ARTIST'S COMMENTS AND DETAILS ON THE DESIGN
I created this design for this EVE Online design competition with the sole intention of trying to bring a gritty, hand-drawn image literally off the page and into the world of EVE. I wanted to steer away from using rendering programs, and create something truly unique that could stand on it's own, and leap from lead and paper to EVE game reality in a single image, all while retaining a sense of clarity, clean technical approach and simplicity. I did not want to over-complicate or over-detail something that could exist in a simple form, and yet retain enough complexity and balance to be a challenge to draw in free-hand. Also, it is my intention that I have NOT specified what faction or race, if any, this ship would belong to, as I felt that would limit my creative freedom with this design. I decided right from the start to create "My Dream Ship," exactly as the contest rules and guidelines specified. I hope you enjoy the design, and please do read on for more background into my intentions with this design, technical details, my inspiration and more.
One of my primary design intentions was to make a finished, creative and unique design while retaining a hand-drawn, rough finish to encapsulate the effect of the design coming to life by jumping, literally, into a rendered EVE backdrop, but while maintaining a sense of clarity to each schematic and each line.
Another goal of mine was to create a sense of dichotomy by pairing essentially square shapes with curves. I did this using many hard-lines and 90-degree angles to create what a few people have called "a cityscape" effect, which ultimately became the interior of the ship. I wanted to contrast that with the smooth, seemingly-effortless "winged shell" of the Archangel's front. I thought this dichotomy of curves playing off boxes and hard angles would play well, and I think it worked far better than I originally imagined.
I've also purposely left many pencil and eraser imperfections on the seven total pieces of paper after I worked the image into Photoshop for it's final touches: I felt this gave the work a nice texture and showed the energy and time it took to make the work.
About the Poem:
Also, the EVE design contest rules and suggestions stated that this is not a rendering contest, but a contest focused on: "Originality, Creative Presentation of the Task, and Technical Artistic Skill." Thus, to express that I felt this Archangel was MORE than a ship, I decided to draw the vessel literally emerging from the design paper into space for it's perspective view, and ultimately flying through the heart of a poem I wrote specifically for this design. I felt that summarizing the "character" of this type of ship into a poem encapsulated my own idea of what this ship is and what the essence of a ship named an "Archangel" should be. I felt a poem, as a simple back-drop to the image itself, helped ground the aura and magnitude the ship should have in the dark, seedy universe that is EVE. It may be the voice of the pilot or of the ship, but anyone who has played EVE understands: certain ships speak to your personality, or to a situation, and this ship needed a voice, if you will. And in EVE, ships are your character, and thus should have character themselves, not just design. In fact, I felt that bringing out the CHARACTER of this ship was one of the most important aspects of the design process. I felt the audience should be able to read a bit about it, and a brief poem, and possibly take away a bit of the dark and gritty nature that is the "Archangel" within the EVE universe. This came from my sense of truly feeling that this ship, like a person, needed character, not just textures or color. I hope I have accomplished that to some degree.
Again, the poem reads:
"I hunt in the realm of Death;
Among Demons and Darkness;
This place the Hell of Hells;
But I fear not, for I too live Here.
I feel pity for the poor Souls;
Those who are my Prey;
Death flirting each moment;
Unaware of their sure Fate.
My Wings swift and strong;
My Blade balanced and true.
For I am a mighty Archangel;
And I am Feared."
Some technical info:
I created this final design image, consisting of seven pieces of printer paper, using only a single mechanical 0.5mm pencil and my wife's small plastic ruler over more than 70 hours across a two week span of time, from original sketches to final product. I then scanned these images into Photoshop, and layered them over an EVE screenshot with a few edits to show the ship "popping" off the paper and into the game space. I do not own a draft board or many design materials. However, I have always felt that with the most basic tools, one should be able to still see their imagination realized. And so I wanted to approach this project much as if I was sketching a fresh idea on a napkin on my lunch break. Free and simple, as those are always the most fun and rewarding of drawings.
Also, I included some small text below the title name "ARCHANGEL" that describes the role of the ship (as I see it). It reads as follows:
Description: The "Archangel" is a remarkably fast battleship platform capable of well over double the speed of most other battleship-class ships, at the cost of lighter armor and shields. However, what it lacks in protection it more than makes up for in the range of it's lethal armaments, often pushing it's attack range to over 100 kilometers for the rare pilot that is skilled enough to fly her. It's attack range, coupled with it's remarkable closing speed and fearsome beauty, make it an awesome weapon, a potent ally, and a terrifying foe."
This design was originally inspired by a leaf my grandfather handed me about 20 years ago, something I still have tucked away between the pages of an old sketchbook. And although the design has become something far more than a leaf, I would like to officially dedicate this design to my Grandfather. A
After many sketches and line studies of this leaf, I drifted toward the wings of a bird, and thus saw resemblance to angel-like wings, which eventually became the basis of the ship while attempting to incorporate certain aspects of a leaf. I hope people can see that I poured my heart into this design, and not for just the contest. In fact, little had to do with the fact it was for a contest, and although it was an incredible challenge, it also came with a great sense of fulfillment.
Thanks To "Everyone":
I had a wonderful and challenging experience, and it's so wonderful to share it with all of you. Thank you. Credit goes to CCP for their always-eye-popping scenery, seen in the EVE screenshot image, and their wonderful little Eiffel Tower scale drawing that I took the liberties of roughing-up a bit. Also, to be given the opportunity to challenge myself and dive into such a wonderful competition is an amazing, incredible, wonderful thing, and so a big thanks must go out to CCP and the EVE staff, the DeviantArt.com staff for also helping to put on this contest, as well as all the other applicants (again) for all their amazing submissions. And a huge thank you to one of my great friends who helped every step of the way with plenty of support and much encouragement...Sonaku, you're awesome!
And Grand-Dad, this one's for you!