Are you a fan of fan-art? How about League of Legends, Arcane, or fantasy novels? You're not going to want to miss this.
Game Artist Showcase: The Brilliant Chris Binns
Here at MMO Games, we'll take any excuse to show off the work of an incredible game artist. Following our game artist of the year competition, we've been showcasing the work of the amazing artists that impressed us most. So far, we've shown you the work of Yuhang Weng, Betsy Weymouth, and Nana.
Well, we hope you've woken up feeling ready to have your mind blown because boy do we have a treat for you today. Prepare yourself for the incredible game art of Chris Binns. Both humble, hardworking, and gifted, Chris has an eye for breathtaking visuals and a talent for capturing dramatic movement and action. At the time of our competition, like many of us, he was particularly taken by the League of Legends Netflix show, Arcane.
"I am a full-time electrical engineer but my true life passion has been illustration for as long as I can remember. I hold a bachelor's degree in Graphic Design, but my art has always remained mostly private."
"I have written and illustrated 3 children's books and baring a few freelance gigs, commissions, and a couple of Talenthouse competition winning pieces, I've mainly been drawing what inspires me and trying to keep it fun. This piece below is an example of that as I initially created it for some foreground/background separation practice as well as dynamic poses. I was pointed to your art competition after the fact and love the idea of being able to take part. I hope you enjoy looking at it as much as I did making it."
If inspiration strikes, you are bound to bring it out. It's the strictest brief there is!
"This League of Legends fanart was inspired after watching the fantastic Netflix show, Arcane. The visuals and world creation were overwhelmingly inspiring, and I needed to put these two strong female characters into a piece. It took me eight hours in Procreate."
"This last piece is just a portrait shot of Jinx. As you can tell, I have a favorite subject to draw at the minute, like many others, as this character is just so great. The problem with being an illustrator that draws for fun is you don't really get to pick and choose your subject; if inspiration strikes, you are bound to bring it out. It's the strictest brief there is! This one was digitally illustrated and took about 3 hours."
Q&A with Chris Binns
What games are you playing right now?
"At the moment, my game of choice is Mario Kart 8, with my 5-year-old daughter who is just discovering the joy of Nintendo as I'm rediscovering how fun these games are. But given the choice, and time, I would be neck deep in Horizon Zero Dawn and follow-ons. Those games are just so aesthetically brilliant and really get me excited."
How do you decide on your designs?
"Being a hobby artist, I get to be very free in what I create. At times, inspiration can come from anywhere. It may be a show I'm watching, a game I'm playing, or a book I'm reading. Since I can remember, anything that has ever inspired an image in my mind has always needed to be put down on paper… or into Photoshop. It may even be a curse."
What is your creative process?
"My process can vary slightly depending on style. My preference is to start extremely small and loose, almost resembling an ink-blot test and from there I allow the image to evolve and take form in my mind. Some of my favourite pieces I have created have come from this process as it allows me to be much freer with composition and flow of a piece. If I need to create something more focused, like the Arcane pieces above, I generally start with a wide range of small thumbnails and won't move to development until something really screams at me."
"From there is where things really get fun, and it doesn't matter whether it's a digital piece or a traditional piece, the penciling stage is crucial. Here, I get to be as deliberate and as loose as I want to suit my intended design. If I'm going for a chaotic piece with lots of action, I stay very loose with most elements in the design, knowing I will sell the piece in the coloring phase. However, if I am going for a very detailed piece, like my Arcane Bootlegger piece [see above], I want the sketch stage to carry most of the weight to limit work later in the process."
"Coloring has always been a part of the process that has plagued me over the years, until a few years ago I considered myself primarily a black and white artist until I forced myself to step out of my comfort zone and try to make it a strength instead of a weakness. I'm proud to say that is now the part I enjoy most. Using color has allowed me to establish mood and emotion way more than I ever expected and that has been magical. I'm still far from my goal but I see myself getting better and more proficient with every piece I create, continuously pushing for more challenging and daring light sources, shadows, and effects with every illustration."
Which piece are you most proud of?
"The love for my art can often be a short-lived affair like most artists. What you love today you may hate tomorrow, and that will always be true for me. That being said, there is always some pieces that get to live slightly longer in the limelight of my affection. One such piece for me is my Sacrificial Maiden piece. I have always been heavily influenced by Frank Frazetta and his plethora of damsel-in-distress artworks and this one just makes me smile when I look back on it. Not to mention I just love getting to draw a dragon!"
What's the next step for your art? Are you working on anything interesting?
"Finding time for art for me has always been a challenge, not only do I have two small children that I want to spend as much time with as possible, but I also work full time as an engineer in the tech industry which consumes most of my weekday hours. But there is always an hour or two each night that I get to devote to my craft. My goal someday would be to get the chance to illustrate book covers for fantasy and sci-fi novels as that was my first influence into the art world. From a young age I would collect the latest fantasy novel my father had finished reading and was always amazed by their spectacular covers, but until that day I will continue to draw just for fun and development. Although, after having written and illustrated three children's books, I may get around to finishing the 4th one someday…when time allows of course."
And if you want to see more of Chris's work (you do!), you can follow him on social media using the links below:
Alternatively, show Chris some support on his ArtStation page or by buying one of the three awesome-looking children's books he has managed to finish:
**Stay tuned for more incredible game art in May's game artist showcase. Only at ** MMO Games .