OK, so a number of people were able to guess what the subject was for my chalk art mural at the Penny Arcade Expo this past weekend in Seattle. I was asked to make a piece of art for the upcoming Bioshock 2 from 2K Games. I was very excited for this opportunity not only because I had never attended PAX before and 2K is such a well known company, but also because it was my second chance to make a Bioshock chalk mural and I wanted to top the previous Wizard World Chicago 2007 Convention Bioshock Chalk Art.
A quick summary for those of you that don’t know, the Penny Arcade Expo (or PAX) is a convention focusing on the world of video, card and table top games created by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, authors of the Penny Arcade webcomic. This was the conventions 6th year, and it has grow in size to a ridiculous degree with each successive show. I consider myself very lucky to have been a part of it this year and hope I get to come back to future shows.
First off, I would like to thank The Promo Guys! This is the incredible marketing company that first connected me with 2K Games for the Chicago 2007 convention, and were kind enough to hook me up again for this Bioshock 2 mural. They are incredibly professional, work their asses off, and are pretty much some of the nicest guys around. Their convention marketing is always top notch, and I can’t wait to work with them again! thanks guys!
I was given a promotional image by 2K Games to be my chalk art reference, and I knew it was going to be difficult because it was based on a 3D rendered image rather than my usual comic art recreations. The drawing of the under sketch took about 5 hours and was done the weekend before PAX took place. After some additional prep work I was ready to leave early Thursday morning on a 6 am flight for my first visit to the Northwestern United States.
Flying out to Seattle went smoothly and I arrived at the convention hall mid-afternoon on Thursday as everyone was setting up. As it would turn out, I wouldn’t get to see any of the show floor until the last few hours on Sunday as the Bioshock 2 mural took nearly 30 hours to complete. Even though Seattle is known for rain, I ended up having to work through some strong sun beam reflections on my art during an unusually sunny Friday, so progress was slow at first. But by Friday night I started to get into the groove, and a cloudy Saturday and Sunday meant no more issues with sun glare and I plowed through the rest of the work. Re-visioning the 3D image into a chalk illustration took some serious work, but I am very happy with the shading, color and appearance of the final artwork.
What I did get to see of PAX on late Saturday night and for the few final hours on Sunday was more than enough to show me that this is one hell of an incredible show, and I’ll post photos and my stories of those experiences, as well as my hellish return trip to upstate New York, in a few days. Until then, enjoy these progress photos and final images of the PAX 2009 Bioshock 2 Chalk Art Mural.