The artist for Guildhall is Mike Perry. Mike does art in a historical style very well, so we thought he’d be good on Guildhall. We were right! We asked him a few questions and wanted to show some of his Guildhall work in process onthe site. Check out more of his work at www.mikeperryart.com!
Mike! Welcome! How did you get your start in art, and how did you get hooked up with AEG? This isn’t the first game you’ve done with us, right?
Hello and thanks for having me. Let’s see, I’ve been drawing ever since I can remember and really it is the only career path I’ve ever wanted to follow. My first gig with AEG was on Nightfall Crimson Siege which I received after I sent in my portfolio and got a call from the Art Director who thought my work would be suitable for the product line.
That initial assignment went well and since then, I have been fortunate to receive more work on Nightfall and other AEG products such as Thunderstone Advance: Root of Corruption and Guildhall.
It looks like you use live models a lot for your pictures in Guildhall. Do you just have a lot of friends willing to pose for you? How does that work out?
You found me out! Yes, I do try to use models whenever I can and the most affordable ones are either myself or someone I know. For example, the Farmer in Guildhall is based off of my step father. I chose him for the illustration because I felt his appearance and personality best suited the character. The reason being is he is generally a cheerful guy and he has spent countless hours toiling on a farm while growing up in Ireland. He had exactly the rugged European peasant look that my Art Director described in the initial brief. Even the gap between his teeth is authentic.
Guildhall has a medieval setting — that can take some work to get the clothes and accoutrements right. A lot of your work has a historical flair to it. What do you use for reference? And how do you know when to hand-wave accuracy for the sake of the picture?
Actually I minored in History at university and several classes were on European/Western history so I already have a passion for times gone by, and I still read about this stuff in my free time. Basically I am a history nerd! I have a large collection of reference as well as I have several books on period costumes, a modest collection of props and garments in my studio and of course, the internet.
And how do you know when to hand-wave accuracy for the sake of the picture?… The biggest thing for me is to stay faithful to the spirit of the illustration. In the case of Guildhall, it’s all about the characters. They’ve got to be convincing yet entertaining. The goal is for the player to be able to identify the character with just a glance. I find myself asking questions throughout the creative process like, how would the character wear this? What is the character doing and why?
It’s about acting and or immersing yourself in the character, and also a big part of it is doing what just feels right. I can’t stand illustrations where the artist adds wacky things like giant boots or glowing buttons just for the sake of it. It’s all about balancing what looks good with what looks believable.
Check back next week for Mike’s look into the process of making art for Guildhall!