Generation8 has become a highly prominent and familiar face in the fan art community, and so we caught up with the promising artist to get her thoughts on the Sonic franchise as well as get pointers on how to be great at drawing. Fan fiction writer Nicholas D Wolfwood stars as guest interviewer for TSS; let's go!
TSS: Hey there! Nicholas D. Wolfwood filling in for The Sonic Stadium, to bring you a special interview with the awesome fan artist Generation8.
G8: Hello there!
TSS: So Gen, what can you tell us about how you discovered your talent in art?
G8: I don't think I 'discovered' it as such. I've always enjoyed drawing - I saw it as an obsessive pastime, and I still do!
TSS: That's great. How long now has drawing been a pastime of yours?
G8: About 4 years.
TSS: How did your interest in the Sonic franchise start?
G8: I'm not too sure if I kept track of that one! I guess the internet started me off... Sonic was plastered everywhere that I could imagine. So I thought I'd stop drawing horses and try Sonic!
TSS: Who (if any) are some of your idols and why?
G8: Archie Comics Sonic cover artist, Patrick Spaziante, would be No.1 on my idol list! I think he draws with a lot of thought and compassion, making it seem more than just a job. I also like the fact that he is not afraid to experiment with different styles, like me. Then there would be FRY, I like his anime style!
TSS: Looking at your art, you seem to take a lot of influence from the Sonic Adventure style, and fuse that with your own developing style. Is that right?
G8: Yes that is correct (ten points go onto the score panel)! I thought the Sonic Adventure colouring approach was cool so thought I'd try it too.
TSS: How much have you developed your own style? What were some inspirations for the awesome fan characters you’ve created?
G8: My style changes so often, I don't think I ever really developed a personal style... I'm starting to base things more on the Archie Comics now, for some reason. Inspiration for my characters? Well, Croh was inspired by Vivi from Final Fantasy IX and a scarecrow in a knitting magazine! I also sometimes get inspiration from other artists' characters, and comics/magazines.
TSS: If you don't mind me bringing my own personal work into this.... Why did you take an interest into the Sotsu fan fiction series recently? Or rather, why Sotsu over the many other great fan fics out there.
G8: I saw this coming! Probably because my personal character was going to be in it! And with all the other interesting fan fiction writers in the community, I thought it might be fun to get involved with one or two of them.
TSS: When did you begin using computers for colouring, and how long does a computer-coloured pic take compared to a hand-coloured one?
G8: The computer colouring started about 2 years ago. But this year I have used it as preference over pencil. Working on computer takes me on average between half an hour to 2 hours (Sonic Adventure style and 3D pieces take the longest time). Coloured pics used to take me about an hour as well, but my hands hurt when I colour in pencil so I usually stick to the computer.
TSS: What programs do you mostly suggest for computer colouring, and why?
G8: Paint Shop Pro 5 or 6. It is the easiest for me since I discovered the wand tool, and now I can shade without worrying about going outside of the lines. It's also simple (to me anyway) and has helpful tools.
TSS: Tell us about Generation (the character): who she is, why you chose her to represent you and how many styles/makeovers she has had during your fan art career?
G8: Gen is the third character I have used for myself, after Khristy-Lu and Flame. She was originally a female version of Sonic (scary thought) - his sister to be exact. But then I grew bored of her, and she changed. I took all of the favourite things I liked from my other characters (the top, the hair) and combined them into Gen. She's been through over 10 makeovers, because every time I draw her she changes in some way or the other! Hey, she started out Sonic blue with a red jacket and a brown plait, you know.
TSS: Tell us about some of your own favourite characters and what they mean to you.
G8: Beans is one of my favourites. She's wearing all the latest clothes, while still looking sweet! Quar I like as well, because in actual fact I dreamed him up (literally). He's different and unique, like Croh is!
TSS: Can you tell us anything about the recent echidna namesake in the community known as Dametheus? As in, that guy named after one of your characters, who asked for pics to be made of his character?
G8: Dametheus? I'm writing a story about him right now! Well, I don't know about that one, I'm sure the guy knew about (my character) Dametheus, and was hoping I wouldn't find out he used the name! But, I'm happy to let him have Dametheus, as long as he asks.
TSS: It seems you have lots of fans, ranging from the people I force to your art page to me (the mighty fanatic himself). And now it's led to this interview. What do you look forward to in your future? And, you said you were writing; can you tell us about any of your written works?
G8: I look forward to making more people happy through my drawings! I also want to develop a style I can call my own, and keep improving. I've only written four Sonic-based stories. The first one took place after Sonic Adventure, where Chaos comes back for the final time. The second was about my character, and how she met Sonic and the Freedom Fighters. The third was a remake of the previous story, updated with a little of my character's history thrown in. And the fourth... that's in the works. ^_^
TSS: That's all the time we have. Thanks a lot Gen for taking the time to do this. Be sure to check out Generation 8's awesome art, everyone. Gen, any last words before we end this?
G8: Sure! A big 'thank you' - to you and all of the other people who I've made happy by my drawings. That's all I aim for, to make people happy.