Jenny Harder works out of Studio Gobo, a U.K.-based firm doing work on Disney Infinity, the online/real-world miniature universe that collects every conceivable character from Marvel, Pixar, Disney, and even Star Wars into a rich, open-world environment for telling stories, battling bad guys, or just plain goofing off. Disney, as everyone knows, does not do small. They followed through with the idea of a unified Disney sandbox game in spite of the licensing challenge of bringing so many intellectual properties together.
Jenny tries out SketchBook Pro
In conjunction with Art Station, we asked Jenny to fire up SketchBook Pro and draw something for us. It’s always interesting for us to see how people start using our app, which is always a test of how intuitive we made it. And of course it’s always a pleasure to see someone with such a strong style draw in a speedpaint style video.
Concept art that’s on point
One of the things that I think has made Disney Infinity successful is its uniform character design. It’s a real challenge to take dozens upon dozens of characters with long-established looks and create a buttoned-up aesthetic that ties them all together. To do it for both video games and real-world toys/figurines seems like an even greater challenge. The number of voices and constituencies inside that kind of a working environment must be tough to juggle. Concept art seems especially important in that situation — and especially difficult. You have to be able to bend your style to meet the established aesthetic, but you also have to make sure you bring the thing they saw in you when they hired you to do the job. And just about everyone has to like it.
Personal art that’s full of style
We dug into her work, which we recommend you do, too. It’s clear from looking at Jenny’s online portfolio that she’s great at character design. She is clearly very talented at cleanly drawn characters that follow an established look, but we also really like the fan art in her portfolio, which is a little more loose and experimental. It’s nice to see both official and unofficial sides of a professional concept artist’s work.
The final commissioned piece
The final result from her drawing session is beautiful. Nice characters, with a back story to figure out and some great background details. Thank you, Jenny, for indulging us and recording your process.