Fan-art can come in a variety of ways, from hand-drawing sketch to retro 16-bit version of a game. It is one exciting way to show a gamer’s love for the game or the character of the video game. In addition to making art for themselves, they also create a piece of art that will be enjoyed by others.

Recently in a PS4 forum, I’ve discovered some interesting “Steampunk Tribal” fan art created by a girl, Katy Irons. The arts is all handmade by pencil sketch and based on the steampunk-tribal theme. I have a very high regard for unique pieces of art like these.

Steampunk Art: Spyro, The Dragon!
Steampunk Art: Spyro, The Dragon! Katy’s comment: The art piece that started off, “Steampunk Art: Classic Video Game Characters”, over two years later and my art career is taking off!

Short Interview with Katy

We also have approached her by email and do some quick interview by email about the fan art she has created. Here is the summary:

Widnya (W): Hi Katy, how are you? Superb job here. Since when did you begin to create these drawing and what do you call it?

Katy (K): “Hi there! Yeah, although my art has been around for years now, Ulylla Designs began with the project, “Steampunk Tribal” in November of 2015. The term ‘tribal’ comes from when I first started, although I never did any research, no pictures, mood board, I just started drawing back in 2010/11 and the style I developed resembled modern tribal tattoo art, I took elements from that style and included color and gradients.”

“After years of development, my work has slightly changed, and I’ve made it my own, this is something I’m extremely proud of, particularly since others appreciate it too which is still a surreal feeling, even to this day. I recently removed the ‘tribal’ word from project titles, and how I verbally explain the concept of my style because I don’t see it like that anymore, I’ve taken elements and produced something different, innovative, just using traditional methods!”

W: Where did you get the inspiration to create these?

K: “Honestly, I didn’t really realize it at the time when doodling in my old college sketchbook, but after finishing, it did remind me of tribal art! The shapes and segments with their rounded edges, the way they curve and flow together to form an image, but instead of a block color, I used the black biro and gradually, line after line, I created a gradient!”

“I just generally enjoyed what was happening with my art, being a very big fan of video games, I thought to do some based on them, unsure why, I just felt like doing it, and I’m still doing it and absolutely love it.”

W: I wonder, how long to create one sketch? Is that all full handmade?

K: “One whole drawing takes me roughly a month to do, and the reason for that is because the process is extremely long and time-consuming. What I do is using a very light pencil, I sketch out whilst constantly erasing to find the perfect shapes/segments for my image, this can take a long time as everything is pretty much improvised, even though I am following an image or a concept. After that, I then take a darker pencil, probably a 2H or something, so I can refine shapes, altering anything that needs improving, this can take me a few hours due to trying to maintain a level of accuracy and consistency.”

“One of my favorite parts is next, using fine liners to go over the pencil line work, this is essentially saying this is ready for color! That takes me a while too, and it’s very aching on the hand. Next is either color pencil or biro ballpoint pens, or both! After a while of all the color, layers upon layers, I go over again with the fine liner to crisp everything up, then I use a white gel pen to color over the gaps, this creates that very clean look. Then I scan it into my laptop and use Adobe Photoshop CS6 to color correct, enhance, any alterations that need to be done. Save an original and save one with a watermark! A very long process indeed!”

Steampunk Art: Ratchet & Clank!
Steampunk Art: Ratchet & Clank!
Katy’s comment: Making a list of iconic video game characters, I decided this dual pair would be a great edition to the themed art pieces.

W: Interesting kinds of stuff there. Anyway, how many drawings have you had created?

K: “I went to check and counted all my drawings, counted up to around 85… 85 drawings so far! That’s since around 2010/11, that’s quite amazing to think actually.”

W: Awesome. So, is the drawing for a living or is it just a hobby? If it’s for living since when did you start to sell it to other people?

K: “I started drawing a bit before I named my art brand/small business, Ulylla Designs, just little tattoo designs I did every now and then, nothing major! But after a while of randomly drawing A3 sketches relating to video games, I began to upload to social media and received very supportive, encouraging and motivating feedback from friends and family!”

Drawing Is Her Passion and Way of Life

So, this was when it was obvious she needed to set up a Facebook Page dedicated to all things art (and the odd digital design job). What she’d say within the last two years is when Ulylla Designs has become more serious when it comes to the public approaching her for requests/commissions, it’s definitely lead onto a full-time freelance job as she’s always doing something related to art. She started selling a couple of years back, a few over the UK have framed pictures of her prints in their houses. Right now, she’s still at that stage of getting her art out there but over the past few months, her work has become more successful, and she is constantly busy with commissions, which she feels amazing. She is also incredibly grateful to be busy doing something she loves.

Katy also adds that she’s just an ordinary person that suffers from severe anxiety. Her art is her therapy, and it’s her way of life… it’s what she wants to do for a living. Her art provides color, nostalgia, and happiness and that’s what she want to keep on doing and giving to the world – everyone loves to be reminded of those nostalgic video game days.

Very excellent job, Katy. I also wish you more luck in the future! In the end, she also provides ten best art for you CalmGamers.com reader to enjoy beside the two above. Check her best drawings below, and leave your comment if you enjoy her arts!

Katy’s Best Ten Drawing

Steampunk Art: Crash Bandicoot

Steampunk Art: Crash Bandicoot!
Steampunk Art: Crash Bandicoot!
Katy’s Comment: It’s Crash! And he’s gone Steampunk! Definitely one of my most iconic pieces today, I enjoyed this one, especially the boxed border.

Steampunk Art: Master Chief

Steampunk Art: Master Chief!
Steampunk Art: Master Chief! Katy’s comment: Due to the high population of Halo fans in the world and although challenging, I think a Halo piece was the critical part of this project.

Steampunk Art: Toon Link

Steampunk Art: Toon Link!
Steampunk Art: Toon Link!
Katy’s comment: This was a commission in which I was very pleased about, my friend and client liked it as a birthday present for his brother.

Steampunk Art: Lara Croft, Tomb Raider

Steampunk Art: Lara Croft, Tomb Raider!
Steampunk Art: Lara Croft, Tomb Raider!
Katy’s comment: One of my most favorite video game series turned into one of my favorite pieces of art. With this particular piece, I merged both Steampunk with a hint of Cyberpunk to give it some edge.

Cyberpunk Art: Xenomorph, Alien

Cyberpunk Art: Xenomorph, Alien!
Cyberpunk Art: Xenomorph, Alien!
Katy’s comment: An extremely old art piece that was requested around 3 – 4 years ago, definitely one of my best due to it’s iconic nature.

Cyberpunk Art: Raziel, Soul Reaver

Cyberpunk Art: Raziel, Soul Reaver!
Cyberpunk Art: Raziel, Soul Reaver!
Katy’s comment: Probably one of my favorite pieces due to the fact that Soul Reaver was a really amazing game back in the day. Having the ability to turn him into a Cyborg was really interesting to me, I really enjoyed this one!

Cyberpunk Art: Michonne from The Walking Dead

Cyberpunk Art: Michonne from The Walking Dead!
Cyberpunk Art: Michonne from The Walking Dead!
Katy’s comment: I decided to go with the awesome ninja character, this was definitely a lot different to my other pieces, although I prefer the old way, it was nice to experiment.

Post-Apocalyptic Art: Fallout Inspired

Post-Apocalyptic Art: Fallout Inspired!
Post-Apocalyptic Art: Fallout Inspired!
Katy’s comment: I have only played a little of Bethesda Softworks games, but after appreciating the general concept of Fallout 4 being based in the wastelands, it shot an idea in my head to build a piece like this. A lot say my work looks like stained glass and so I attempted that look as well! Definitely one of my favorite pieces as of yet.

For more of her drawing, you can visit her website Ulylla Design

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