The Ink Mines Studios is the team of brilliant artists and designers behind my book cover designs. I came across them unexpectedly and in the knick of time when my former illustrator was unable to complete the final cover of my trilogy. With luck and a bit of searching, I discovered this company on Fiverr, but I had no idea how talented or phenomenal they were to work with until I commissioned them.
Their masterful work led me to want to know more about them, and to share it with fellow writers who may be searching for a reliable, talented illustrator to complete the cover of their own books, so I reached out to them. Below is a transcript of our chat.
What is The Ink Mines Studios? Give us the elevator pitch.
The Ink Mines Studios was created with a vision of setting up a Video Game and Animation industry in India. In our country, the state of the animation and game design industry has immense possibility of growth. However, most of the talented artists and designers leave the country and go abroad because there are very few opportunities here, which satisfies their need for creativity. Our aim is to create an opportunity for them so they choose to stay.
Thus, our vision is to setup an industry to rival that of the industry giants like Blizzard themselves. Of course, we have a long way to go but we will reach there one day.
Currently, we are in an art-based service model to sustain ourselves and we take up the following kinds of projects:
Video Game Asset creation
Where did your love for illustration and design begin?
Telling stories is what we always wanted to do. In the beginning, the field of animation was what intrigued us. That was how we got into drawing and painting. Slowly we were exposed to illustration and the idea of telling stories through a single picture. It was fascinating how it was possible to draw meaningful art that conveyed a message.
Our love for Game Design started at a very young age. We are avid gamers since childhood and after educating ourselves in the field, the interest grew further.
We view games as an art form, the best medium to tell stories and spread awareness, rather than just products on shelves and we intend to spread this around to as many people as possible.
You have 3 categories on your website: character design, concept art, and illustration. How would you explain the difference between these types of services?
Yes, there is a different approach to all of this service, even though the process is the same.
Character Design is designing a brand-new character for a game/movie/story from scratch. Character design requires a lot more creative thinking than the other two. In character design, we are not only drawing a character, we are bringing it to life. We need to think about the reasoning for all aspects of the character. Each and every detail will draw, from hair to the toes need to reflect who the character is, where they are from and what is their occupation. We also have to consider the art-style as it reflects heavily on the character as well.
Concept Art is used to represent an idea for a game/movie/story to convey how it should eventually look. Concept Art is done for backgrounds, specific areas or even characters for the project. Concept Art is usually the prerequisite of Character Design. In Concept Art, we follow the same process as Character Design, setting up the art-style, setting up the mood, etc.
The only difference is Character Design involves adding more detail on the character and thus, requires more time.
Illustrations are usually small-scale projects in which we bring client’s ideas to life based on the reference given by them. There is less creative freedom in Illustration services as client’s usually have very specific things in mind.
Are there any artists or designers who inspired you or your style?
There are many artists that we looked at everyday and marveled at their technique and style. Of those the artist that fascinated us the most was Lois van Baarle, a freelance artist from Netherlands. The ease with which she draws and renders her artwork is amazing.
For Game Design, we are highly inspired by Blizzard Entertainment and Nintendo. We love the universes they have created which have been telling stories via games, for almost 4 decades now.
What sets The Ink Minks Studios apart from other illustration and design firms?
We believe in quality over quantity. We are not in this business only for personal financial gains, but to put our country on the map as a major producer of quality art and video games.
What is your favorite project you’ve ever done for a client, and what did you enjoy about it?
This is not false flattery, but we have enjoyed working on your books the most. The major issue in this line of work is when the client does not know what they want, how much time it could possibly take and we end up spending hours on corrections, rather than actually working on improving the quality of the work.
We have never faced such an issue with you as you always know what you want and thus, we can always focus on moving forward.
What advice would you give to clients who want to commission you for a project?
We believe in teamwork. Once we get a project, we like to view the client as a team member. It really helps if the client understands the process we follow and provides us with necessary timely support in terms of ideas and references.