Powerful and emotive game art from a talented young British artist.
Game Artist Showcase: The Incredible Betsy Weymouth
At the beginning of this year, MMOGames.com launched its inaugural Game Artist of the Year Competition. The artwork we received from budding artists around the world truly took our breath away. In addition to some amazing gaming loot, we offered each of our winners a Featured Artist showcase. Last month, we showcased our grand winner Yuhang Weng; this month we're delighted to introduce you to our second-place winner – the incredible Betsy Weymouth.
"I usually take inspiration from things I don't remember being inspired by."
While many of the entrants in our Game Artist of the Year competition are professionals in the game art community, Betsy Weymouth is just sixteen years old and is currently completing her studies at Exmouth Community College. Despite her young age, her artwork expresses great maturity and complex feelings.
There is so much that we love about Betsy's artwork – not least the vivid colours and thought-provoking imagery that run through each of her pieces and the unique style that unite them all. More than any other participant's work, the judges found her art to be deeply emotive. Each one conjured up a powerful reaction – not least the first image above which gave us a powerful sense of calm while all around is chaos.
Below, you can find some more of Betsy's wonderful game art, some of her non-game based art, and some insights into her process. Even further below, you can find a short interview about her inspirations and creative process.
Hi Betsy, could you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Betsy Louise Weymouth, I’m 16, taking Art and Design in Post 16, and I am hoping to move on to Comic and Concept Art in university. I’m still figuring out my art style (the obvious techniques I use), mainly because I second guess my artistic decisions constantly. I hope to write graphic novels one day, and possibly be part of designing a game. I’m new to digital art and drawing backgrounds (the latter mainly because I don’t usually have the patience to draw them, especially when I’m not good enough at them to be confident they’ll turn out well every time). I’ve never entered an art competition before and I’m generally anxious when it comes to putting my art out there, because I know I’ll get better, and I’m very judgemental of my past mistakes - it feels like I’m putting my mistakes on display before I’ve even ruled them as mistakes.
I don’t actually play many games myself right now (I watch other people play them), nor have I drawn much fan art for the past 2 years. I’m hoping to play more games to get a better understanding of the media, because I do want to make a game one day (more so design the art or write the story - I know nothing about programming), if only to just make an interactive story (heavily story-based games are my favourite, especially those like Undertale that have multiple endings).
How do you decide on your game art designs?
I just sketch frantically until something looks right, go with it and hope nothing goes wrong, and if it does, start over. All my ideas tend to to be sketched out as I first imagined them (ideas that, of course, usually take inspiration from things I don't remember being inspired by), with not many practices nor exploration before attempting the actual piece. Though, with my college artworks, I spend more time practicing and developing my ideas than I do on the the actual piece, as there's more pressure when it comes to traditional art that'll also determine my grade.
What is your creative process?
My creative process is very different from digital to traditional. Digital drawing offers me multiple chance to scrap ideas before settling on the best one, but since I have a habit of jumping straight into the final piece when drawing traditionally (when not for college), I only have one real chance to get it right. Traditionally, I've realised I like colouring with watercolour (even though I'm not that good at it yet) and just going in with pen, adding whatever small details I suddenly feel like adding. This discovery came from when I decorated my swatches; I would make a large blob to test the colour for my college artworks, before deciding to procrastinate doing that work by doodling images on those swatches. It's always a lot of fun, so I like the idea of doing that with official pieces as well. Digitally, I don't particularly like any brush replicating traditional media, as I can't personally wrap my head around concepts like pressure affecting the darkness of watercolour, thereby making it difficult to control the outcome. As a result of my general confusion with the brushes, I don't much think about them, settling for the 'dry ink' brush for outlining and the 'syrup' brush for colouring, never really exploring the useful effects of other brushes. I've started to attempt to explore them a little, but I'll probably just worry about that a bit further into the future.
Which piece are you most proud of?
In the line up of pieces I sent in (for the competition and the others), strangely enough I am most proud of the dark FNAF image (the bear with lots of teeth). It is incredibly simple (just the sketch underlapping the outline on top of a near black background), which seems to deter some people from appreciating it, but I personally like it's simplicity. I've come to find that the more complicated I make a piece, the less satisfied I become with it (though, that only applies to my own art). Because of this, at certain points during the process, I get the urge to just leave it as it is. But, because I had plans for it to be so much more, the lack of completion is also unsatisfying. In this particular case, however, the piece is unfinished and yet I look at it like a finished thing and am really happy with the outcome. Even though others don't quite like it as much as myself, I don't see why that if people unfortunately can't convince me something is good, then I shouldn't be easily persuaded that something is 'bad' (not as good as some other stuff I've done).
If I were to pick a favourite from the ones I entered into the competition, it would be the Deltarune one. One of the things I like most about my 'successful' drawings is when a pose looks right. The poses are personally what I like the most about all of my entries. However, the pose in the Deltarune one is particularly 'successful' to me because not only did I expect to have an incredibly difficult time with it and was overjoyed when it turned out well first try, but the character with that pose is the central, large subject in the drawing, which makes most of the drawing my favourite part of said drawing.
Do you think you'll pursue a professional career in art?
I have always wanted to pursue a professional career in art, though the specifics have varied quite a bit throughout the years. So far I've settled on wanting to write my own graphic novels and hopefully make a video game (most probably 2D). I have yet to learn a single instrument or come to understand even the basics of computers, but a part of me really wants to crack down on learning all of that so as to try develop my own game one day. My plan is to freelance (though whether that'll work out or if I'll even still want that in a few years is up in the air) mostly due to my desire for creative freedom, which doesn't much sound like it would entirely fit with working for a company alongside other creative minds. In this, I have a very similar outlook when it comes to graphic novels and games: I mostly like art as I am able to express my own ideas - I find it less enjoyable (though not impossible) to draw when I'm expressing someone else's. So, there's definitely a certain type of professional career I'd like to pursue with art, though that doesn't mean I'm opposed to taking another route when necessary.
Betsy is not a big social media user, but she does have an Instagram account you can follow. In lieu of following her on social channels, we suggest you just remember the name "Betsy Weymouth" as we suspect great things lie ahead for her.
All of the artwork presented here belongs to the artist, Betsy Weymouth, and should not be reproduced or replicated without her permission.
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