Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2

Diego Gisbert Llorens worked for six years on Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 1 & 2 as well as Castlevania LoS Mirrors of Fate, he is an freelancing artist from Spain and responsible for a lot of the character and enemy designs in the game as well as the landscape and background art.

Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2 developed by Mercury Steam will be released later in 2013 for the Playstation 3 and the XB360 to continue the story of Gabriel Belmont who becomes Dracula and has to deal with the Belmont clan of vampire hunters.

 

Currently we on Game Art HQ are having an art tribute to the Castlevania Series which you can see here

Castlevania Art Tribute Logo

 

Diego Gisbert Llorens

Diego Gisbert Llorens

Hello Diego, can you introduce yourself a bit and tell us about your career in the visual art industry please :-)

Hello, thank for your interest about this humble digital painter. I´m 32, born in the mountains of Alcoy (Spain), and I have always been painting. Always, since I can remember. After finishing my fine art studies in Valencia, I spent one year looking for a job and trying to get into the industry somehow, until I finally got hired by Mercury Steam Entertainment.

How did you come in touch with the video game industry as a freelancing artist?

I sent thousands of e-mails, literally. A few responses were given, most of them negative, as I was too fresh and inexperienced. That was the hardest time I can remember during my professional life, balanced by how cool it was when I got THAT phone call for a job interview in Madrid.

You worked for years now with Mercury Steam on the quite epic Castlevania Lords of Shadow games as character concept artist, how was it for you to be part of a team which continued and partially re-invented the over 25 year old Castlevania franchise?

Not only characters, everybody was working on everything inside our art team! Some tasks were more often given to someone because of his particular skills, but most of the time we just did what was required in that particular moment, being it characters, environments, props, or storyboards. Working in such a project was cool, because we had creative freedom to re-vamp the old designs, but also 25 years of reference information to inspire us. Challenging and fun.

 

Castlevania LOS Concept Art

Early Lords of Shadow Concept Art

Castlevania LOS Elite Vampire

Elite Vampire Concept Art

Can you say us anything about Alucard in Castlevania LoS2? 

Not really, as I´m not even part of Mercury Steam anymore. He has an important role in the history, of course, and you´ll probably love it.

Did you play any of the older Castlevania games before, or to see what the story and characters are about in this big fictional Universe about Vampires, Monsters like Golems, Mummies and the Belmont family?

Of course! I played the original Vampire Killer, the start of the saga, and spent hours playing Super Castlevania IV in my shiny SNes back in the days.

What is your favourite Castlevania of the older ones?

My experience is limited in that sense. Most people seems to love Symphony of the Night, but I never played, so my vote goes to Super Castlevania IV.

Would you like to be onboard the development team if a third Castlevania LoS game would be made?

Erh..No. I mean, the projects are great, but I already worked in three of the titles (Lords of Shadow 1 & 2 and Mirror of Fate), so I´ve got my share of vampires and I´d rather like some other universe.

If you could work on a video game project of your choice what would it be?

Universes like those of Mass Effect, Elder Scrolls or Warhammer 40K are really inspiring. I´d love to explore them or some other totally new world, being able to give character from scratch.

Super Castlevania IV
Space Marine by DiegoGisbertLlorens Fantasy Art is your main thing judging from your portfolio (I think). How do you develop the quite detailed looks for characters like those Elite Vampires in the first Castlevania Lords of Shadow?

As any other concept artist out there, you try out several ideas until you hit the nail. Afterwards, it´s just a matter of taste and skill, looking for the right references and knowing what do you want to say with a design.

You are working since years now as a freelancing artist, can you give young artists any hints how to be successful in the visual art industry and also stay successful?

Be aware that things take some time before you start getting results, so never despair. Work on your skills, take a look to what other artists do, how do they show their work, which clients are they working with. Know what you want to do, because the industry is huge and there´s a niche for everything, and you must waste no effort.

The internet is a priceless source of information and references, and also helps to know more or less your level amongst the professional collective. If you are a newcomer, you´ll probably go for the big names which everybody knows (and everybody applies to, like Blizzard) and, unless you´re particulary tallented, will probably ignore your request.

Do some research, there are many studios out there, and your probably fits in at least one of them. That would be a perfect chance to polish your skills and develop as a professional.

Was it more difficult for you in the recent time because the economic situation?

Mmmh…To be fair, the only nuisance I feel is that I mostly get paid in USD, which is currently lesser than the Euro; other than that I really do not feel the crisis much.

 

What are your favourite video games and video game characters (and why?)

You promise not to laugh? I LOVE Super Mario Kart, and still play it with my friends a lot. About characters, probably Snake from MGS series is one of the coolest characters ever.

 

You have an own website since years, and you are active on DeviantART and Facebook. Would you say these social media communities helped you gaining clients?

Sure. Having a good online portfolio is essential. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just simple, good looking, easy to see. The average art director doens´t have more than a few minutes to check out your work, so you better make it easy for him. A golden rule about portfolios: your portfolio is as good as the worst work in it, so be careful with what you show.

About FB and DA, I´ve got some clients from them, yes, but very few. I guess I´m not that famous or that I do not proèrly promote my work much.

 

Were they useful to see the art of others, and getting inspiration through others as well maybe?

Of course, specially FB. I follow dozens of other artists, and I love the occasional chat with this artist or the other.

 

 I saw that you are not watermarking a lot of your artworks, there is not even a signature sometimes.

This is something i see rarely since many artists dislike that their work might be used by others without any form of credit for them. It can also raise the chance that people use your art and pretend they made it. Does this not concern you, what is your stance on watermarks and copyright stuff like that?

I always laugh when I see a watermark. It usually ruins the image, so it actually works against the artist, IMHO. You´re right about the fact that I should develop a personal signature and use it in my works, but it´s something I’ve never done.

The whole picture is my signature, it has my personality all over it, and if someone wants to use it without crediting me…Well, that sucks, but I prefer to trust people than to jealously protect my works. Besides, most of my works belong to big companies like Fantasy Flight Games or Konami, and it´s their lawyers people should be afraid of, not me ;D

 

Thanks a lot for the Interview Diego!

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The one and only! Plays video games since 1987, loves video game related art and is responsible for Game-Art-HQ. Among his favourite games are Tekken, Tetris and Twisted Metal 2. You can contact me about any not working links etc. via Twitter, Facebook or directly via a comment here