Recently I’ve been scouring the internet for the coolest things I can find to bring to you. I came across something amazing.
This amazing art caught my eye. Such color and beauty, I had to track down who created it. I came across 8bit Aesthetics, a group that makes custom art for gamers. I reached out to one of the artists, Jacklyn Kirk.
She was the artist for the image that caught my attention so as you can imagine, I had to ask some questions.
Before the Q&A lets share some Social Media and some more ART!
Check out Jacklyn on Social Media!
Clothes and other accessories: www.society6.com/Jacklynkirk
Enjoy the interview!
What is your job like?
o A typical day?
Jacklyn: On a typical work day for me, the first thing I do is get my morning coffee, and head straight to work. Depending on the current number of Gameboys I have to work on, I usually start by prepping the requested Gameboys with their colored base designs. Whether its a simple color gradient or stripes. If I have more than one that needs to be worked on, I will continue to work back and forth between them throughout the day during drying periods, so that each coat of paint gets the proper amount of drying time while still being efficient time wise. In a normal work day, between the times of 8am and 5pm, I can complete at least 2 different Gameboys, sometimes it can take longer depending on the complexity of the design. I don’t always have a full list of Gameboys to work on to fill my work day, and if that’s the case, I spend the rest of the day working on whatever digital piece I currently have on the go.
Why did this type of work interest you and how did you get started?
Jacklyn: I’ve always had an interest in trying new art styles and seeing how far I can push myself. Art and gaming are both my greatest passions, so to be able to combine the two and do it everyday is really rewarding for me. I started off with custom Gameboys when I actually came across another YouTuber who had customized his Gameboy with an awesome Charizard design. When I saw that I was immediately determined to try it on my own! My original Gameboy was my first test piece and I gave it a vibrant Legend of Zelda Paint job, when I shared it on Social media, it kind of exploded being shared by popular pages like ZeldaInformer. I decided to expand my base to Instagram and found another custom console artist by the name of KikiStardust whose work I really admired. I saw by her posts that she was actually making and selling them on a regular basis! I thought, how cool would it be to make a job out of this when you enjoy doing it so much. So I got in touch with her to ask her a little bit about how she got to making a job out of it. She told me about this guy who is the founder of 8bitAesthetics that saw her work, and asked her if she’d be interested in working with him, I thought that was so cool and she told me he does take on other artists, so I got his contact info from her, showed him my work and now I do all my Gameboys through 8bitAesthetics.
Do you have an artist who inspired you?
Jacklyn: In general, there are so many artists that inspire me. So many that I aspire to be. Every time I pick up a controller and experience the beautiful worlds that were so carefully put together for our enjoyment, I think of how I want to be apart of that some day. To refine my skills mainly as a digital artist and work at one of my favorite gaming companies is my dream. There are many artist’s I’ve come across on social media as well that have inspired me in so many ways. One of them being D.M.Cumbo. A former artist for Insomniac, now working to write and illustrate his own children’s book. His work is absolutely stunning and never ceases to awe and inspire me. He is incredibly humble and always willing to lend advice to eager artists. People like him inspire me everyday. To try new things, and work harder towards my goal.
Are you optimistic about 8bit’s future and your future with it?
Jacklyn: I look forward to continuing to work with 8bit for a long time. Chris is so friendly and professional as an employer, he always makes an effort to maintain contact with us as artists. I don’t expect working with 8bit to be my full time career but I do plan on continuing it for a while! He understands the struggles of an artist working hard to try and make their way in the industry and its not always easy! He makes an effort to try and throw some work our way which is always helpful! Over all I can say I am happy with how things are going with 8bitAesthetics and I look forward to doing even more work with them!
What interests you least about the job or creates the most stress?
Jacklyn: There is little to no stress when it comes to this job! That’s one of the things I love about! The only time I stress is when I am trying to make sure I can get things sent out in time so they arrive to him at a reasonable time! It’s one of the downfalls of not living in the same country that your employer does, your time frame for getting things done and sent out at a reasonable time is somewhat shorter then it would be if you lived in the same area! But its very minimal, I love it all regardless!
Do you have any special words of encouragement or warning as a result of
Jacklyn: As an artist who herself is still constantly working to grow and expand her skills even more to get to where she needs to be, I highly encourage people to make an effort to reach out to those that inspire them. Some people can be hesitant of doing this because they don’t want to be bothersome, but most professional artists are incredibly humble and welcome fellow artists that are looking for advice. Of course with that comes respect for the fact that they mat be busy and not be able to reply right away, but don’t let it discourage you. A lot of popular artists frequently host live streams as well where they walk through their process as well as provide tips and tricks, this is another great way to connect and learn from the people you look up to! And if you don’t think reaching your favorite artist is do able, Youtube tutorials are also amazing for learning new things. I’ve turned to YouTube so many times and it’s helped in many ways. Overall, I encourage artists not to be afraid to ask questions. People respond to that eagerness to learn and in turn can be more rewarding for you!
Do you have a favorite project that you have done?
Jacklyn: I do a lot for both my digital art and console art. For my console art, I’d have to say my most favorite piece is actually a piece I did for myself. I did a custom paint job of Tomba 2: the Evil Swine Return on my original Playstation 1. It is my favorite because Tomba 2 is the game I played that got me so hooked and entranced with the world of gaming. I was so blown away with the art style in the game and complexity of everything. I would play it hours on end. For my digital work, my favorite piece is probably a piece I did recently. It’s fan art I did of The Mystic from Rare’s Kameo: Elements of Power. The game was a launch title for the 360 and in my opinion, is highly underrated, the game itself is beautiful from it’s stunning visuals to its perfectly fitting soundtrack. And who doesn’t love the idea of transforming into a number of elemental warriors and harnessing their abilities? The Mystic was one of my favorite characters in the games, she was more on the mysterious side and I’ve always loved her character design.
Do you see this becoming a long term career?
Jacklyn: I don’t know about working with 8bitAesthetics but I do plan on working with them for a long time! As for digital art, it is my main goal and focus with art right now and I will continue to work towards my dream of becoming a contributing artist at a major game company! I definitely see it being my long time career!
What materials do you use for these projects?
Jacklyn: For the Gameboys, I am provided with the housings by 8bitAesthetics, I use either spray paint or an airbrush for doing the base designs, Liquitex Professional Heavy Body acrylic paints for doing the character designs, and Posca Paint pens for specific details and outlining! For my digital art, I currently use a 19″ Monoprice Interactive Pen Display drawing monitor, as well as the programs, Manga Studio 5 for illustrations and paintings, Adobe Photoshop cs6 for graphic design and logos, and Camtasia Studio for editing the videos I put up on Youtube
Do you take custom requests? If so, whats a typical charge and turn
Jacklyn: I get all my custom requests through 8bitAesthetics, customers will send their requests to them, which are then passed onto me. Once I receive a request, I give a quote and pass it back on to them. The average price of customized Gameboys through 8bitAesthetics ranges on average from $160.00 to $180.00 with hand painted artwork and customizations, however there are some that go for around $89.99. And the turn around time right now is about 8 weeks, but they are looking at shortening that time this year.