Originally from Alaska and a graduate from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Sarah Webb is an artist with a comprehensive career. She has worked as an intern for Blue Sky Studios and Sparkypants Studios. She develops her own ongoing webcomic Kochab alongside creating comics for major publishers like BOOM! Studios and smaller presses like the Dandelion Wine Collective. Her comics even led to Webb working on a game.
Cliqist talked with Webb about that experience while she exhibited at LightBox Expo.
From a Comic Convention to Game Development
Webb explains that Northway Games discovered her at the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival. She adds that game developers looking for game artists at a comic convention had surprised her. But she later learned that happens more than she had initially realized. Webb observes that she had seen similar happen at LightBox already.
“I was making backgrounds for them,” Webb said when talking about her work on Northway Games’ upcoming I Was a Teenage Exocolonist. The game’s official website describes it as a “life sim with visual novel elements.”
According to a blog post by Sarah Northway, eponymous co-founder of Northway Games, Exocolonist was inspired by her favorite Japanese game series, the life sim Princess Maker. She adds that the upcoming game also draws inspiration from collectible card games and another life sim, Sierra Entertainment’s Jones in the Fast Lane.
Besides creating backgrounds, Webb also worked on digital development and a little bit of ideation for asset design.
“I really enjoyed working on everything,” Webb says, explaining that Northway Games was open to ideas and gave her a sense of creative freedom.
How did she approach the art in Exocolonist?
“Split between digital sketches and pencil sketches,” Webb says. Elaborating on this, she describes the next steps of her process as 60 percent traditionally done with watercolors. Then it’s 40 percent digitally crafted. Webb adds that she made a few pieces purely digital for purposes of color, though she still included pencil lines.
“For Exocolonist, I tried to have a different color scheme and shape language for different seasons and areas as well,” Webb says.
Webb’s work on Exocolonist concluded at the start of this year. According to OnlySP, Exocolonist is scheduled for a 2021 release on PC and Mac.
Crafting a Deck for Faeria
She has also worked on Abrakam Games’ digital card game, Faeria.
“A little bit less of an intimate process,” Webb says when discussing her work on Faeria. For that project, she created card designs after receiving prompts with references.
When asked if she had any favorite Faeria designs, Webb says she enjoyed the green-themed nature cards.
Specialization Vs. Multitasking
With Webb’s diverse portfolio, how does creating game art compare to making art for other media?
“It depends on the assignment,” Webb says. “Animation for bigger studios [can be] more streamlined.” She gave an example, saying that they could have people focus only on coloring. In contrast, Webb says that you may be able to do more on smaller projects, like visual development and layout on indie games.
Webb currently paints backgrounds for Cartoon Network.
my new job!! here’s why I’ve been a bit quiet online lately :’) ✨ pic.twitter.com/s0veqHQCwf
— sarah webb! (@BearsAreRed) January 22, 2019