Cave Story Featured Artist: Katy Coope
Those among us who have followed the development blog may recall the time when we put out a call for artists, aptly titled, “Calling All Artists”. We didn’t specify why we were looking for artists, but in the coming weeks you’re going to see why we did and what the artists who responded created in the form of fan art.
Continuing towards Cave Story’s March 22nd (2010) launch we’re going to be showing some of this fantastic artwork and while asking these very talented artists questions about themselves and how they created these works.
We bumped into Katy Coope via our call for artists almost around the same time as we found her artwork in an unrelated manner. Like some of our previous artists, Katy is also from jolly old England. Prior to participating in the creation of the final image you see below, she put together her own Cave Story fan art--one of which you can see at the top of this post.
What is your day job?
A bit varied at the moment, but right now it's mostly between freelance web design and teaching workshops with kids on manga and comics.
How did you get involved in artwork?
I grew up with a lot of time where I needed to entertain myself, so I guess it came from there. Lots of time sat backstage at parent's gigs, drawing or reading, I don't remember a time I didn't love to draw. I started drawing human characters when I got to highschool and started doing it professionally when I was 16.
What are your tools of the trade?
It varies a lot depending on the piece. Tech wise, I use a Mac and Adobe photoshop most of the time. Natural media, I use whatever seems to work and I like to combine natural and CG looks. The Cave Story pieces I've done have all been inked in biro (The earlier ones were drawn straight in pen) with Photoshop coloring.
What kind of advice can you offer someone interested in getting involved with artwork and digital media?
Do it, do it, do it. Don't wait till you think you're good enough, get better by doing. Also, it's good to bounce back and forth between CG
and natural media. Use each to push yourself in different ways, and learn your strengths and weaknesses with each. On digital media in
particular, never underestimate to power of a bit of post-processing with levels, curves, overlays and the like. You can use the tools in
photoshop designed for photo adjustments to really give your work that little bit of edge and atmosphere it needs.
What is your experience with Cave Story? When did you first learn about it?
It's been a long while, but if I remember correctly I found it through the Within A Deep Forest forums. I'm not as good at the game as a lot of people are, but I fell in love with the story, style and music.
Like some of the other artists, you chose a scene that you probably liked. What can you tell us about the selection process and why you chose this scene?
I actually chose this one out of necessity, though it is a scene I like. I first started the image for fun and wasn't really thinking about it, just our hero and Balrog. When I was asked if I'd like to finish it for the project, I realized there's actually only one fight (unless I'm wrong) with Balrog where you have the sword, so I added in Curly.
How long did it take you to put together?
There was quite a big gap between the original sketch and the inks/colors, but once I got going I did it in parts over the course of a couple of weeks. One of the things that actually took longest was figuring out the floor, as I'd kind of just eye-balled it when I started so had to spend ages wrangling the perspective when I realized the floor would be tiled (forward planning, kids!).
Can you tell us a little bit about the process of creating it? Do you have any work-ups or anything we can see?
I started off with a very rough sketch, which I then began to refine.
I scanned that in, printed it out in a pale color and refined it some more before starting to ink it with biro:
I unfortunately can't find anything of just the underpainting, but the first step in coloring was throwing down some very rough shading and
tinting that. I also began to loosely build the wall texture. Pretty much everything is done via scribbling with progressively smaller
Above you can see more of the wall is in, and I'm gradually starting to refine things.
I kept adding detail and refining. This was just before I added the dust and colour corrections:
Where can people find your work?
My personal site is www.ktcoope.com. I have a gallery at Deviantart and I recently started co-writing and drawing a webcomic at www.gentleladythief.com">.
Published wise, my latest book is 'Making Manga Characters', published by Collins Big Cat, and I'm also being pretty heavily involved with CYC's CultureShock and AfterShock festivals, as well as Shooting Roots.
What's your latest painting?
This was my last full thing. That said, I started my webcomic after I did this, so the most recent page of that would be my latest. :)