Hello, everyone, and welcome to One v One with Boss Rush Games. I’m your host, Celeste Roberts. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Craig Tait, an artist and video game enthusiast. 

A Link to the Past Master Sword

Tell us about yourself.

Videogames are my biggest passion, of course, and the main subject of my artwork. Aside from games and drawing, I love travelling, hiking, and exploring the outdoors. I am fortunate to have lots of beautiful green space in the north of Scotland, like a real-life Hyrule! While exploring, I can merge another interest of mine, which is (very) amateur photography. Looking forward to being able to do that again as we come out of lockdown. Football (the non-American variety) is also a big love of mine, not that my team gives me much to shout about!

Zelda Ocarina of Time Owl

How long have you played video games?

I must have been around 7 years old when my dad picked up the bargain of the century:  a secondhand NES with Super Mario Bros. for 10 British Pounds! I remember calling over my big sister to help me get past the moving platforms towards the end of the second stage, haha. Nintendo was such a major part of my childhood and gave me many happy memories. And I’m pleased to say I can now beat Level 1-2 of SMB all by myself!

Favorite games and types of games?

The Legend of Zelda series is my absolute favourite. I grew up enjoying so many video games on various systems, but I believe it was Ocarina of Time on the N64 that made me truly fall in love with not only the series but gaming as a whole. Nothing before had given me that sense of magic and adventure.

Around that same time Banjo-Kazooie was a favourite, still so fun to play today. I’d say platformers, narrative-driven games like Life Is Strange, and open world adventures are my thing. Also love checking in on my Animal Crossing island!

Zelda Breath of the Wild

Tell us about art. How long have you been an artist? What is your favorite medium (i.e., watercolors, oils, pencils, etc.)?

Well, going back to primary/elementary school, I was known as that “kid that can draw,” haha. So I started drawing at a young age. However, moving into secondary school, I drifted away from art, which is kind of regrettable.

It was the release of an app called Art Academy: Sketchpad for the Wii U that rekindled my love of drawing. The console controller, of course, had the touch screen and stylus. The app mimicked drawing on a real-life canvas pretty well. I realised I could post my art to its Miiverse social network and get instant feedback from other users. That was a special time, and there were so many talented and inspiring artists there. I’ve continued drawing digitally, but now using Procreate on my iPad.

With digital art, you are presented with so many brush options to experiment with, but I settled on making use of the dry pen and pastel brushes for most of my artwork, giving it a more “traditional” look. I’ve been told by several people that my art reminds them of a children’s story book, so I’ll take that, ha!

Metroid Prime

Where do you find your inspiration?

You might notice a running theme with my artwork, and that is videogames! The Legend of Zelda series clearly inspires most of my work. I am also inspired by many other great artists I find on Twitter as well, such as @Sailor_Soffie, @Amber_Shirelle, and @starcrafty13, who are fantastic.

What do you love about creating?

I think there is something very pleasing about seeing art progress from a blank canvas, to the line art, and eventually the coloured final product. I feel very happy when people share my art online and comment nice things. It’s a big confidence booster, and I’m lucky to have so many nice friends and followers.

What are some challenges you’ve faced with perfecting your craft?

Neck pain, ha! Not good. Nah, for real, I think having an idea in my mind for a drawing and not being able to pull it off as I imagined can be frustrating. I also tend to be my own worst critic and begin noticing all my flaws after I have put a piece out to the world.

Do you have a favourite piece you’ve worked on?

The Minish Village drawing! Minish Cap is my fave 2D Zelda, and I had so much fun reimagining how their cute miniature village could look.

Zelda Minish Cap

What advice would you give fledgling artists?

Art block is okay! It’s fine to take breaks, do other things. Chill. You may even find new art ideas while taking part in other hobbies. The main thing is to enjoy drawing, not feel pressured to.

Yoshi’s Island

Where can people find your art?

You can find me on Twitter as @kokiricraig or on Instagram as @kokiricraigart. Also, if you’re interested in purchasing art prints, I have an Etsy shop!

Source for images: KokiriCraig’s Etsy Shop

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