CraftStars: Art From the Heart of StarCraft

Jaycie "Gillyweed" Gluck on the passionate world of StarCraft fan art.
Jaycie "Gillyweed" Gluck
Jaycie "Gillyweed" Gluck
By Ryan Smith

From hydralisk chest tattoos to adorable plush space marine dolls,
StarCraft is a game that has inspired an incredible amount of art from players and fans. Much of the amazing work, thought YouTube
personality Jaycie "Gillyweed" Gluck, had been underappreciated.

The idea of exposing StarCraft art to a wider audience eventually led the Austin, Texas-based eSports devotee to start the YouTube show
CraftStars in April 2013. Each week, Gillyweed chooses a theme and compiles fan art to fit the theme - some based on beloved real life StarCraft progamers like Lee Jaedong and others based on the fictional characters from the game's universe.

Red Bull eSports spoke with Gillyweed about CraftStars and the wonderful world of StarCraft fan art.

StarCraft II Heroes by VitoSs
StarCraft II Heroes by VitoSs © VitoSs

How did you first get involved in StarCraft?

I went to the first Lone Star Clash. I'd never watched much competitive Starcraft and I went to the tournament with no idea of what I was getting myself into. But I loved it. I've never been a big sports person, but thought it was amazing. So I starting learning it and then by the time the next tournament came around, I thought I was an expert and went to the whole tournament. At some point, I decided I wanted to do something eSports related as a job.

Where did you get the idea for CraftStars?

I wanted to get into eSports more, so I began making build order
guides on audio to help people practice and learn builds. I started
that to work on my voice recordings. Then I got a suggestion to start
practicing on camera. I noticed no one really covered fan art.
Sometimes Blizzard releases blog posts about it, but not too often.
I'm a terrible artist myself, but I enjoy looking at other's people's
work. I love StarCraft and I love this.

Where do you get the art from?

I check StarCraft Reddit every day and get quite a bit there. I also
go to Deviant Art and Team Liquid for more. Each episode has a theme and so I keep a huge document online with all the art listed. As themes start to emerge in my mind, I decide to group certain pieces of art together.

What is it about StarCraft that attracts so many people to create art about it?

I think it's the lore that gets people into it initially. People make
art about the players, but what is so strong is how much they love the characters and the units. There is so much great lore and it makes you want to create your own interpretation of it.

Terran Tattoo
Terran Tattoo

What in-game race makes for the coolest art?

Zerg. I think it's because I like the Kerrigan art so much. You can
make the Zerg look so cute, despite the fact they're kind of
disgusting. You can also go the opposite route and making them oozing and gross. It's really cool that there is such a spectrum of art.

Is there someone or something that artists seem to focus on the most?

People like to draw or paint the game's logos, because they have a
favorite race and want to display that--in tattoos, decals, or wall
hangings. The characters are really big, especially Kerrigan. With the pros, there's plenty of Jaedong art, of course, and lots of Day9 as well. A lot of the players you'd expect -- Stephano and Naniwa -- a lot of the favorites.

And you don't put your own art on the show?

No, my contribution is video editing, that's my "art." I've never been
good at painting and drawing. My contribution is showcasing other
people's much better art.

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