Creator Interview - Chaosringen
We are huge fans of Chaosringen, as they were one of the first and few artists we discovered who does Final Fantasy XIV fan art! They also have an incredible art style that just lends itself so well to the fantasy genre.
We became instant fans of their art and style and continued to follow them for their amazing pieces. They not only produce an incredible style, but their ability to turn art in quality and speed is seriously impressive. They have one of the highest rates of new art of any of the artists we follow.
I loved their FFXIV fantasy setting art so much, when I wanted to commission someone to draw my OC character from Lost Ark, a death blade assassin set in that fantasy universe, I knew there was only one choice for artist for the job.
Chaosringen Interview -
GI: Can you tell us about your artistic journey and how you became interested in creating fan art, particularly within the Final Fantasy 14 universe?
Chaos: I actually started drawing very early around 6 years old, starting with copying mangas like DBZ ( Goku), Captain Tsubasa,then later Slam Dunk, etc. in 2010 I got a job drawing anime style and eventually transferred to semi realistic render style (Blade and Soul) . I started drawing FF14 back when playing the game in 2014, got a few commissions here and there. Then I stopped playing and only got back recently, like around 2 years ago, then I got back to drawing it. So you could say playing the game inspired me to draw FFXIV itself.
GI: Your soft sketch style is quite distinctive, immediately recognizable as your work. Could you describe the techniques or tools you use to achieve this unique look in your artwork? How did it come about?
Chaos: I use Photoshop as my main drawing tool. I start with a warm paper-ish like background. I use a soft pencil-like brush to do a quick gesture / rough sketch in orange color ( like people use blue pencil for rough sketch on paper). Then use a harder / jagged brush to do the detail , in dark pink color. Then the coloring itself with flat , pastel-ish ones and a bit of shadow / gradient. Lastly is some highlight either using the background color ( warm paper-ish ) or some light color depending on the scene. Finally I add some noise and vfx to the image then it's done.
The reason I came up with this style is because I like retro anime style back then, and due to my workload, I cannot spend so much time on fanart. Therefore doing sketches here and there help me relax while not taking so much time.
GI: Final Fantasy 14 is a rich and diverse world. What aspects of the game's universe inspire you the most when creating your fan art pieces?
Chaos: The beautiful races / character outfits. I have just loved characters since my day 1 drawing. I also listen to the game’s OST to get inspired.
GI: Fantasy art often involves intricate details and fantastical elements. How do you approach incorporating these elements while maintaining your particular style?
Chaos: I have loved fantasy elements since my anime period back in 2010 so drawing those details is fun. For my sketching style I would simplify those details a bit into more simple shapes while still recognizable overall.
GI: Can you walk us through your creative process when starting a new fan art piece based on Final Fantasy 14?
Chaos: First I will gather some reference for the art I have in mind, the characters, the costume, the scenery / background. For example Y’shtola walking in Elpis field, I’ll take in-game or search for those reference /location I will also look at some poses on pinterest for inspiration.
Then I do the rough sketch and then detailing similar to the method I explained previously. If I stop at the sketch phase then that’s it. If I want to render I just paint normally afterward.
GI: Fan artists often build a strong connection with their audience. How do you engage with your followers and incorporate their feedback into your creative process?
Chaos: For FFXIV I got my clients mostly from twitter as they follow me more and more when I upload my sketches. I’m quite easy when it comes to feedback and so far the mood between me and my clients are very good. Also as a sketch the feedback is very easy to apply and not taking so much time to do. I sometimes draw for my friends too ( and it's free)
GI: Final Fantasy 14 continuously updates with new content. How do you keep up with the game's developments and integrate them into your fan art portfolio?
Chaos: Actually I play with a group of friends in game, so when there is new content we just play it and if it’s impressive and fun I might do a fanart of it.
For example when the Euphrosia Alliance Raid is out, I’m so in love with the bosses we fight there. You can search Nophica, Nymeia, Menphina and Halone, add ff14 or ffxiv in the search and you see a ton of fanarts from them, especially Nophica.
(Gi Commission Lost Ark Deathblade OC)
GI: We commissioned you to do a Lost Ark OC fan art, and we absolutely loved the results. How was it creating a fantasy fan art from an adjacent fantasy universe? Was it difficult or did the universe’s similarities help. Is there another game universe you would like to add to your regular rotation?
Chaos: I always have a love for Korean MMO before I even play FFXIV. Back then there was Ragnarok Online, Blade and Soul. Hyung Tae Kim’s character design in Blade and Soul is part of what shaped me into my current artist today, the semi realistic style of drawing long-leg characters. So yeah, drawing Lost Ark is super fun and I really love the intricate details on the character. I just wish I have more time to play multiple MMO instead of having to choose one haha xD
I don't have any particular game universe to add, I just enjoy drawing interesting / beautiful characters so any universe is fine. Thank you for your time reading my bad writing and also thank you for the interesting interview!