This week, we’ve cast the spotlight onto Chaoyuan Xu, who has been creating excellent Warcraft-themed art for quite some time. Yuan recently sent us the pieces you see below, and he also provided answers to our questions.
Q: What influences the designs of your artwork?
A: I really love World of Warcraft, with all its gameplay and the design. I especially love the exploration of the game, as it involves a lot of adventure and story - which I very much enjoy. It enhances the experience of roleplaying, and this is something that other games lack. As you can see, several of my pieces focus on Pandaria - the continent I love the most - with races like blood elf or dwarf dressing in pandaren-style clothes.
Q: What sort of gamer are you?
A: In general, I am more of a PvE gamer, and as you can see most of my works are focused on the world. Even "Martial Competition" was done as a "friendly duel" sort of mood, rather than fighting to death. (In a way, it fits the pandaren's life philosophy!)
Q: About how long does it take to create something like these?
A: It depends on how much detail I want to go with the piece. For example, it took me one full week to work and finish "Martial Competition."
Q: What is your process?
A: First is brainstorming and drawing the concept. I need to envision how the finished art would look in my brain. And then I start working on the sketch - a lot of changes might happen during this step and sometimes it's the hardest part of creating an art piece. After I think the sketch has met my standards, I start working on the details, including color, background, and lighting.
Q: What other works inspire you?
A: I like Assassin's Creed, Game of Thrones, and the animation of Studio Gibli. I enjoy different games and movies. No matter what kinds of style the artwork is, I reinvigorate my innovation with whatever I learn and see.
Q: What do you like to do in-game?
A: I enjoy exploring the world the most. I love how the Warcraft team built the world with all their innovation and creative minds. The astonishing landscape and environment we see in game is just fantastic and really inspiring. Sometimes, I dream of living there.
Q: If you could add one thing to the game, artistically, what would it be?
A: I'd like to add an NPC (probably a pandaren) to the game, and he would give you a daily quest to ask to take photos around the world for him so that he could finish his great masterpiece of drawing scenes for Azeroth!