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.

Our next artist is Southern California art student by-day and foot-dragging hardware employee by night, Cole Harrington. Drawing as often as possible, Cole's aim is for a degree in Game Art and then, presumably, working in game development.

How did you get involved in artwork?
Games, actually! Since playing the original The Legend of Zelda back on the NES, I've been hooked to games and their visual assets. It's amazing how a few pen strokes can create an entire world.

What are your tools of the trade? PC, applications and drawing equipment?
I prefer old school pencil, ink and charcoal (for quick gestures) to paper, with a bit of digital touch up with Photoshop to get the colors in. Though I'm experimenting with real paints, you won't find me around them often. Giving me paints is like dunking a cat in a's not going to be pretty.

What kind of advice can you offer someone interested in getting digital art?
Don't give up! Draw your brains into a fine paste, then draw some more. Your diet should consist entirely of constructive criticism and the age old, cyclical, love/hate relationship with your work.
I'd completely advocate drawing from life every chance you get. To create stylized work, you have to understand what you're stylizing in the first place.

What is your experience with Cave Story?
A little more than a year ago I was in some dire need of a game that had length, weight, character and substance. Something that mattered, unlike so much of what comes out today. I eventually started looking into independent scene and I kept finding people mentioning 'The King of all Indie Games'. Needless to say, that's Cave Story. I found Daisuke Amaya's work, and was promptly blasted into a nostalgic bliss.

Your particular painting is an interpretation of a scene in Cave Story. How did you arrive on the scene and why did you choose it over others?
Well, er, I like frogs. I like Balrog. Amaya was true in his wisdom enough to combine the two somewhere along the line of Cave Story's creation. It was a plus that so many people avoid drawing that awesome boss fight, as it gave me a little push to depict something in my style that not many people overwork.

I originally thought of Balfrog jumping on the main character (with a worm's eye perspective). I eventually decided I should make it in a profile view, in homage of the game's oldschool style. It was only a plus that frogs are fun to draw..and to shoot with your Polar Star as well.

How long did it take you to put together? Did you run into any snags while creating it?
I can't quite remember how long it took, but if memory serves, it happened over the course of a week while being broken up with classes. I lined it out on cold-press illustration board that I had on hand at the time, then inked it up with microns. The digital coloring took the longest, especially since I was working off a laptop that was on its way out of working condition. I'm pretty sure the .psd file for this thing crashed that sucker a few times, ha ha!

Where can people find your work?
You can find me on my Deviant Art Page. Any other inquiries can be directed to my email.

What's your latest painting?
My latest work mostly consists of gestural sketches and anatomical studies to build my portfolio for application to a college. Here's a new sketch of the main character in Cave Story.