Sorry I am behind in getting photos posted, it’s only been about a MONTH! Sheesh. As many of you know by now, I was brought by Nintendo to the San Diego Comic Con where I made a The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time chalk mural in honor of the game’s release on the 3DS. This was my second Nintendo mural, the first being the Metroid: Other M chalk art at PAX Prime in 2010. Nintendo is always amazing to work for, putting on an incredible event…. and they didn’t disappoint this time either.
Wisely, they chose to set up in the Marriott adjacent to the San Diego Convention Center, and in doing so had their own 10,000 square foot gamers lounge filled with playable demos of all kinds, plus tee shirt give-a-ways and a space for playing Just Dance 3. The downside, there were only 5 or 6 songs on the demo and I heard them all…. show…. long.
The space itself was great, and to make it even cooler Nintendo had set up a small camera above me looking down on the art. This was projected onto a large screen directly behind the mural space so everyone could see my progress from an undistorted angle. One factor I had to work around was the lighting. Being a lounge, the light was set low so everyone could see the games better and to create a relaxed atmosphere. This was the dimmest lighting conditions I have ever worked in, and to make it even harder (because I love a challenge) there were color-changing LED lights on the frame that held up the screen showing the projection of my artwork. Every few seconds the colors would shift from red to blue to orange to yellow to green to purple…. you get the idea. This made keeping my colors consistent really hard and that I had to keep close track on which sticks I was using and where their physical locations were. I apologize for the lighting on some of the photos here, but those LED’s were my nemesis!
The floor of the gamers lounge was carpeted, so I worked all weekend long on a portable dance floor. The seams weren’t always even, and that meant that I had to shirt the artwork from time to time, relocating the portion I was currently working on to a smoother part of the floor. In the end you can barely see the floors effect on the artwork, and that was something I worked hard to accomplish. the fact that it was a 4 day show meant that I could take the time to get all of details right. I spent half a days work on Link and his mount Epona alone until I was satisfied with not only the lighting and color, but also the likeness. A difficult task as Link’s head was about the size of a closed fist in the final mural.
The lounge was never quiet, the floor was constantly full of gamers having a fantastic time. Unlike most shows, I didn’t get to see too many costumes, or experience the other things I get to see when I am working on the show floor. But there were definite upsides to the San Diego location. For one, it was 76 steps from my room to the mural location. I’ve NEVER been that close! It meant I could work until I was exhausted, and I didn’t have far to travel to the comfort of my room. This also meant that I probably worked a little longer and harder than I should have on at least one or two of the days.
I want to thank everyone at Nintendo of America for bringing me to the show, and to my contacts at Golin Harris who have arranged both of my Nintendo appearances so far. I want also to thank the assistants in the gamers lounge for the long hours they spent on their feet tirelessly handing out free posters and tee shirts, and most of all thank you to all of the convention attendees who stopped by and said hi. I hope you enjoyed the art as much as I enjoyed making it.
Keep your eyes peeled for my time-lapse video of the entire mural, I should have that online as soon as the approval process is done, and I’ll see everyone at the next show!