Iam8bit are known for their albums, art and collectibles, that brings the world of video games to a growing generation of players and game lovers. But it is a process to make each new album, and present something that not only is true to the medium and source material, but also offers something new for the collector, that elevates it above a simple product. It takes artists, and the team at iam8bit knows this and puts effort into crafting each new release.
For the Shadow of the Colossus album they brought on famed Ottawa based artist Nimit Malavia. He is known for his work has appeared on the covers of the Fables series, along with other works from DC Comics, and even been featured on the series Kill Shakespeare. He brings an ethereal style to his work, and is an ideal fit to capture the world of the Forbidden Land. We had a chance to talk to Nimit about his work, this project, and what drew him to doing art on this release.
CGMagazine: What drew you to this project?
Nimit Malavia: I’m hard pressed to turn down any opportunity to collaborate with the team at iam8bit, and after it was mentioned what the project would be, it became impossible to turn it down.
CGMagazine: Where you a fan of Shadow of the Colossus before working on this album?
Nimit Malavia: Absolutely. It was everything I was looking for in that experience. Whether I was conscious of it or not, it’s had an incredible lasting influence on the types of images and stories I like to make.
CGMagazine: When capturing such iconic characters, was there ever any fear of fan reaction?
Nimit Malavia: There’s always a worry about delivering something that doesn’t resonate with the audience, though I try not to concern myself with that too much. With projects like this, where I’m working with beloved characters and properties, I take a lot into consideration when I approach it. I try to revisit what aspects of it that excite me personally, be it storytelling, aesthetics, atmosphere, what are things that have had a lasting impact or left an indelible mark, and once I’ve answered those questions for myself I can ask what ways did it connect to the audience at large. From there I’ll try and inject my own interests and intentions, hopefully striking a balance between something new and something that still conveys the essence of who those characters are.
CGMagazine: Your work has been featured on works on a wide variety of media, how was working with iam8bit in comparison to other clients?
Nimit Malavia: If you’re asking me to pick favourites, I refuse. That said, I’m more than happy to go on at length about how my working experiences with the team at iam8bit haven proven to be some of the most fulfilling projects of my career. It’s a wonderful dynamic of respect where I feel totally free to reach for my heights and I can trust in them to provide very considered and interesting guidance that will take us further than we would have gone on our own.
CGMagazine: Your art captures the stunning look of the game. Was there a specific direction as you started the project, or did you have free will to capture the game in your own way?
Nimit Malavia: In discussing the artwork, we agreed that we wanted to do something different from the core imagery that the art tended to gravitate towards. With the direction of “Be bold and emotional. This is a game that inspires wonder, and exploration. Show a new side to the game.” I was free to explore any and all the different aspects that excited me, taking inspiration and reflecting on the tragic nature of Wander’s journey to save the one they love.
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