Community Spotlight – Cap’n Axe

Swing by and meet this loot-stacking seafarer with a love for all things artistic!

In this latest instalment of our long-running series, it’s time to shine the Spotlight on another of our wonderful community art contributors. From huge loot art projects and creative #SoTShot submissions to branching out into digital art and learning new skills, there was plenty of ground to cover when we caught up with Cap’n Axe

[Q]: Can you tell us a little about what got you into gaming?

[A]: I’ve been playing video games with my twin brother for as long as I can remember. We had an NES, every Game Boy, N64 and more. We even had a 3DO, which nobody has ever heard of. Having somebody to play video games with was a big part of the appeal. My twin and I didn’t have a lot in common, but we had video games.

[Q]: Were you a Rare fan before Sea of Thieves? Do you have any favourite Rare games?

[A]: I played all the Donkey Kong Country games on the SNES, but I really fell in love with Rare when my siblings and I would play Diddy Kong Racing, the far superior kart game, on N64 for hours! There was also GoldenEye, Conker’s Bad Fur Day and Donkey Kong 64. My favorite as a kid though was Banjo-Kazooie. A lot of my favorite games as a kid were made by Rare, so the company definitely has a special place in my heart.

[Q]: What other games are you currently playing? Any favourites?

[A]: I love to explore and design in games. I fell hard for Animal Crossing during the pandemic and that’s actually the game that got me into streaming, originally on Facebook Gaming and now on Twitch. At this moment in time, I’m getting my cozy game fix from Paleo Pines. The game franchise I’ve probably played the longest though is Pokémon. Which, strangely enough, is why I’m currently obsessed with Palworld!

[Q]: What brought you over to Sea of Thieves and its community?

[A]: When I was streaming Animal Crossing I had created this brand around pirates because my island was pirate themed. Well, you can imagine that being called Cap’n Axe and not playing the best pirate game on the market was super confusing to people.

But PC gaming was relatively foreign to me. I had never played keyboard and mouse games, so I was very hesitant. A friend bought it for me and it still took me over six months before I played it. Once I did I was hooked, figuratively and literally. I think loot art is really where I got my foot in the door with the community, but the friendships I’ve made are invaluable.

You’ve got to go big to make a splash with loot art, like this anniversary shout-out!

[Q]: You caught our eye with those impressive loot art displays – what's the biggest you’ve done and how long did it take?

[A]: For Sea of Thieves’ four-year anniversary I created a massive Reaper’s Mark out of only skulls at The Reaper’s Hideout. We used over 1000 pieces of loot and it took us 26 hours. I think there is a lot of PTSD from how loud the skull hissing got. That loot art was a labor of love for sure, because the blur made by the skulls made it almost impossible to design. We also had to constantly juggle the loot to prevent it from despawning because this one took so long.

[Q]: Since then, you've gone on to experiment with digital art, learning new skills and styles – what's been your biggest challenge and biggest success?

[A]: I think the biggest challenge with digital art has been impostor syndrome. Many people don’t know that I actually have a BFA from Academy of Art University. I’ve been doing graphic design and I did production design for film professionally for a long time, but drawing people was always a challenge for me. I don’t consider myself an illustrator. There are some insanely talented illustrators in the community. I’m not one of them. I’m a designer. I take existing materials as reference and recreate them in new and stylized ways.

Each of my pieces has over 100 layers of different lines, colors, textures and blending. It takes a lot of work, but I love doing it. I use Procreate on my iPad Pro for all my art now. My biggest success was the rainbow color wheel I created using different Sea of Thieves NPCs. It was a lot of fun to get input from the community about who they wanted to see on the wheel as it continued to be created, color by color.

Cap’n Axe confidently captures a colourful cast of characters.

[Q]: Out of all your creations, which one has been your favourite and why?

[A]: My favorite creation has to be the rainbow Reaper’s Mark loot art that I made with the help of some really great friends during Gay Pride Month in 2022. This was the second time I made the Reaper’s Mark and I was a lot more confident in the design, plus no blurry hissing skulls! We did it live on stream and raised money for The Trevor Project. Having my friends there and the community rallying with us was incredibly exciting. Then, as an added bonus, we won #SoTShot with it a year later!

[Q]: Thinking back, are there any standout moments for you in Sea of Thieves since you started playing?

[A]: Honestly, there are probably too many to mention, but I’ll try to keep it brief. Getting awarded the Hat of Unfeasibly Glorious Fame live on stream during Community Day, being raided by The Orb on my three-month anniversary of playing the game and getting featured on SoT TV multiple times have to be standout moments. You just don’t even imagine things like that happening.

But I live for the goofy, fun, spontaneous moments I have just sailing with my friends. Honey, Sandra, Krissy and Missy are incredible crewmates, moderators and friends. They’re also far better pirates than I am.

[Q]: What are your favourite recent additions to Sea of Thieves?

[A]: Tall Tales have always been a favorite of mine and The Legend of Monkey Island Tall Tales were no exception. The team knocked it out of the park with Season 11 though! All the new quality of life updates, new loot items etc. have brought a lot of excitement back to the seas for me and my crew.

A treasured team effort with an inclusive message. The sea calls to us all!

[Q]: What are your greatest achievements in a game, Sea of Thieves or otherwise?

[A]: Me and my crew had to grind very hard for the Legendary Hunter of the Sea of Thieves Title. That was a long month and a half of fishing.

[Q]: If you had to choose a pirate and ship name, what would they be?

[A]: I really love to name my ships with puns using my pirate’s name. Happy Little Axe’ident is probably my favorite. I never had a nickname growing up. When my nephew started talking he couldn’t say my name correctly at first and called me ‘Uncle Axe’. I fell in love with the nickname and have adopted Axe ever since. So, Cap’n Axe it is.

[Q]: What kind of other hobbies do you enjoy outside of gaming?

[A]: I collect Funko Pops. I had over 1500, but I sold about 600 of them recently. I mostly collect Disney, Star Wars and Marvel characters. I might need to add some more to the collection if we ever get Sea of Thieves Funko Pops.

I also love spending time with my nieces and nephews. Being an uncle is one of my favorite things and I’m lucky I get to spend so much time with them. I love to travel as well. Pre-pandemic I was a professional speaker and would travel to two or three conferences a month to speak. I’m hoping to get back into that soon. Maybe even go to SoTFest next year!

Admire the sunset and water effects as Cap’n Axe tries out some real-world sailing.

[Q]: Share a fun fact about yourself. Anything is fair game!

[A]: I once worked on an Oscar-nominated film. I was in the art department on Milk starring Sean Penn.

I don’t know if this would qualify as a ‘fun fact’, but my friends would never forgive me if I neglected to mention my hatred for mint. The things we do for our friends.

Thank you so much to Cap’n Axe for taking the time to talk to us for this latest Spotlight! We’ll be watching to check out whatever design challenge is up next, and we know it won’t disappoint.

If you can’t wait to hear more from our community, you can check out our previous Community, Creator and Legend Spotlights. Or to see what else our players have been up to and some of the wonderful creations they’ve been making recently, head over to our Community Hub. Until next time!