Today on our Artist Focus series, I am very excited to bring you the outstanding artwork of Ian Wilding! Ian has designed some of the coolest video game posters on the market right now, and his passion for art and gaming really shine through in his work. I could go on about how cool Ian is, but I’ll let him prove it to you in his interview below.
Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? Where do you live now?
Ian Wilding is a 22 year old boy who was born in, and for the moment still resides in, Newfoundland, Canada. I am currently on hiatus from a BFA in Design at Concordia University, and before that I did a B.Sc in Physics. My interests include video games, movies, and designing posters or t-shirts based on said video games or movies.
What is your day job?
For the time being, this is actually my day job! In April I finished my first year of design school, after which I decided to take a year off to work freelance from home. I have to say, being self-employed is rather interesting because while my boss is a very laid back guy, he is also there 24/7 looking over my shoulder.
How long have you been designing/illustrating? What got you interested in art?
I have been making video game-related art for as long as I can remember. I started drawing Pokemon as a child, and then I moved to pixel art for games based on the NES Zelda engine during my teens, after which I picked up Photoshop and learned how to use it. I can’t say for sure why I started drawing or what got me interested in the beginning, but it was just over two years ago that I began designing posters and shirts, instead of endlessly admiring the work of others.
Who/what influences your art? Is there a particular person’s style that has influenced you?
I am a huge fan of Olly Moss, Beavotron, Cory Schmitz, and Zac Gorman. They all approach video games with interesting points of view, I love anything that is visually clever or makes me rethink how I see a particular image or character.
What medium do you typically use when creating art?
I’m almost exclusively a digital person. I’m working on getting better at drawing, but besides the sketchbooks I keep, most of the work i do is computer-based.
Your video game pieces are some of my favorites out there, I actually have a t-shirt with your Super Metroid design on it. So where did the inspiration to do video game artwork come from? What is your “origin story”?
Thank you so much, that is awesome! My origin story starts when I was around 4, my older sister gave me her NES when she upgraded to a Sega Genesis, and ever since then I’ve been playing video games. You grow up with these characters and immersed in these worlds, it just becomes natural to create art based on what you know.
How do you tackle new projects? What’s your process?
I like to start with a large cup of coffee, a blank page, and then turn my music up to 11. Beyond that it’s a bit haphazard. Sometimes I’ll find an idea while looking through another artist’s work, other times I’ll be in the middle of a game and see something interesting that sparks an idea. I often find myself coming up with ideas at the least opportune moments, when I’m walking out the door, or late at night, and that’s when it’s most important to get it down on paper.
Tell us about your current projects. What are you working on? Any upcoming shows?
I have a couple of things going on that I can’t talk about just yet! No upcoming shows for now, but I was involved with Geek-Art’s Star Trek artshow Final Frontier earlier this month which was a lot of fun to be a part of!
What is the best art advice you have ever received?
Keep cool, never freeze.
What do you like to do for fun?
Besides the obvious gaming/movies/TV; I like to learn sciencey stuff, cook, run, and organize and tidy things. There is nothing finer than a tidy room.
Are you playing any video games currently? Do you have a favorite video game series?
I just finished renovating my bedroom during which time I organized my video game collection so I was inspired to go back and replay some of the games that I never finished. No More Heroes and Super Paper Mario are at the top of my list. I’m also in the mood to play F-Zero GX,
If you could be any video game character who would be and why?
Pac-Man. He’s got a fantastic wife, a steady job wherein he plays tag with his friends all day long, during which he gets plenty of exercise, and to top it off he has an infinite number of re-spawns back to level 1. Sounds like a swell life to me.
What is your most memorable video game experience?
Beating Metroid Prime with 100% item pickups to get a special cutscene at the end, which hinted towards Dark Samus who was introduced in Prime 2. I play that game every year, and I can still get about 95% of items by memory.
If you could be a dinosaur with any super power, which would you choose and why?
I would be a T-Rex with the power of flight. Chilling in the clouds using my tiny arms to fly sounds like nothing less than a fantastic way to spend a day. Plus it would keep those smug members of the pterodactylus genus in check, they think they’re safe but we’ll see about that.
Want to keep up with what Ian is working on? Be sure to follow him on Tumblr for all of his artwork and updates. Also visit his Society6 shop to check out what prints he has available for sale. He’s also on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr!