Come in, come in, welcome, thank you for coming. Take your coat off, grab a drink and make yourself comfortable. I have a real humdinger of a question for you.
When you’re ready, are you sitting comfortably?
Are video games art?
Don’t worry, I’m not going to launch into a tirade of the whys and why nots of this long running debate, I am however going to make a brief statement on the matter, hold on to your socks!
You can bet your buns they are!
Not only are they a form of self expression but they are also, to my knowledge at least, the world’ s only form of interactive self expression that isn’t simply recreating the original work. Over the years that have passed since they were first conceived they have slowly evolved into an art form that actually contains other forms of art within.
The hearts and souls of so many artists are poured into them, from the writers and musicians to those that generate the visual splendor for us to lose ourselves in. All of it pure emotion that they feel for the project.
Today I’m going to talk about someone who I feel has a lot of talent. A woman whose art I believe is just a discovery away from being channeled and utilised to an even greater extent than it already is.
Today I’m going to be talking about the artist known as Aurahack.
Aurahack, real name Erica Lahaie, has a real gift. An ability to express emotion in what she draws. Her line work is great, her use of colour does something that I can only describe as emanate from her work and I find myself feeling the same emotion as she was when she created it. A rare talent even with the most gifted of artists and considering she is still so young I can only see her skills improving.
Residing in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Erica is a freelance artist that currently holds the position of Art Director at small-team independent studio Cardboard Utopia, where she is hard at work on Children Of Zodiarcs, a classic Tactical JRPG that mixes traditional tactical gameplay with the thrill of cards and dice. Just last week, the game was greenlit for Steam Greenlight, a community acceptance program for the popular PC online store. whilst also launching a Kickstarter campaign to seek funding for the game. As of this writing, their goal was $50,000 CAD and they have already managed to accrue an amazing $106,789CAD with 23 days still to go! You can follow the campaign as stretch goals are listed and reached on their Facebook page. That’s quite the week. If only I was as productive!
Erica posts her daily warmups onto her twitter profile whilst also adding them to her archive at tightenupthe.graphics, occasionally we’re treated to time-lapse videos of her creations, which truly are an amazing thing to watch. Just this week she is celebrating her 100th image upload, which, in my opinion is something to be extremely proud of for a young artist. Below you will find a time-lapse video of one of her most recent creations
Upon looking at her body of work as a whole, it’s clear to see that she has a style of her own but that doesn’t stop her from utilising different techniques whether they be those of artists that she takes inspiration from or finds interesting. The majority of her work is character based and it shows that this is where most of her experience lies, being able to portray emotion in every facial expression is a tough thing but she succeeds at this to such a degree that each piece has the ability to take me to that emotional place that she must have been at the time of it’s creation.
Erica is also a self-confessed fan of anything kawaii (lovable, cute) which is evident from taking a glance across her portfolio. She also enjoys anything that goes fast with wheels, F1 Racing and other motorsport are among some of her favorite things. Whilst characters are clearly a thing she enjoys drawing more than others, in recent times she has taken to images of a grander scale, depicting vast landscapes of varying urbanisation that would not look in any way out of place in beautiful titles such as Journey or Shadow of the Colossus.
A variety of Erica’s work is available on high quality prints on her online store, where at the time of this writing she is refreshing the inventory with some newer examples of her work and also her personal favorites from her 100 warmups. Personally I have purchased some stylised trading cards from her in the past and look forward to seeing what new prints I can get my hands on in the near future.
Thank you Aurahack, your art has the ability to bring a smile to this writer’s dreary days. You’ve clearly worked incredibly hard throughout your career to get your art to the quality that it is today, I wish you all the best with Children of Zodiarcs and look forward to seeing what you have in store for us in 2016.
Here’s to the next 100 images!