Community Spotlight – zNiinjaaa

We’re embarking on a brief Voyage to Italy to meet another gifted Sea of Thieves artist!

Time to highlight another creative corsair of the Sea of Thieves community as we swing the Spotlight around and speak to zNiinjaaa! From stunning interpretations of Adventures to unique portraits gifted to fellow players, this pirate has been spreading joy since he first set sail. Also a keen #SoTShot participant, he was fortunate enough to get a tenth win recently, so we figured it was high time to sit down for a chat and learn more about this avid artist of the seas!

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

[A]: When we were younger, my brother and I bought an Xbox 360 to play the Halo saga. I remember our split gaming hours so both of us could play before dinner in the offline campaign mode. We spent countless hours playing videogames together, challenging each other and betting on who would have to clean the house. I was always the one who had to clean up in the end.

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

[A]: Unfortunately I didn’t know about Rare until they announced Sea of Thieves back in 2016, but as a true lover of the sea and pirates, it was love at first sight! Being able to customise your in-game experience was something I needed and I saw it as a unique concept of art.

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

[A]: As I said, Sea of Thieves instantly became my favourite game. I spent a lot of time sailing around the seas, discovering new treasures and sinking ships. Nowadays, sadly, I don’t have the time to play as much as I’d like, and I missed a few of the titles and items that came out in the last few years. But Sea of Thieves is the only game where I can escape and be at 200% of myself, it’s my virtual world and I will never get tired of it and its beautiful horizons.

Ninja is a huge fan of Sea of Thieves’ escapism and getting lost in its world.

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

[A]: When I started competing in The Arena, I had the chance to meet and get to know many people and faces from different communities all around the world. I also started to get interested in #SoTShot contests and participating in them. All of this universe, the lore and those community faces strengthened my passion in sharing my art and the portraits that I used to do for my friends just for fun – I’ve stepped up a lot since I discovered this game!

[Q]: Can you tell us what inspired your very first pieces of Sea of Thieves art?

[A]: Sadly I can't remember the very first piece of art I made, but as I mentioned above I have been inspired by the different faces and unique styles of my friends’ pirates.

[Q]: Which Sea of Thieves piece has been your favourite to work on and why?

[A]: Actually, I don’t have a single favorite piece of art, maybe I would say the cover I did for the Sea of Thieves adventure ‘Return of the Damned’ or my fan-made version of the book Heart of Fire. I chose those two works for the layout and how the characters are placed inside the canvas; all is balanced and the color palette uses contrast, the effect of the flames and smoke in the scene to create movement for those who look at the painting, the eye is never still.

Some of Ninja’s favourite pieces, reimagining the Heart of Fire and 'Return of the Damned' artwork.

[Q]: Has any piece you’ve done been particularly challenging?

[A]: I feel like every day, there is a new challenge to face. Whether in work, in life, in family, in being a pirate on those rough seas. One of the pieces with which I had the hardest time was undoubtedly the one called ‘Tribute to the Old Good Times in The Arena’. In that I mean the choice of perspectives, the colours, every single little detail of the sea, the ship, and of course viewing the whole scene in my mind before drawing it.

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

[A]: One of my biggest achievements that I would like to put in the spotlight is without a doubt placing third in the Notorious Arena League EU season 4. Starting from scratch to get to the podium in a few months was one of the most important and satisfying moments of my career. Then came my first #BeMorePirate win, achieved by capturing snakes from 8pm to 9am the next day in one run. Such a funny moment.

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

[A]: Being a day one player, I would say the update I played the most was Forsaken Shores. Also the first Festival of the Damned update in 2018 was one of my favourites because it was where I bought my precious skelly face paint.

As a true lover of pirates and Davy Jones (my obsession is at the point that I have his face tattooed on my leg), Sea of Thieves: A Pirate’s Life is also in my opinion one of the best updates ever because it gave a twist to the game that was needed at that time.

Art is one of Ninja’s biggest passions, often shown by sharing portraits of fellow pirates.

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

[A]: As I mentioned above, the podium in the NAL tournament was one of my biggest achievements. However, the opportunity I’ve had to be a part of this community by participating in high-value events and contests takes a place in my heart. In my eyes, making people happy and surprised with my art means everything.

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

[A]: My poor li’l Sloop is named ‘I'm Not Good on Sloop’ because in five years of gaming I still don’t feel very confident on it, but I always try, of course. My pirate still doesn’t have a proper identity, as with all the pirates I’ve met during the ride, I’ve had many names: Ninja, Nini, Ninya, Ninji or Gingia.

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

[A]: One of my greatest hobbies is painting, using brushes and colours while listening to music, that really makes me happy. I also really enjoy riding a bicycle – detaching from the virtual world is always important, to touch grass and focus on the little things and little pleasures, reflecting on one’s life while being in contact with nature.

From #SoTShots to artistic inspiration, there’s always another project to consider.

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

[A]: Probably the most watched clip I have is called “Nini aim”. Once upon a time, while boarding a Brigantine, I aimed and scoped on an enemy player who was directly facing me, and after a few seconds of aiming, I COMPLETELY missed the shot...

I now have a Brigantine named after that, called Nini Aim.

And with that, the tide carries us to the end of another Community Spotlight! Huge thanks to Ninja for taking the time to share some of his pieces, accomplishments and stories. We can’t help but wonder what’s next now he’s got that tenth #SoTShot win…

In the meantime, 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!