Here we are again. Or here we go again, depending on how much you like to listen to Neon Trees. I personally don’t listen to them all that much because, more than Mumford and Sons, their songs sound really similar to each other. Probably because the singer has such a distinctive tone, but that’s not to say I don’t think they’re good songs. They’re just the same songs, which is vastly different from Nickelback who has the same bad songs all over.
Anyways, enough about that. This was originally going to be a whole thing just about Id Software’s new art director, Hugo Martin. You’re likely to have seen some of his stuff back in the day as a concept artist with Blur Studios where he worked on Dante’s Inferno, Halo Wars, and Star Wars: The Old Republic, among others. But then I got a chance to talk to him at QuakeCon and wanted to break that out into a separate story. My mind, however, was already set on artistic endeavors.
Let’s start out with Martin, though. Before hopping over to the Mesquite, Texas-based Doom and Quake developers, he had a string of jobs on films that includes The Avengers and several soon-to-be-released/currently unreleased films like Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, an on-hold The Dark Tower adaptation, and that ostensibly canceled Snow White Order of the Seven thing from Disney. Where you’re going to have seen his work most recently, however, is in Pacific Rim, where he worked very closely with writer and director Guillermo del Toro.
Just a tease of the conversation I had with him, Martin is a very warm, friendly, and obviously smart dude. He talked so casually about the most astounding things, like how del Toro would take just about anything he got from other artists and modelers and have Martin take a pass on it. Or how he so easily put widely disparate and nebulous ideas into concrete form. Case in point: he designed the Crimson Typhoon Jaeger—one of the giant robots in the movie—after boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and incorporated the American flag, the Chance Vought F4U Corsair, and Georges St-Pierre into Gipsy Danger. Awesome.
Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two was, well, disappointing. It carried over a lot of the problems of the first Epic Mickey, which I kind of gave a pass because it was the only one of its kind at that point. One of the things I’m glad that continued, however, was the art direction, which was superb. Part of that can be attributed to concept artist Adam Fenton. Based in Austin, Texas, he has worked on Star Raiders, The Bourne Conspiracy, and, in his words, “many many many cancelled projects and pitches.” Whether or not those ever made it to fruition, Fenton’s work is pretty great. His use of bright and vivid colors really draws the eye.
Currently a concept artist for Sony Santa Monica, Jung Park most recently worked on God of War: Ascension, which was decent. A lot of those big, expansive set pieces are largely (is that a pun? Yeah, that’s a pun.) his doing. Same goes for God of War III, which was way above decent. But when he’s not drawing places for Kratos to smash up, he co-runs Red Engine Studios which operates as both a contract art studio and a school for budding artists and designers.
His personal works are also pretty impressive. They manage to feel otherworldly while still carrying a grounded vibe. It’s a hard thing to pull off and can give outlandish tales more gravitas, but Park definitely does it.
I hope you guys like Disney because here comes more Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two art. This also comes from Austin, Texas, but from concept artist Kevin Chin. Most of his stuff for that game is environmental in nature but his personal work (and the cactus enemy thing) branch into character design. He’s worked on Warhammer 40,000 products and the Killspace Entertainment remake of Yar’s Revenge, but seriously, that Epic Mickey 2 concept art. These all should be your desktop wallpaper all the time.
He also drew a cool The Last of Us thing that you should see. It’s pretty cute.
And that’s all I’ve got for today! I suggest you watch Pacific Rim if you haven’t, play Epic Mickey if you haven’t, and continue to not listen to Nickelback if you’re at all a decent person. But do watch the newest Mumford and Sons music video. When Jason Bateman and Will Forte go head-to-head, you’ll understand. You’ll understand everything.