Digital Paintings Galore, Interview Inside
This week, TSSZ spotlights a deviantART user named MylaFox, who has created several unique, digitally painted pieces of artwork with her own distinct take on Modern Sonic’s design. These works include a firework display, a forest scene featuring Tails, and a Generations-inspired meeting of the Classic and the Modern. She has many more pieces available on her deviantART account, including several works that would have been very relevant for our Christmas spotlight, and we highly encourage you to give them a look.
We interviewed MylaFox about her work and her experience with the franchise, and that can be found after the gallery. Special thanks goes to RedFire5 for bringing her art to our attention. We’re always looking for fan works to spotlight, so if you have something you want to share, send us a link at firstname.lastname@example.org!
The following interview has been edited only to correct grammar for the sake of readability.
TSSZ: What inspired you to begin creating Sonic fan art, and when did you first begin?
I’ve been drawing Sonic since as far back as I can remember. Actually, he’s what first inspired me to create art at all. I was exposed to his games at a very early age, back when I could hardly hold a game controller. I fell so in love with the series that I couldn’t help but doodle Sonic and his friends whenever I got the chance. What caught my attention the most about Sonic was his courageous and lovable attitude, combined with his vast and beautiful worlds filled with bright color and rich atmosphere. The fast-paced action of whizzing through these environments had me captivated, and I wanted to recreate these experiences however I could.
TSSZ: Can you explain the creative process you undergo when you create a piece of artwork?
When I first sit down to create a new art piece, I usually consider many things beforehand. I brainstorm on different ways I can evoke certain feelings in the viewer, and I try to visualize how this can be achieved through both composition and color. I will often create several different drafts at thumbnail size to see what most closely matches the idea I’m going for. Creating a believable and deep atmosphere is most important to me when I work, so I put a lot of focus not only on the characters in my fan art, but my backgrounds as well. Once I find a good start, I then lay down colors and let my imagination take over, adding greater detail until eventually the piece is completed.
TSSZ: What tools/software do you use to make your art?
Ever since I was old enough to hold a pencil, I’ve been sketching and coloring with traditional mediums. However, recently I have been getting involved in digital art. I now prefer coloring digitally over all else, since I find the work flows much better and the possibilities are nearly endless. Using a digital tablet gives me much greater flexibility; however, I will still occasionally sketch my initial concepts out on paper.
As far as programs go, I have found that nearly all I have tried have great potential when used properly. I have used many, but my favorite is Paint Tool Sai. I use Sai almost exclusively for my newer art pieces, mostly because of how well the program handles color blending. Sai creates a more natural feeling for me, one that is closer to traditional paintings.
TSSZ: On average, how long does it take you to get a piece from conception to completion?
I have spent as little as a few hours to nearly a few months on a single art piece before. However, as my experience increases I gain not only knowledge but speed as well. On average as of this writing, it typically takes me two to three days to complete a digital painting.
TSSZ: Is there any one piece you’ve created that you feel is your favorite?
It’s hard to choose a favorite, though there is one piece that really stands out to me. It was created early last year. “Sunset Dock” was painted during a time when I felt greatly inspired. I had just finished admiring the work of one of my greatest idols, and really wanted to try out new techniques. I was in a very positive mindset, and I had a lot of fun with the whole piece. I think that very sense of happiness reflects in the work itself.
TSSZ: What was the first Sonic game you ever played, and which one is currently your favorite?
The first Sonic game I ever played was back in 1991, which happened to be the year he first debuted. The moment I laid eyes on Sonic, I was completely hooked. I was a very young child at the time, but you couldn’t pry my hands off of my beloved Sega console. Every holiday from that day forward involved the blue hedgehog, and I couldn’t be happier. I adored every one of his adventures, up to this day. It’s so hard for me to choose a favorite, but I’d say it’s a close tie between Sonic CD and Sonic Adventure 2. I loved the animated cutscenes and art direction of Sonic CD, as well as the beautiful soundtrack. Sonic Adventure 2 had excellent level design, in my opinion. I also really loved the story, as I feel it was one of the richest and most compelling to date. That, combined with intense real-time rendered cutscenes and great voice acting, really pulled me in.
My adoration for the series has followed me into adulthood, and I don’t think that will be changing any time soon. I hope newer generations can find inspiration and joy in Sonic as much as I did growing up!