There are few games that can inspire true fandom, but Overwatch has caught our attention and kept us hooked for nearly a full year already, with new maps, modes, and characters keeping the game fresh, and that’s before we even talk about balance changes that make it feel brand new again every few months.
It’s all contained in a universe that is cleverly designed so as not to reveal everything right away, allowing for fan theories, augmented reality games, and unofficial art that is just gorgeous, and defies logic at how well done it is. These are some digital speed drawings by Matilda Vin, AKA Fiship) that had our jaws on the floor. If you really like them, the artist even has a Patreon page you can support her via.
Swedish born, Fiship lives with her cat and is 19 years old. She tells us: “My biggest hobby is art, mostly traditional painting and digital art. It's very expensive to get into traditional oil or acrylic painting, so I pretty much only do digital these days. I am interested in most creative things, like music and dancing too, but due to illness I can't really do any of that stuff.”
On the subject of that art, then, first up, let’s look at our beloved Snow-Queen, Mei. While she may not be everyone’s favourite character, she is devastating in the right hands, and here she is in her Lunar form, drawn in (speeded up) realtime.
Vin continues: “I've been drawing for as long as I can remember. It’s always been my thing. I was born with autism but that also gave me a real talent for artistic and creative things – not to say I haven't worked hard or anything, but having talent has definitely helped me learn super fast. I did try to go to art school for a few years, but I had to drop out due to illness. I was still able to learn some things there, like how to animate and create videos.”
Back to that art, then, we’ve also got a cracking piece showing D.Va in her natural surroundings, head in a portable gaming device, and looking enthralled. We love the darkness around her, and how much she’s concentrating on the game, with a stylus in hand and headphones on shutting out the rest of the world’s noise.
“I got into digital painting pretty early,” Vin tells us. “I've always liked computers and I discovered YouTube and speed art at a pretty young age. I'd spend so many hours just watching people draw using Photoshop, I thought it was amazing how people could draw so well on a computer, I didn't realise tablets were a thing. For the first few years of digital art, I just used a mouse.”
Next up, then, we’ve got a speed drawing of D.Va in a celebratory mood as fireworks explode behind her. Both really capture her fun-loving personality, and really bring across the artist’s style: these are digital, remember, but they look like watercolour paintings.
Vin adores gaming, and tells us “I didn't have a lot of friends who shared those interests with me when I was a young girl, but I did manage to get my hands on Nintendo DS stuff and Flash games online. This was back when internet access was slow and expensive, so I wasn't really allowed to spend too much time online.” She plays every day, and even wants to work in games one day: “I sometimes get commissions to do artwork for projects and games, and those are always my favourite!”
Speaking of favourites, one of our favourite Overwatch speed drawings Vin has done, is this one of Mercy and Pharah chilling together, which reminds us that although the game is primarily about eliminations and capturing areas, the characters are colourful and full of life.
Amazingly, Overwatch is Vin’s first ever first person shooter: “I've never really liked military themed grey/brown war games, I need actual characters and colours. I've been a fan of Blizzard for a long time and I've played a lot of Hearthstone and World of Warcraft, and even StarCraft 2 back in the day. The game looked so beautiful and the characters we're real cool, I started playing on day one and I haven't been able to stop.”
It was the idea of speed drawing videos that got Vin into digital art, though. “I loved those videos so much, It's always been a little dream of mine to make my own, but I wasn't really confident enough until now. I have a friend who's really helping me out and he taught me how to make YouTube content and gave me many tips. Thanks to him I was able to get outta my comfort zone and publish speed art videos. It wasn't really an idea I came up with, It's always been in the back of my mind, you know?”
We wanted to know what Vin’s favourite character is, obviously. “I don't think I can answer that,” she says. “They're all amazing to me. I really love Mercy, she's my favouirite to play, D.Va is also really funny and cute, I really like her too. Pharah is probably one of the best characters in my opinion. There's something to like about all of them, it’s impossible for me to pick a favourite.”
As a fan, though, Vin has dreams of what she’d love Blizzard to do. “I'd love a space themed, or spaceship map. I don't know if that’s possible to do, but I think it would be cool. Also a pink skin for Reaper. Honestly I think Blizzard is doing a great job adding new things. I know it's not the most popular opinion but I really like all the characters and new maps they've added. The holiday skins are always great too.”
To finish up our tour of Vin’s art, we’ve got cover star Tracer, with her partner Emily. Overwatch is an all inclusive game, and this is a lovely reminder of the fun, joyous feeling we get every time we play the game. Well, except for those early days where Torbjorn was overpowered and there were three of them on every team, or when people spam “Need healing” from the other side of the map, or refuse to switch out to a character that benefits the team or… actually, never mind. We love Overwatch!