Hello Hexers! Tyler James here, the Art Director for HEX, and today I bring you another sweet artist feature article. With every set we try to add some great new artists to our roster, and for Doombringer we had the pleasure of working with the incredibly talented Konstantin Vavilov for the first time. You’ll see his work debut on many of the Elemental Familiar cards in the set. When a set contains a certain thematic or gameplay cycle, it’s an opportunity to try and showcase a unified art style across those cards. With one of our other talented artists, Jakub Rebelka, leading the charge with the elemental champions, I wanted to also bring some unique flavor to the familiars you’ll likely be including into the decks you build around the champions for. And now, here are some words from the artist himself—Konstantin Vavilov.
My name is Konstantin Vavilov, a concept designer and illustrator from Russia. For more than 10 years I’ve worked in the gaming industry as a concept artist, art director, Curator, and teacher at the Concept Art school of computer graphics Scream School (Moscow). Now I work as a freelancer with a small team. This gives the opportunity to diversify my work experience and clients. For a long time I wanted to devote more time to illustrations, and so I gladly accepted an offer from Tyler James to make some illustrations for HEX.
For the aspiring artists out there, how did you get your start as a professional artist?
I have two professional art degrees. The first is a degree in Exterior Design from an Art College named after A.P. Bogolyubov. The second is a BA in animation from a Russian State University of Cinematography named after S.A. Gerasimov.
My dream of drawing and drawing monsters started in my childhood when my imagination was exposed to AD&D art. A little later I got acquainted with such games as Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale and MTG (unfortunately, Hex TCG did not exist in my childhood). The idea of drawing monsters and earning a living from it excited my mind, especially since I had more drawings in notebooks than I had notes on lectures and equations =) But, vocational education in concept design in was not vogue yet, so I went looking for an education in another field that could give the skills of drawing and painting. My parents supported my passion for art (although I do not think they believed that I could make a living by drawing monsters), and in the second year of college I had an Intuos 3 A4 graphic tablet. It was a serious expense for the family budget, but it completely changed my life. I’m still grateful to my parents for believing in me and my dreams.
Then, after college and creating a portfolio for a couple of years, I started to look for freelancing on the Internet, and everything turned out well.
Are you a collector of anything?
This question made me think. First I came to the conclusion that I do not collect anything, but my wife noticed that I am a collector… of PAPER! I really like to take notes, sketches, etc. on different scraps of paper. Then I sort them out, throw away unnecessary pieces, and I paste them into various albums and diaries. But, since I don’t get around to the sorting part often, they sometimes pile up in heaps =)
If you were not in the art field what do you think you would be doing?
Well, I think that everything in our life is an art. Therefore, I would be pleased to take up many amazing things from clothing production, to music, to perhaps more time devoted to creating a business and teaching. Although… I think I would be most interested to try to become a motivational speaker or a fantasy writer. Maybe even try to combine these two roles!
Are there any hidden messages, meanings, or reoccurring themes in your HEX art?
Well, if I will tell you about them, they will not be hidden anymore!
Do you have a preferred HEX race?
Of course—DWARVES! I adore dwarves. They are my favorite race since childhood. But, I also really like Vennen. They’re cool guys.
What are your interests outside of art?
Travel (and indeed the study of this world), teaching, and games! Games are what brought me to the world of art and design. They still inspire me, and I’m glad I can make my small contribution to this industry and maybe inspire others.
Do you have a favorite go-to color scheme?
Black and white =) Color is such a big and interesting topic for research—I never get tired of wondering how many beautiful color solutions there are in nature or how other artists combine these colors together. But if you are asking about the combination of colors that are always pleasing to my eye, it’s ocher with turquoise and all the variations on this theme. For example, bronze with a patina or a sunlit silhouette against the blue sky is breathtaking.
I hope you enjoyed this peek into the new set, Doombringer, and this quick journey into the mind of one of the talented artists whose skills help bring Entrath to life. Until next time, stay Hexing my friends!
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