Team Focus – Stephen Boe (Aviixe) Feb 14 - Tosh
"The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge." - Thomas Berger
Hello, I'm Tosh, your new Community Manager. From here on out I'll be the writer on the Team Focus updates bringing the developers and the community one step closer together. This week I've invited the amazingly talented Stephen Boe, the concept art lead here on Installation 01, for a quick Q&A.
First things first, who are you, and what exactly do you do here at Installation 01?
My name is Stephen Boe, and I am a self-taught 2D artist working here on Installation 01 as a concept artist. I’m also temporarily the concept art lead while Derek H. is busy with school. I work on all sorts of things, whether it be environment mood pieces for maps, paintovers over some kind of 3D block out, or rarely, armour design. I think I’m pretty flexible.
I see, so you're one of the fantastic people bringing this game to life with beautiful art. You mention you're self-taught, have you always wanted to be an artist working on video games or is this a newer passion for yourself?
I’ve played video games for nearly as long as I can remember, but my passion for art started a few years back when I was in my sophomore year of high school. I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life, and I knew I didn’t want to go to college, so I decided to pursue art. I always liked doing art before, but it was then when I decided to take it seriously. I had only really just discovered what concept art was and I knew right away that’s what I wanted to do.
As you're relatively new to the concept art world, what exactly made you want to give your talent to this project and help make it become a reality?
Well, for one, Halo is one of my favourite video games, so being able to work on a fan game for it is pretty much a dream come true. To be able to do concept art for it, the very thing I want to do professionally, seemed like such a great way to keep myself improving as an Artist, and it was a way to meet like-minded individuals and make connections within the industry. I don’t think working on Installation 01 will necessarily prepare me for what triple-A game development is like exactly, but I think it’s certainly a stepping stone to something bigger.
It is indeed a learning experience for all of us. As an Artist what is the hardest part of making unique and creative pieces, but, being limited to making it feel and look as true to the Halo experience as possible?
The hardest part is probably not pushing your art enough. I want to try to create something as new and unique as I can, but sometimes that may lead to myself wondering if it’s too much, so more often than I would like to just stick with what feels right instead of what feels fresh. Getting out of the comfort zone of what we know makes Halo, and trying to push that vision is most the problematic aspect. Even though this is a fan game, a tribute to halo, we still want to make new wherever we can.
Well said. And what is some advice you could give to people who wish to pursue concept art like yourself?
Listening to criticism is huge. You never stop growing as an artist and a lot of the time, you might not be able to look at your work with a 100% objective view, so listening to others is essential. Also, don’t love your work. I mean, enjoy doing it, but if you’re on a team, and they want to go some different direction, and it’s way better, go with them. It doesn’t matter if your art gets thrown out or unused, what matters is the end product being the best it can be.
Absolutely, criticism is essential to find greatness. If you think you're perfect, then, you most certainly are not. Outside of working on Installation 01, what do you do with your free time?
My high school friends ask me this occasionally ever since we graduated, and my answer never really changes. My life right now and I’m sure for the foreseeable future is pretty much wake up, take a walk, do more art, play more video games, go to sleep, repeat.
Sounds as though you're a man dedicated to his passion! Finally, I have one last question. What is your ultimate Halo match?
My ultimate Halo match probably isn’t anything special. Team CTF on Halo 3’s The Pit, battle rifles only. Nice and nostalgic for me, but also a pretty good test of skill (I know I’d suck, though).
I want to thank you for sitting down with me today Aviixe; hopefully, this gives the community a little insight into the developers' lives and work. If you’re interested, you can find Aviixe’s art over on Deviantart and Instagram, or If you have any questions for him yourself, you can message him over on Twitter @saboe627.
Until next time,