The[Crafty]Gamer: Stuart Harris (Awesome Video Game Themed Posters)
In this edition of The[Crafty]Gamer, UK native Stuart Harris shares a few of his incredible video game themed posters and explains the creation process.
Full name: Stuart Harris
Hometown: Stafford, UK
Occupation: Graphic Designer
Creation: VG ART Craft Series One
Tell us about the inspiration behind your posters.
I’ve been a fan of video games since I was a kid, playing on my NES with Super Mario Bros. and Tetris. I suppose I grew up just as games were becoming really popular and It’s something I latched onto. Since my NES I’ve either owned or had massive exposure to pretty much most of the major consoles.
The Inspiration behind my art are video games and playing video games, something I love. Everything about the industry is incredibly exciting and my posters are just me trying to express how much video games mean to me. It’s that simple, really. Kind of nerdy, but it’s true.
Please describe the process of creating your posters. What creation tools do you use? How long does each one take to make?
Normally I’ll plan a design on Sketchpad and within minutes of applying it in Adobe Illustrator the design goes completely out the window. It usually works out looking better than the Sketchpad version simply because you’ve got infinite play in the software (the Command + Z buttons are my best friend). After that a tiny bit of text positioning and finishing the job as a massive file in Photoshop where I add all of the grunge textures. That’s the bit I like if I’m honest. In this though I can go back and fourth between the software as I might see something I don’t like. This could take from two to four hours -- maybe longer -- it all depends on the detail I want to apply.
Did you come across any challenges when creating your posters? How did you resolve them?
Most challenges are thinking of a subject (e.g. Tomb Raider) and thinking of away to produce a design that’s as far away from the game's official artwork as possible, but still kept relative. I wouldn’t want to step on anyone's toes as the artwork officially produced is all very good. Although the real kick in the balls comes when you’ve worked on something for a bit, you’re really happy with how it’s going, and out find somebody's beaten you to it. That’s probably the major challenge -- thinking of something new.
Which video game related piece of art you've created means the most to you and why?
It would probably be the Arkham City poster. Apart from being a massive Batman fan, it’s the only poster I can look at and not see a thing I wouldn’t change. It’s my most clever, too (blow’s own trumpet). When I saw the teaser trailer it was pretty obvious that Hugo Strange has Batman on his mind, and tweaking Batman's cape to follow the line of the beard was an accidental move, but I will take claim for the idea. I also snook a nod to the recent Batman film by including a Chicago skyline at the bottom to represent Gotham City, which I thought was a cool touch.
Any web links to other work?
I’m putting work up every couple of weeks so anybody interested in seeing what’s new, or even want to give suggestions on a subject can follow my Twitter (@vuworld) or my Tumblr (click here). I can’t guarantee I’ll do every suggestion, but it would be nice to hear what people in the gaming community think.
Anything else you'd like to add about yourself?
Favourite games: The original GTA. I was really young at the time and if you forget the violence and drugs the idea of being able to just do what you liked really appealed to me. I'm also a big Pokémon fan. Pokémon Red was an awesome game. I still buy the games today they're so much fun. Other favourites are Final Fantasy X, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins. As for hobbies I like watching films, hanging out with friends, and reading comics. I've been in a couple of bands, too, playing various instruments: bass, guitar, drums, vocals (I'm a jack of all trades, master of none). That stuff has been quiet recently. I'd like to start things up again, but work keep's me busy.
Will we see more video game themed art from you in the future? If so what are you thinking about making?
I have some plans. They might be a few weeks away from being completed, but I've been looking at Bioshock Infinite, Infamous, plus a couple more. Some might get dropped though as I get bored quickly. I can always pick them back up again later.
Is your art for sale? How can we get our hands on it?
They're not officially for sale from any websites, but if people are interested I've sold them through twitter/email and Paypal it's a slightly unorthodox method, but I'd consider setting up an e-shop if people requested it.
The[Crafty]Gamer has officially moved from the Editor Blogs section to the Features section. Check out our previous entry on Christopher Beaumont and Cubeecraft.