Artist Jen Zee is best known for her role as Art Director at Super Giant Games, where she’s “responsible for the lush hand-painted 2D artwork that defines the distinctive look of our gameworld and all its colorful denizens.” She helped to design the iconic look for Bastion, a popular 2011 action RPG. Her work will also be seen in Transistor, a spiritual follow-up to Bastion, which releases on May 20th for PC and PS4.
Zee enjoys the challenge of creating a strong, likeable protagonists in her art and when working on creating the worlds feature in Super Giant games. She’s particularly proud of her work on Transistor‘s female protagonist, who’s strong and attractive, but not in the over-sexualized way that pervades popular videogame culture. “I personally love creating female characters because I find there are many more ways to make a woman attractive to both men and women of all orientations,” Zee told Sarah the Rebel of Nerdy-but-Flirty in an interview about her work on Transistor. This is a lesson for artists of all mediums: painting, writing, film-making, etc.
“I have a love of color that I find difficult to restrain,” she told Nerdy-but-Flirty. “But [I] definitely believe muted palettes have their place and produce a mood that can work in service of [a] slightly more personal, more serious story.”
Zee herself finds motivation and inspiration for Transistor from many places, including “John William Waterhouse is an old favorite, and his use of muted palette with vibrant atmosphere was a huge inspiration, as was Gustav Klimt, an artist whose interesting shapes and flare for dramatic presentation seemed to naturally synthesize with the cyberpunk aesthetic.”