“Overwatch is the optimism in a conflicting time”- Carol Azevedo

Overwatch has taken a lot of the world by storm. It is hard to imagine that a game released in May of 2016 could have developed such a rich, large, and vibrant community in that short a time. In about a year and a half Overwatch has risen to E-Sport Status with the World Cup happening just recently. This is followed by the international and sponsored Overwatch League (OWL) being set up and launched before Overwatch’s second birthday, in January 2018.

Part of the vibrant community that has formed around Overwatch is the devoted and talented fan artist base. We at Omnic Post were lucky enough to interview one such talented and impressive artist, Carol Azevedo.

Get to know the artist!

Carol Azevedo is a Brazilian concept artist and illustrator. She wanted to work with games for a while before starting university, but sadly she didn’t have a Game Art course. Azevedo then instead ended up going for Graphic Design which she sees as “the next best thing”. Luckily Azevedo was able to study Game Art abroad for a year in the United Kingdom. During this time she really managed to get into the industry and meet friends with the same interests. Having finally been able to obtain the opportunity to study in the field she always wanted, Game Art, she realized then she also had a real shot at working with games.

Which media do you prefer and who are some artists you look up to?

I (Azevedo) use the digital medium because it’s more convenient, especially when working on concepts. I’ve been doing digital art ever since I could get my hands on a cheap tablet when I was still in high school. I still do traditional work, but it’s mostly studies and sketches to support my digital work.

There are a lot of artists that have served as an inspiration for me. So, it’s really hard for me to trim down. Yoshitaka Amano was the guy that made me realize you can work as a concept artist and I hold his work dearly to my heart. Some masters who inspire me are: J.C. Leyendecker, Norman Rockwell, John Singer Sargent. And recently the works of people in the industry that I like are from Jeff Simpson, Matt Rhodes, Beth Hobbs, Claire Hummel. So hard to pick only a few!

What drew you to Overwatch and inspires you from it?

What drew me to Overwatch is the optimism in a conflicting time. The concept that anyone can be a hero. The characters are all amazing and I love when I discover more things about them. It’s been happening a lot more now that I’m researching each character individually to make fan skins. It’s very hard to narrow down what characters I like because I feel that each has their own appeal. Lúcio is right up there though, Zenyatta and Orisa too. I have a soft spot for the omnics.

I guess it is pretty relatable to current world affairs. So, in this case, it’s also nice to be inspired by that kind of optimism, and try to apply it to everyday life. It is certainly what drew me to the game.

In your Overwatch art, you tie the characters strongly back to their origins. You also showcase your entire design process as well.

The referencing to their origins is very deliberate. It started with an idea for an Orisa fanskin I had in mind. I talked to a friend about that idea and how she didn’t seem to have a skin referencing African culture more strongly. I felt very encouraged by our talk and started to eagerly gather references and work on the design. I have a lot of love for research, so I had no problem immersing myself in it. I gathered a lot of inspiration from figurines and pottery especially, since the theme I was going for is a guardian of the gods. An old machine powered by a mysterious ancient technology. I kind of went all in with that one, hahaha! I was very inspired.

I thought it was important to show the process. I’ve always liked to see how concept artists came up with their ideas and what road they traveled by to get to the end result. It might be useful to my fellow artists out there, and a neat little bonus for everyone.

Are you thinking about continuing this theme for other characters and if so who are you thinking about doing next?

I am! Actually, I’ve started on a Reaper skin that I’m very excited about. I posted one work in progress picture on my Instagram recently. I’m always posting WIPs there if anyone’s interested in that kind of stuff. I don’t have a plan to stop doing these anytime soon. Even when I’m still working on my current piece my mind wanders off to the next one. They’re quite addictive and lots of fun to do.

We are looking forward to seeing more of Carol’s work! Check out her work on her Art Station page or her Instagram account.