Jonathan Shelor

Illustration, BFA

Thesis Project

Jonathan Shelor works to examine games and playable experiences as a vehicle of storytelling. They believe that games of all types can be a truly immersive and full-bodied method of delivering stories and examining ourselves in new and unexpected angles. Ephemera is a worldbuilding project for a game that does not yet exist, set in a world inhabited by human-like bugs. It is an examination of tribalism and war, and hopes to show that no matter how bleak, there is always a better way forward. They were inspired by works like Hollow Knight, Mausritter, Root, Baldur’s Gate, and Bug World, as well as their own lifelong love of insects of all kinds.

I am, first and foremost, a storyteller. I hope to tell compelling stories with my art and designs. As an emerging artist from Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, I hope to go into a career in concept art, working with the raw visual language of projects and building worlds for games, films, or comics to reside in. I pull influence from a rich history of sci-fi and fantasy, gaming and comics, and the work of fellow artists in the industry, such as Moebius and Jesper Ejsing. I work digitally, in a style that blends cell-shading and watercolor, to create painterly landscapes, props, and creature designs. I think that a wide range of research, unconventional sources of inspiration, and cultural and real world reference are what truly elevate stories into something with depth and emotional impact.

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