Hi, there! Today the heroes of our interview are two creative members of CipSoft.
Welcome Jan (Penciljack) and Hannes (Lyxoph) – masters of tibian art!
Portuguese translation available!
A few words about your nicknames. Where did they come from?
Jan: There's an art Forum out there that goes by the same name, but there are no connections to that in my case. Penciljack is the name of my Tibia character. For me, good drawing is the basis to being a good artist. I love the good old pencil as a drawing tool and i wanted to reflect something art related, so there's where that part of the name comes from. I also admire artists who know how to express themselves in different styles, or even different media and disciplines, so being a "Jack of all trades" in the sense of versatility and curiosity, the will to get better within ones chosen field and in the arts in general, that is represented by the "Jack" part. Yeah, that's it..pretty deep i guess.
Hannes: When I had to choose a nickname for the Tibia website, I first tried to come up with a name that was somehow related to what I do. I wanted it to be unique though, so I cross-checked each name on the web. However, everything I thought of was already taken, so in the end I just combined a couple of random letters to form Lyxoph.
How did you start drawing and how did you become the professional artists?
Penciljack: I've always loved to draw and doing this for a living has been what i wanted all along. However, it's not something you'd have considered a conventional career, with little to few blueprints on how to actually make a living in the field. Especially if you didn't know anyone who could show you they way. The wealth of information provided by the internet with all its wonderful art communities and possibilities to learn from other artists Online or by watching Tutorials was nowhere close to what it has to offer nowadays...The usual "tip" you'd get was to get a "real" education and a "proper" job first, and then somehow, some way, maybe if you have the talent and luck... So around 1998, after rather uninspired attempts at "conventional" career paths i ended up doing an internship in a small Design Studio. From then on i guess, i was on my way. My first Full Time employment was with Cipsoft a couple of years later.
Lyxoph: I started drawing as soon as I was old enough to hold a pen in my hand. At the end of my school career I made sure to put an emphasis on art courses, since art always has been my favourite subject. Right at this time I already knew that I wanted to become a graphic artist, since this job combined the only things I was any good at: drawing and playing games. After my civil service duty, I took an internship at a games company and later worked as a freelancer for a mobile games company. At this point, I decided it was a good thing to have some kind of diploma and gain knowledge in the field of 3D modeling, so I spent the next four years studying "MultimediaArt."
Did you participate in other game projects?
Penciljack: At College i did some Game Art related work while trying to build a Portfolio. I also did a little Art for a Mod, however as with most such projects, it died. I did and still do Freelance Illustration as well.
Lyxoph: Before joining CipSoft, I did work for other companies in the mobile games market. I also made graphics for a couple of (unfortunately) unfinished indie games.
Click to enlarge!
When did you join CipSoft?
Penciljack: Back in the summer of 2004.
Lyxoph: I started working at CipSoft as an intern. My first task for TibiaME were the Autumn Update 2008 graphics. After a short break, I returned to CipSoft during my diploma thesis mid-2009, and have been working here ever since.
What kinds of arts does each of you create on your current job?
Penciljack: We both work on Tibia and TibiaME, doing Sprites, Illustration and Concept Art.
What tools do you use at your workplace? What is your graphics pad model?
Penciljack: Photoshop CS5 with a Wacom Intuos3 (size A4), Painter12 and good old pencil and paper ;)
Lyxoph: Photoshop, Cosmigo Pro Motion, Wacom Intuos4 A4, various pens, a sketchbook and loose sheets of paper.
Do you play Tibia or TibiaME? If yes, your vocations and levels?
Penciljack: I play a bit of Tibia every now and then. I am a Sorcerer of a very, very low level ;)
Lyxoph: I haven't been playing a lot of TibiaME so far, I've only got a level 9 knight. I'm playing a knight in Tibia as well, currently I'm level 71.
How does it feel when you finally see the game world drawn by your hands?
Penciljack: It's still a very cool feeling, even after all those years!
Lyxoph: It's obviously a satisfying feeling when you can finally see your graphics come alive in the game and observe how players interact with the items you created.
Who is your favorite artist / illustrator?
Lyxoph: I have always drawn great inspiration from Roger Deans' fantastic landscapes and organic shapes. When it comes to pixel art, I admire the works of Henk Nieborg and Fool very much.
Penciljack: Frazetta, James Ryman, Matt Dixon, Jim Murray, Adrian Smith, Simon Bisley, Iain McCaig just to name a few. I admire the work of the Pixel Artists that Lyxoph mentioned too. There are so many artists that i like though, covering many different genres, subject matters and periods.
How about a little demonstration of your skills? Can you draw each other?
And also draw my portrait. And the portraits of my TibiaME friends too. And...
Tjured: Wait, wait! This task is a bit too laborious. But they will try to edit the ingame sprites reffering to your request.
What are your hobbies?
Penciljack: Art, Basketball, Tennis, Movies, Comics & Books, Games.
Lyxoph: Besides drawing and pixeling, I collect and play video games, watch movies, take photos of classic cars or ride my bicycle (if it's warm enough).
Say something bad about each other. Why does "that guy" annoy you sometimes?
Penciljack: I hate it when he pulls out his pink "Hat of the Mad" and sits there giggling... it always means trouble :)
Lyxoph: He should get a haircut! No, seriously, there's nothing bad I could say about Penciljack, otherwise we wouldn't be working together so well.
Do you recommend our readers with artistic talents to become professional artists and take part in creating games? Is it fun?
Lyxoph: It is fun to work on games, of course. However, it's not always easy - often you have to come up with new ideas when you're creatively drained. It's probably not for everyone. In the end, it always works out though one way or the other. If you're determined to pursue an artistic career, working in the games industry is certainly a viable option. You really should put your heart and soul into it though.
Penciljack: Yes! Never let anyone tell you it's not a viable career path. I think there's never been a better time to be an artist actually, so if you really want this, go for it and don't give up.
Thanks for reading!
© Raistlin, Tochki.su/TibiaME