Community Spotlight: Interview with Zav
10/20/2011 1:14 AM
Welcome to the Community Spotlight. In this column we'll try to keep in touch with one of the strongest points of Guild Wars 2, its community. Artists, story tellers, even cosplayers, everyone is going to have a place here. We like what you guys create and we want to let everyone else know about it.
Our first guest will be Zav. For those who don't know him, Zav is a French artist and a long time Guild Wars player. He has written and illustrated many series of Guild Wars comics, but he also displays his creativity through artworks and videos. Although the plot of his comics mainly represents some widely known in game incidents and puns, the thing that I want to mention above all is the love he shows about his characters.
What Zav does is like getting every image that he has ever imagined drawn on a piece of paper. I mean, just look at one of his characters, Lili frog. She is like a cartoon that has its own life, its own adventures. That's why the community of Guild Wars fascinates me so much. Because of the passion and love every single one of its members shows about keeping this whole spirit alive. But enough of my chit chat, let's see what the man himself has to say.
DragonSeason: So, Zav? You are a long time Guild Wars player. What's the thing you like the most about this game?
Zav: Well, if I have to choose one, I'd say the Guild Wars community.
DragonSeason: What made you link your passion about art to Guild Wars? How did it all start?
Zav: It all started by chance. I was lurking in a video game shop and my eyes were caught by the game jacket. I read the description, and told to myself, why not. Then I was transported into the world of Tyria, and a few days later, I started drawing some little things. At that time, I was interested in web programming, so I decided to start a website. And the passion was born.
DragonSeason: How would you describe the way you use to draw? Are there any "secrets" that you would like to share with us?
Zav: I work with feelings. For example, with some of my videos, I was inspired by music. For drawings, it's the same. An idea comes with emotions, happiness or even sadness. Then it's my passion for drawing which guides me on a creation.
"Lili Frog", one of the protagonists of Zav's comics.
DragonSeason: Story telling. Can you name some of the in game incidents that have inspired the plot of one of your comics?
Zav: Let's take Lili Frog. When I got to level 20 and met a lot of people, I realized we all shared the same funny things. Like Rurik running like hell towards enemies, or some people disappearing right after a completed quest cooperation with you. That's where I said to myself I had to do something funny to tell all of this.
DragonSeason: Tell me more about Lili Frog. How did you come up with her story?
Zav: The monk quickly became my favorite profession (By the way, the first character I ever created was a blond hair monk, with the same haircut as Lili). Finally, I was deeply attached to my character. Some quick drawings of her weren't enough. So I had to create her story, what will happen in her adventures, what she would have been as a person. And that was it.
DragonSeason: What's your opinion on online gaming and building online communities? Do companies like Arenanet carry forward such ideas through their games?
Zav: I guess they have to take care of that part. I wouldn't be here without the community of Guild Wars. I can't stay on a game for so long, without having some part outside of it, like a forum or something else. That's the coolest part of online games, being able to build something in the game but also outside of it, and I think that ArenaNet has achieved this.
DragonSeason: Do you think that game communities can be productive in terms of art inception?
Zav: Absolutely. Lots of drawers have inspired me. And I hope that I've inspired lots of people, too.
"Sohothin is transferred through the ages"
One of Zav's latest creations.
DragonSeason: How important do you find the role of an artist in the design process of a video game? What's your opinion on the same subject in terms of Guild Wars 2?
Zav: Well, that's actually my job. I'm a graphist in the design of a video game. It's essential to build a universe, a visual theme of a game. I can't even describe how amazing the Art Team of Guild Wars 1 & 2 is. They are doing an incredible job in creating this whole world.
DragonSeason: My next question emphasizes more on Zav as a person. Do you have any other interests?
Zav: Well, I like to play the guitar and to juggle sometimes. I'm also very interested in 3D graphics.
DragonSeason: What would your suggestion be to our readers in terms of keeping a balance between games and real life?
My suggestion would be to keep the priorities in mind. Don't forget what a game is for.
DragonSeason: Last of all, are we going to meet you in Guild Wars 2?
Zav: Oh sure! You can count on me!
At this point. I would like to thank Zav for two reasons. First, for being kind enough to accept our invitation for this interview and second for drawing me the awesome image of a Norn that you can check out below.
(Click on the image above for a larger view)
You can check out more of Zav's art by visiting his website or you can have a look at the splendid videos he has uploaded on his official youtube channel.
Do you want to see your own work featured here? Contact us by sending an email, with your creations enclosed, to firstname.lastname@example.org.