Community Spotlight - Fenrier

The Spotlight falls on some fantastic fan art as we catch up with the creative Fenrier!

This week we’re celebrating another talented artist with a Sea of Thieves speciality: Fenrier, who you may know from some of her channels as Dark Gryphon! With a unique style that often combines established Sea of Thieves canon with her own creations, she’s well and truly made her mark within our game’s colourful community.

Fenrier, the floor is yours!

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

[A]: I don’t remember what or when it was exactly, but I started out on the original NES and Atari with games like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Balloon Fight, Joust and many others! Growing up, there was always some system around to tinker with. For online games I played EverQuest, City of Heroes, Final Fantasy XI, World of Warcraft, plus some others I briefly tinkered with. Both my husband and I are gamers, so it’s something we share and enjoy!

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

[A]: I’m a new Rare fan, although I did play all the way through Kameo: Elements of Power, and I loved it! I am super excited to find out more about Everwild. I am completely enchanted by the style of it!

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

[A]: At the moment I’m mostly playing Sea of Thieves, World of Warcraft, Monster Hunter World, Pokémon Sword, Overwatch and Hearthstone, and I tinker with a bunch of others. Sea of Thieves is by far my favorite! I have so much fun puttering around. There really is a sense of freedom and adventure in the game that is totally unique!

Fenrier presents the tools of her trade.

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

[A]: I actually didn’t even find out about Sea of Thieves till I got an item in one of the last Loot Crate boxes I bought. I always had a great love for the old swashbuckler pirate movies, so it really caught my attention. At first, I was a little worried about how I would do with the open world PvP and the voice chat, given that I’m horrible at PvP and pretty shy in general. I think it wasn’t until The Hungering Deep event that I even turned my mic on to talk to people. After that I really came out of my shell and made some amazing friends. We now get into all sorts of trouble and shenanigans, in Sea of Thieves and many other games!

[Q]: How did your career as an artist begin?

[A]: As long as I can remember, drawing has been a thing for me. Originally, I was aiming to go into graphic design, but that didn’t work out. Knowing what I do now, I think I would have loved to become an artist for games. These days it’s more of a hobby then a career. I draw for the fun and love of it!

[Q]: How do you decide what your next piece of artwork is going to be?

[A]: Unless there is a specific request or idea I’m working on, pretty much whatever catches my fancy at the time. Sometimes I will even write quick notes or doodle an idea out while we sail around.

[Q]: Talk us through your technique for pulling together a piece of artwork from concept to completion!

[A]: It really depends on the medium I am working with at the time. Sometimes I like to switch it up and go with more traditional materials, such as pencil or markers. But the majority of the time I’m using the iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil. The program/app I mainly use is called Procreate, which I highly recommend for anyone thinking about creating art on the iPad.

Once that’s chosen, I sketch out a rough image. It doesn’t have to be perfect! Just need an idea of layout and what’s going on in the piece. From there it’s a lot of tinkering. Depending on the complexity and whether or not it’s a colored piece this can take anywhere between one hour to several. A lot of times I have to stop myself or I will tinker with a piece forever. Once I get to a good stopping point I will either take a photo if it’s on paper, or just take the image directly into Instagram, adjust any levels/filters I might feel the image needs, then make the rounds of posting!

[Q]: Out of everything you’ve drawn so far, what was the most challenging?

[A]: Hmm... that’s a tough one. I think the fan art item sets I attempted for SoT! I did one for the Wailing Barnacle (before the official version was out) and one based on The Hungering Deep Megalodon. I learned so much from doing those, and it was a lot of fun!

Just a sample of Fenrier's illustrious ensemble of Sea of Thieves artwork!

[Q]: And are there any pieces of artwork you’ve done that stood out as particularly good fun to create?

[A]: I really love doing random figurehead and chest designs! As I’m sure people have noticed. Doing crossovers with characters/themes from other games or stories for the figureheads is really fun to tinker with. I think my favorite series of them, so far, were the Dragon aspects from World of Warcraft. For the chests, I think my favorite is the crab-based one that scuttles around.

[Q]: Do you have any aspirations for where you want to take your talents over the coming months and years?

[A]: For art skills, there is always room for improvement and learning! I don’t think I will ever stop at that. For now, I’m just enjoying myself. There are a couple of goals I have this year. For example, finally getting around to submitting shirt designs!

[Q]: You do a great job of getting your work out there on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram – any advice for other artists in the community?

[A]: Thank you so much for saying so! My advice would be to find a schedule for posting that you can handle. When I first started attempting daily artwork a couple years ago, I made the mistake of trying to force it every single day. Mistakes were made and the burnout was real. This past year, I ended up keeping it strictly Monday-Friday postings, and taking Saturday and Sunday off. I still end up missing some days due to art block or life in general. Which works out just fine for me. The key thing is to find the pace that works for you.

Also, I would recommend having the same username across all your galleries, and to even use the same icon/avatar if possible. Make sure to choose and tag your main account, be it Twitter or Instagram, in some way on your artwork.  It makes it easier for people to find you when artwork gets passed around online. Linking back doesn’t always happen.

A force to be reckoned with, both in piracy and the art of the pen.

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

[A]: So many to choose from! I think my all-time favorite was when my crew mate harpooned a passing Meg that was apparently intent on attacking a Galleon nearby. We ended up being dragged in a circle around the Galleon. It was so much fun, we could barely hold on from laughing so hard.

[Q]: What are your favourite additions to Sea of Thieves over the past year?

[A]: I love all the updates dearly! The harpoon and firebombs are an endless source of amusement and chaos with my crew. Sometimes I feel the Rowboats are a fourth ship choice for as often I’m in them making my getaway, or just puttering. A perfectly timed emote can really add a lot to a scene, story or conversation. The pets are adorable and I find everyone has a tendency to talk to them all the time. The Tall Tales are excellent, I adore puzzles and the stories they bring. Just to name a few. I can’t wait for what’s next!

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

[A]: My collections in games! My collector’s soul drives me to collect pets, mounts and cosmetics in games. I don’t care about rarity so much as just completing sets or achievements! For Sea of Thieves, making Pirate Legend was definitely a favorite. Such a sense of accomplishment!

Fenrier has also taken to coming up with her own Sea of Thieves items. These blue us away...

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

[A]: Oh boy, that’s tough, I’m horrible at naming things. When I create characters in games it takes me hours! Hmmm... of course Fenrier would be my name! The ship would be ‘The Kraken’s Feast’, the crew would be ‘The Lost Shinies’.

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

[A]: Art, anime, reading, movies, shows and hanging out with hubby!

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

[A]: In real life, you will never catch me swimming in the sea. I am absolutely terrified of sharks!

And with that, the sun sets on another Community Spotlight. Thanks to Fenrier for chatting to us, and keep up the good work – we have an inkling that there’s plenty more great art on the horizon and we can’t wait to see where you take it next!

There are plenty of previous Community Spotlights to comb through while you wait for the next one, and if this taster of Fenrier’s artwork caught your eye, you can check out more from her on Instagram or Twitter.
Until next time!