As you are probably aware, we're pretty big fans of Splatoon here at Nintendo Life. Then Breath of the Wild came in to our lives, and - even though it was only one year ago - we really don't know how we coped without it.
Imagine our shock and delight, then, as we stumbled upon illustrator theskywaker and her superb concepts for characters from BOTW as various inkling species, as well as the series regulars Ganondorf, Zelda, and (of course) Link.
We couldn't resist getting in touch for a quick chat about the project.
Nintendo Life: Could you introduce yourself?
theskywaker: I go by theskywaker on social media. I'm an illustrator with a primary focus on digital mediums. I've worked on many types of art including portraits, landscape paintings, pixel art, shirt designs, character concepts, and more. I started going by the name theskywaker in 2014, but I have well over 10 years of experience. I am mostly self taught, but I took classes for most of the time I was in school.
Where did the idea for this particular mash-up come from?
The idea came from my disappointment that there wasn't more gear to be obtained from scanning amiibos in Splatoon 2. I waited for it to happen for a long time on the Wii U, and I was greatly disappointed that it was not happening in Splatoon 2, either. However, I understand and respect that modelling tons of costumes is time consuming and takes a lot of work. Even just sketching the ones that I was commissioned to do recently took quite a bit of time. It was still fun to imagine what it would be like though, so that's why I made these. Other people seemed to really love the concept as well, so I made a lot more of them than I had originally anticipated.
Did the designs change over time?
Not really. It was fairly easy to apply a character design to the proportions and characteristics of an Inkling. Some of them, like the Guardian and Bokoblin, obviously required a bit more of a creative approach. You may find some aspects of those designs to deviate more from the original than ones, like Link or Zelda. At the time, it was intended to just be a quick and fun side project, but I suppose it turned into a much larger project.
Was there a particular character that you enjoyed experimenting with, or found difficult to complete?
I always love drawing the girls as Inklings, but I think my best designs are Mipha, Guardian, and Bokoblin. I think one of the more difficult parts is interpreting hair styles as Inkling hair styles. You have to simplify the shapes while still keeping it recognizable. While it may be difficult sometimes, it's still a lot of fun.
Is it fair to say that you're a fan of both franchises?
Yes, of course I am! I've been a long time fan of The Legend of Zelda series. I'm enough of a fan that I run a Zelda themed blog on Tumblr. It's mostly just gifs that I made, and other artist's fan art that I reblog. Sometimes I share news relating to the series when it happens as well. I've recently gotten much more into Splatoon, too. The release of Splatoon 2 definitely got me excited about the series again. I would say The Legend of Zelda and Splatoon are my two favourite video game franchises.
Are there any more crossovers you'd like to work on?
Right now I'm not sure about that. I just got done working on a ton of them that I was commissioned to do, and I really needed a break from it. There's also so many other things I'd like to work on as well. Perhaps it's not that unlikely that it'll make a return in the future though, considering how unexpectedly popular the idea got.
We'd like to thank theskywaker for her time. You can find more of her work here.