Could you tell us more about the Luftrausers Into the Pixel piece and the inspiration behind it?
The inspiration came from the game itself really. The very start of Luftrausers, where you're fired out of a submarine like some sort of ballistic missile, was something that struck me as supremely badass. The aerial ballet after that, where you're in a hailstorm of enemies and bullets, constantly on the verge of death, also influenced the piece. I just tried to capture a bit of both those things.
What is one of your favorite art pieces/artists that inspire you?
It's difficult to single out a piece of artwork that I really inspires me, but if I had to pick one artist, it would be Moebius. Most of my other favorite artists, like Katsuhiro Otomo, Geof Darrow, Katsuya Terada and even Hayao Miyazaki, have traces of the ol' frenchman in their work. Just goes to show how influential and powerful his work is.
What is one of your favorite games from an artistic perspective and your favorite games overall?
I'll answer Metal Slug on both. Almost 20 years after it was made it's still one of the best games out there in my humble opinion. Tight and relentless run n' gun gameplay, gorgeous art and animation, pumping soundtrack and freaking rocket lawn chairs! The game probably cures cancer for all I know.
How do you come up with ideas for your artwork including your demake line of game art?
I think most of it just comes from selfishly wanting certain things to exist. I mean, the demakes for example, are totally this stubborn, nostalgia fuelled wish for things to be different. Like "Why oh why can't it still be the early 90's, back when games were still good and honest and in 2-D!" They're just illusions though, but being able to conjure them seems to please a certain part of my brain, so I'll keep doing it.
Do you have any tips you would give to aspiring artists?
Don't get too caught up on tools, methods or tutorials. Sure, sometimes it's good if someone or something can point you in the right direction, but ultimately it's more rewarding to figure things out on your own. Like beating a game without using a walkthrough. Also, don't hesitate, or overthink, or buy expensive sketchbooks you're too intimidate to actually use. Just draw.
Where can fans follow your work online and what do you have planned next?
You can follow me on twitter and tumblr, where the former is where I post tilt-shifted photos of hamburgers and the latter is where I upload artwork. Other than my day job of art directing things at Mojang, I'm working on a little cyberpunk adventure game that I'm hoping to unveil at some point.