We were approached by Derek Neal, the producer working on Street Fighter III 3rd Strike Online Edition, to find an artist who could provide artwork that would appear in game. After going through a very large list of artists, we came across Stanley Lau, aka Artgerm, who’s artwork has been featured in comics (such as DC and Marvel), tribute art books, and has a huge following on DeviantArt . He was super excited to work on the project, and has created character portraits and the box art for the game, which we will be releasing over the next few weeks. Stan has also written a short artist’s description for each piece, walking you through what his inspiration was in creating the pieces.
Hit the jump to read more!
First of all, let me make a proud declaration here: I am an absolute Street Fighter fanboy.
I can say with great certainty that Street Fighter formed a big part of my teenage years. I still remember how stunned I was when I first saw Street Fighter 1 in the arcade- a gaming machine that came with 4 gigantic buttons, 2 on each side, with the red-haired karate kid fighting against a purple ninja, making funny sounds whenever he shot a fireball. “How cool is that?!” I was telling myself, “A game that allows us to fight against each other”. (Please understand that my favorite game at that point was Bubble Bobble, and there was nothing like Street Fighter in the arcade in those days)
Since then I was totally hooked by Street Fighter. I could spend the entire day in the arcade with my classmates, skipping classes, skipping meals and spending all of my daily pocket money on the machine just to beat each other. Back then, jumping over fireballs and executing continuous Shoryuken were considered the essential survival skills of my day. I must say I was a pretty good SF player, considering the substantial financial “donations” I laid down. *wink*
Of course, my SF craze has gone to a whole new level with the release of SF II. With a 400% increase of the playable characters, much better graphics and fighting mechanics, it was a dream come true for my friends and I. We practically lived in/for the arcade. Occasionally, we would even organize unofficial SF fighting tour by visiting different arcade shops and challenged the best players out there. It was extremely fun and rewarding.
In those days, Hong Kong was flooded with martial art comics and movies. I believed that Street Fighter has brought out the little Bruce Lee in me, quenching my KungFu thirst.
Do I still love Street Fighter now? You bet. Having played thru SF3 and SF4, I love the game as much as I did when I was a kid. It is true that now as a professional artist and an owner of an art studio, I do not have as much time as before, nor do I have the courage to abandon my work and my family completely just to beat someone up in the game. In order to stay true to my SF lineage, I simply include it as a part of my studio culture. We fire up SF4 during our lunch break and tea break to get a quick fireball fix. Fortunately for me, the studio is filled with Street Fighter fans. The interesting thing is, we never get tired of playing SF. It is just too fun to trash or get trashed by each other. Kudos to Capcom for constantly updating the game and adding new characters to the lineup.
Having run Imaginary Friends Studios as co-founder and creative director for many years, I had the privilege to work with some of the greatest clients in the entertainment industry on many cool projects. However, the sad truth is that being a commercial artist, more than often I need to take a step back in my personal creative agenda and deliver the best works that meet my clients needs instead of my own. In my experience, it is hard to get too excited over a project with such an “objective” mindset.
When Francis from Capcom USA first emailed me to work on a Street Fighter project, I was a little skeptical at first, just to keep my expectations in check. However when he spilled the beans and told me that he would like to have me illustrate all of the character artworks and cover artworks for SF3 Online Edition, IN MY OWN STYLE, my jaw just dropped. I was close to screaming and jumping out of my chair but tried really hard to keep cool in front of my artists and colleagues. I realized that the SF fanboy in me just resurfaced. It has certainly been a long while since I got this excited over a project.
I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the team at Capcom USA for believing in me and my art. It was a blast working with you guys and am looking forward to our next collaboration! To all Street Fighter fans out there, I hope you like what I’ve done and I look forward to be trashed by you online!
Stanley “Artgerm” Lau
Ken is my favorite in this set, and he is also one of the oldest characters in Street Fighter. I like Ken because of his confident and somewhat playful personality, and I tried to bring that into the artwork with the smirk on his face as well as the taunting hand gesture.
Q is also a really unique character due to his mysterious background, and his super powerful attacks. So naturally, I felt that his charging punch move represented him best in the art.