|Tree of Mana - 10" x 20" - Acrylic ink on maple.|
For my piece, the Tree of Mana, I decided to pull inspiration from one of my favorite games of all time, the Secret of Mana. I used to play a ton of RPG's as a kid, and this game stands out in my memory and revolutionized the way I played and viewed games from then on. The story is very much relevant as well, as the antagonists are exploiting the natural resources, mana, to create weapons of mass destruction to kill off the world. The protagonist must travel the world to fight and save the mana trees and the world (or something like that, I think...). This nature vs technology, urban vs conservation, is something that I wanted to explore through this piece and is something very relevant globally right now.
Reminiscing back on these old games, it really makes me think that these games really are remarkable pieces of art, in it's own way. I used to spend countless hours immersed in these fantasy worlds, losing track of time until I would get scolded to go to bed. Even then, I would hide and continue to play if I could get away with it. If I can create that kind of world with my own art, where the viewer might lose themselves even for an instant in my work, then I would think my art has succeeded. Hopefully that is what I achieved with this piece as well.
|Inspiration: Original Secret of Mana artwork by Hiroo Isono.
With details that mimic the feel of discovering many intricacies in a dense rain forest, I immediately fell in love with the artwork from the game. Hiroo Isono is a highly regarded illustrator here in Japan, and has played a key role in creating the look and feel of many video games, specifically RPGs. In my opinion, he is to video games what Eyvind Earle was to Disney. I even had the original poster for this game tacked to my wall. Working on this painting really reminded me of my childhood playing video games, and also reminded me that part of the reason I chose to pursue art was because I fell in love with the artwork involved in video game development.
"Tree of Mana" is still available - purchase here!
The GR press release: