site. If I had to pick one of the Super Smash Bears, I'm partial to the Kevin Smith-style Ness myself - I've always had a thing for telekinetics - but there's something adorable about the expression on Pichu's face. Wow, I never thought I would ever type that sentence.
Japan Expo is in France, July 1-4, so unless you're reading us from there you probably won't get a chance to get your hands on them at the con. The zine does have an online store and will ship to the US, so if you're desperate, you may want to polish up on that high school french (or fire up Babelfish/Google Translate) and start begging now.
While these buttons aren't quite rule 34 level stuff, exploring the site may take you in another direction, so careful if you're browsing at work.
Nintendo Bears [Dokkun! via Google Translate]
[Thanks to thepickupbear for the heads up!]
Fan art all-star Glen Brogan, the artist behind Mario's Closet
, posted a new piece that pays homage to one of classic gaming's most iconic easter eggs: Samus in her space-bikini.
For all you baby gamers, in the original Metroid, meeting different conditions while beating the game resulted in a couple of different endings, and the most famous was an image of Samus out of her suit. Brogan's version of the scene adds in a few new details and references to the game, as well as accentuating the bounty hunter's assets (and shrinking those pink pixels just a tad, it appears). No word on whether he plans on turning this one into t-shirts or posters, but it's a great image even on its own.
8-Bit Bikini [Albino Raven]
OK, that's not actually the name of the piece. It doesn't really have one so I thought I would make it something goofy and intriguing. Reader dusk_b4_dawn sends in this rather saucy rendition of everyones favorite Ice Climbers. Po Po and Nana have apparently grown up and been spending a fair amount of time at the gym. And is it just me or does Po Po look like Zac Effron? Thanks, dusk_b4_dawn!
A reddit user rocked our world today with pictures of his friend's hand made Koopa Troopa
guitar. File this under excellent ideas and excellent execution. At first I was a little turned off by the sheer boringness of Koopa Troopa compared to all the other Mario characters they could've chosen--but then I realized the ho-hum expression on the Koopa's face is sort of what makes it so awesome. I love this guitar.
Artist and gamer Glen Brogan created the picture above, a submission to Split Reason that may eventually become a t-shirt if it gets the votes. As you can see, after starring and guest starring in hundreds of games, Mario's wardrobe is getting a little stuffed. Maybe he should consider donating to the Brown Elephant? I hear they're always on the lookout for extra Tanooki suits. Now before you get all bent out of sorts because your favorite Mario costume is missing, Glen probably considered it, but had a few rules he decided to follow:
When my designs go up for voting I always get the inevitable complaints (you just can't make everybody happy) but I sort of feel like I'm throwing myself to the wolves with this one. The reason being that I had to come up with rules for what I should and shouldn't include as part of Mario's wardrobe. I wanted to include as many of his power-ups as possible, but the main rule I had to follow was that I couldn't include things that actually transform Mario himself rather that just changing his wardrobe, like the Boo mushroom from Mario Galaxy that turns him into a ghost. So I've mentally prepared myself for the barage of "OMG WHY DIDNT U INCLUDE THIS 1 ON THERE U R DUM." I don't mind constructive critisicm, but sometimes it feels like people complain just to do it. If only they knew how much thought I actually put into these!
What's all this about people complaining on the internet? The design is pretty awesome, and I would love it on a shirt, but really I want to know where I can get a pair of Mario's tighty-whities. Adorable! If you want to vote for the shirt, visit this link, and be sure to sign up to be notified when they actually start printing it. The link below takes you to Mr. Brogen's webpage/blog, where you can check out the rest of his work. Thanks to thepickupbear for the heads up.
Mario's Closet [Albino Raven]
[via: Tiny Cartridge]
I ran across this gorgeous piece of fan-art on one of my many perusals through DeviantArt. The artist is Evanatt and she has a terrific gallery of work available in her gallery. The colors and style in this piece are absolutely stunning and it's a pleasure to be able to display it here. A tip of the hat to Evanatt, your talent is astounding!
This week's Fan Art Friday was submitted by the actual artist (gasp)! Dolphinwing has a great gallery of fan art up on her DeviantArt page as well as some great cosplay photos. She's very talented and absolutely a-dorable! A fine addition to our ever expanding Fan Art Gallery.
We would love to see MORE artist submitted pieces for our Fan Art Gallery and I know there are lots of talented artists out there who read the site! So please submit your awesome art to email@example.com with the subject Fan Art Friday.
And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!
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