World of Tanks on console has recently celebrated its four year anniversary, and Wargaming have mentioned the title accruing 14 million players around the world. To celebrate the milestone, Wargaming commissioned a select few artists to create pieces based on the game, and we got the chance to interview one of them. One of the pieces was done by Matt Heath, a Sydney based artist who has previously worked on the Streets of Warcraft series and with Microsoft.
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us. To start off, I noticed your portfolio of pieces on your website are largely sci-fi themed. What inspired you to go down this genre for your art?
It’s an absolute pleasure. I would say that my inspiration is definitely drawn from existing and past sci-fi films, real life design and other artists. The idea of predicting design of the future is exciting and the beauty of the the genre is that you can be as creative as you like and try some really crazy ideas. If you keep your work somewhat in the real world your designs will be believable which is my goal.
I saw your ARTtitude art piece for World of Tanks and it looks stunning! Would you be able to explain the story behind this piece and what motivated you to capture the scene portrayed?
Thanks so much, I’m really glad you like it. Operation: Sealion is one of the many War Stories by World of Tanks on Console. It was the German name for the planned invasion of Britain. It clearly never happened but the beauty of the game is the ability to explore scenarios like this. I have been listening to a podcast about the history of WWII and have been learning a lot about Operation: Sealion. When I was approached to create this piece the timing was really just perfect.
I saw your time-lapse video on how the art piece was constructed in Photoshop CC, and I’m blown away with how it all came together! How long did it take, and how complex was this piece compared to your other works?
I would guess it took about 40 hours, I took a lot longer on it than usual because I felt it needed to be a really special piece due to World of Tanks’ high profile in the games industry. It was very complex for me in how the elements worked together, I think I painted the soldier’s uniform about 10 times which would be embarrassing to watch in real time. I have areas of low contrast such as (again) the uniform versus high contrast in his face and then against the background plus stacks of details in the tank, dead guys and Big Ben. I try to push myself further on every artwork so basically, it was super complex ha ha!
It’s interesting that you’ve done a World of Tanks piece, given that a lot of your work is largely focused around sci-fi. What compelled you to take on a piece from a different genre?
I really try to explore different genres constantly. I keep sketchbooks dedicated to learning about particular themes such as sci-fi mech design, samurai and of course soldiers. I am currently working a sketchbook full of Wargaming themed studies such as soldiers, tanks and weapons. Again, the timing of this collaboration was really perfect.
Will we see more Wargaming themed art pieces from you soon?
I certainly do hope so, it’s been a great experience working with Wargaming. Unfortunately the nature of the industry means I can’t talk about projects until they’re announced by my clients so you’ll just have to wait and see!
Huge thanks to Wargaming and Matt for the interview! Matt’s portfolio of art pieces can be found on his website.
World of Tanks is currently out on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.