RDI Artists: Erin Wong
In the RDI Artists series, we’ll be telling you a little bit about the many great artists who have provided art for The Red Dragon Inn series over the years. First, we speak with Erin Wong, an artist from the Vancouver area whose amazing art rocketed her from RDI fangirl to SFG Staff Artist in a very short timeframe. Her work for SFG includes Lizwick the Collector from RDI 5, Keet the Treasure Hunter (now available via SlugCrew), and the much-talked-about, retweeted and generally-drooled-over cover to RDI 5!
SFG: How did you decide to become an artist?
Erin: When I was going through my first year science courses in university, and I realized I had more doodles and drawings on my notebooks than actual notes.
SFG: Where did you learn your craft?
Erin: I’m a self-taught illustrator, meaning lots of trial and error, looking up tutorials, progress shots from other artists, and watching time lapses to learn different techniques. I learned how to use Photoshop by basically messing around with it and wondering “what does this button do?” Even after twelve years of using Photoshop, I probably have only skimmed the surface of all its functions and tools.
SFG: What kinds of art do you specialize in?
Erin: I’m very fond of character artwork and design. I enjoy creating outfits, and putting characters that I love from other media in different attire. I also specialize in illustrating scenes that involves interaction between characters and their environment. To be able to tell stories with a single image is a really amazing and fun thing to do. That is to say, I had the time of my life drawing Lizwick, Keet, and the RDI5 box art.
SFG: Which projects are you most proud of?
Erin: I created a multi-chaptered doujinshi (a Japanese fan-comic) back in 2010. I love Kingdom Hearts and have always wanted to create a doujinshi, so I decided to go for it. Over the course of a year and a half, I wrote the script and used Photoshop and Manga Studio to illustrate the story. It was hard, grinding work, but so worth it in the end when I finally saw it come together in a nicely bounded 184 page book.
SFG: What do you want viewers to take away from your art? How should it make them feel?
Erin: I want them to feel inspired when they see my artwork. Nothing makes me happier than when viewers tell me that my art has inspired them to want to create something of their own, and want to improve on their craft. Art should drive other people to create more and keep that wheel of creativity turning. I guess that’s why I love drawing fan art so much. It’s a nice community for fans to come together and enjoy works created by other fans.
SFG: How would you describe your style?
Erin: This is one difficult question. My style is constantly changing as I learn different techniques, but right now, I’d probably describe it as semi-realism cartoons.
SFG: Are you a gamer? What games do you play?
Erin: Yup! I play mostly story-driven RPG video games like Legend of Zelda, Kingdom Hearts, Assassin’s Creed, and The Last of Us. Whenever my friends and I get together, I’m always up for rage-inducing party games like Mario Kart and tabletop games (including Red Dragon Inn of course! It’s the only drinking game I can actually participate in).
SFG: How did you end up working for these pleasant chaps at SFG?
Erin: After a night of bubbletea with friends and winning a round of RDI as Erin the Ever-Changing (how fitting!) I decided to send the pleasant chaps at SFG a fan e-mail saying how much I enjoy the game and the character artwork. I threw my portfolio at them for good measure, because I figured “hey, it wouldn’t hurt, and maybe they’ll need more artists in the future,” and right off the bat they recruited me in to help them create Lizwick for RDI5! Woooo!
[Editor’s note: we enjoy getting artist solicitations, and get them fairly frequently. Erin’s had both an amazing portfolio and impeccable timing, since we were actively looking for artists to help with the seven new characters we were working on at the time!]
SFG: Where can we find your work/Where can we follow you?
Erin: www.littleeworks.com – my art portfolio which includes illustrations as well as 3D works from my time at BCIT studying 3D modeling, and www.nijuuni.deviantart.com – A nice compilation of illustrations and fan art.
SFG: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Erin! Stay tuned for more interviews with the artists of The Red Dragon Inn
All fan artworks and art are copyright to their respective owners.