When Marc and I started talking about art for Eden, we decided to make the animals central. Your character’s favorite animal is perhaps the most important choice you make in the game, so it was natural that they be the focus of the art.
Here’s a glimpse of the art that will be appearing in the game!
Polar bears have been my favorite animal from the moment my parents gave me a stuffed polar bear whom I very cleverly named Bearie (somehow short for blueberry. My first pun!). Nowadays polar bears fill me with happiness, but also with a sense of loss. Loss of childhood and loss of the animals themselves. I liked this composition with two bears under a strange sky, which I wanted to feel like a time-lapse of the stars under an aurora.
After I played a game in which someone’s favorite animal was the chameleon, I really had no choice but to include this little guy in the book. Hide! Blend in! Always look around you for cues how to look and behave! I feel like humans have a lot in common with chameleons. In this picture he has so much color and beauty, but still he’s trying to stay unseen.
I used to have an awesome t-shirt with otters on it from the Monterey Bay aquarium. It seriously ruled, and I’m sorry that I don’t still have it. In recent months I’ve been a bit obsessed with seeing a wild otter (I <3 Washington!), but I haven’t had any luck yet. Otters are social but shy. I wanted to show that dynamic by having two otters in the piece, looking at you like you don’t belong. You aren’t an otter, why are you intruding?
This one is Marc’s favorite! When you choose your favorite animal in the game you decide if there’s one or many of that animal. Both are interesting choices, but when there’s only one of an animal it sometimes makes me feel like it must be lonely. We played a game of Eden where there was a single falcon. It was wise and fierce and loyal, but ended up being left behind by its human companion. Once a character leaves the garden, they can’t return. I like to think this falcon is thinking about its missing human.
When Marc first started developing Eden, there was an animal that was always in the garden: the serpent. He offered the humans of the garden temptations to do wrong. Over time, Marc realized that having the serpent trick people into wrongdoing was much less interesting than people making mistakes on their own. So the serpent was nixed from the rules. That doesn’t mean that your favorite animal can’t be a snake though. Here we see a human who just got in a fight with her friend. The serpent is helping her calm down after a good cry, telling her that she should have never trusted another human—they’re all treacherous.
As one of the reward levels on the Eden Kickstarter, some lucky backers are going to get an original print of an animal of their choice. Here’s a peek into what the process looks like.
I stared by choosing several animals that I was interested in, then coming up with compositions for them on paper. Then I transferred the images to lino-blocks using a matte medium. You have to use specific ink to make this work, and the stuff that Kinkos prints on was perfect. Once the paper dries, you can remove the paper pulp while leaving the ink by using a little water and some patient friction (my new band name). Then 3 hours and a sore wrist later and you have a printing block!
When I got the images totally carved, I used an oil-based ink to create the print on a luxuriously soft archival paper. Once the ink dried (about 24 hours) I was able to use watercolors to add color. There was a lot of trial and error with inks and paints, but I ended up very satisfied with the results. Despite being a lot of work, I’m really looking forward to doing a few more pieces!
Posted by Caroline