Overwatch is full of weird and wonderful characters and heroes: Omnics, outlaws, criminals, animal scientists. With all the mechanized warfare going on, it’s a welcome sight to see Faebelina bringing nature back into the world of Overwatch. I managed to catch up with Faebelina to try and shed some more light on her wonderful creations.
Firstly, it’s wonderful to have you on board for this spotlight, could you let our audience know a little more about yourself?
I’m really honored to get to do this! My name is Whitley but most people know me as Faebelina. I create a lot of digital art in Photoshop but recently I’ve been branching out into more traditional art as well. I’ve been drawing every day for a little over two years now, usually somewhere around 2-8 hours a day.
What inspires you to create your artwork, especially since you’ve recently embarked on #FillAPageFebruary on your Twitter?
I’m really inspired by video games and old fairy tales. It’s a weird mix, but it sums up pretty much what sparks my ideas, haha! The Fill A Page February challenge has been one of the most fun art challenges I’ve ever tried. I’ve organized some art challenges in the past but this time it’s been fun to just be a participant and see what I come up with each day. Most of my pages have been video game related, there’s quite a bit of Overwatch and Warcraft especially. When it comes to my Overwatch faeries, a lot of the inspiration comes from Cicely Mary Barker’s faerie works I loved as a child, Fern Gully (of course), and relatively recent movies like the Tinkerbell series and Epic.
After following your work for some time now, it’s clear that you like to create your own versions of our beloved Overwatch heroes. As for the game itself, are you a big fan and player?
Saying I’m a huge Overwatch fan would be an understatement. I’ve been playing it since the alpha and loving every minute. I’ve played it SO much that I’ve been taking a bit of a break, but don’t let that fool you, I’m just letting my ultimate recharge. I really enjoy playing with different people and having a good time. The game is so beautiful and fun!
I would be remiss if I didn’t ask, who is your favourite character from the game?
This is totally unfair! I can’t pick. Originally I was all Mercy all the time, but now I rotate between a few favorites. I like to get really good at one character and then move on to a new favorite haha.
One of the most interesting takes on your Overwatch designs, is the transformation of agent to faerie. What was the inspiration or thought process behind this?
When I plan a faerie design, I start by looking at the core of what each character’s presence is. For instance, Widowmaker’s design is based off of nightshade because it’s a deadly but beautiful plant. Genji has a lot of armor in-game so I wanted to keep that theme by giving him bug-like plating. He also has thorns to represent the sharpness of his shurikens and his blades and a broken wing from his fight with Hanzo. I gave Junkrat wasp wings to make him look a bit more sinister, and they’re singed from his many explosive experiments! Some characters borrow more heavily from their original designs (Like Reaper and 76), but for the most part I really enjoy giving them something really different. As for why faeries? It was really just because I enjoyed making the skin for Mercy so much that I wanted to see what would happen with all the other characters.
Some of your faerie pieces, especially Mercy and Pharah, look like they could be readily implemented to the skin rosters. Do you ever consider what it would be like to have that happen?
I get asked about this quite a lot! Mercy and Pharah make sense because they fly and their model already supports winged looks. It would be AMAZING if it were to happen, but I don’t think it can. At least for the characters outside of Mercy and Pharah. They would have to create wings on each character’s model which is a feat on it’s own, but then you have issues like their hitboxes… I think it would be a lot of hassle for the artists, haha.
What would you like to see for the future of the game, from a personal and artistic perspective?
It’s hard to ask for more from a game that’s so vibrant and full of drool-worthy art already! But I could always take more skins, there’s never enough. I think personally I’d like to see more about Athena, maybe even as a character.
Of course, thank you for the pleasure of being able to chat to you, is there anything you’d like to add that we haven’t mentioned, or any advice you may have for people in the art community?
Anytime! If I could say anything to the art community, it’s to keep creating. The way art brings people together and expands upon these awesome worlds and characters we love is really something special. It’s a privilege to be a part of it!