Fans of the Sleeping Dogs game and artist Tyler Stout were recently treated to a Prima Games exclusive give-away at this year’s San Diego Comic Con 2012. If you weren’t able to attend SDCC or you were, but missed out on winning one of our screen print prizes, maybe this exclusive interview will help soothe those bruises. So sit down and enjoy 20 Questions (some serious, some silly) with Tyler Stout.
Initially, Tyler's first variant colorways were blue instead of red.
1. Was it different to work on a videogame property when compared to other products you've crafted art for?
Sure, it was a bit trickier, but Square Enix approached me wanting something that felt like a movie poster of mine, so in the end it was pretty familiar territory.
2. What special demands or preparations did you have to take in order to do this particular project?
Square Enix and I talked about their cinematic inspirations for the game, movies like The Departed, Infernal Affairs, even Point Break. So I was able to sit down and watch movies for research, which is always nice.
3. How long does it typically take to develop one of your pieces? How long did the Sleeping Dogs project take?
It can really vary. I think on Sleeping Dogs, it probably took 3 or 4 weeks. 2 weeks is probably average on pieces. But as I get older I start taking longer. According to my wife. ZING! on myself.
A third attempts at the Sleeping Dogs variants. This time red.
4. What other video game-inspired art are you hoping to produce in the future?
Hmm...I dunno. Maybe Halo, I’m currently teaching my 8-year-old daughter to play co-op with me. ON LEGENDARY. Ha ha. No, not really. She’s terrible; we’re still on Easy.
5. Are there any particular video game developers you’d love to work with?
Square Enix has been great, hard to know who else. Bethesda would be cool to work with. Maybe someone will develop a new Stubbs the Zombie game, that’d be cool.
6. What was your favorite childhood video game? How do you think today’s games stack up against the games of the past?
Earthworm Jim was a favorite of mine, in terms of creature design and level design, it had some really unique looking stuff. Goldeneye is another one of course. Dig Dug if we go back far enough, or Joust. As for how today’s games stack up, probably much like movies, many awesome ones out there, you just have to look.
Red variant attempt number four.
7. What’s the last video game you played through? How did you like it?
Skyrim. I loved it. Except I foolishly bought it for the PS3, which is my office console. I have to repurchase the Xbox 360 version eventually. what a fool I was. But it was still amazing... In 3 hour increments. I have Mass Effect 3 on my desk, waiting to be played.
8. What upcoming games are you looking forward to?
Hitman. Guilty Pleasure. I like strangling people and wearing their clothes. so the game is a perfect fit for me. Plus, of course, Halo 4.
9. What kind of art do you have on your walls at home? Any favorites?
I have a Robocop poster up, not my Robocop poster but the actual Robocop poster. I have a nice Thing piece by Mark Englert, given to me by some friends. I have some drawings done by my kids.
10. Have you noticed other artists changing their styles based on yours? Any movie posters out there that look a little too familiar?
I’m actually copying other artists. I just happen to have a hot tub time machine, so it appears that I am first.
11. How do you think your work has influenced the art community?
I shudder to think. I have no idea; I would assume it doesn’t influence [the art community] at all. I guess we’ll see who shows up at my funeral. Probably no one.
12. Before starting a project do you often make on site visits? What was your favorite destination?
Strangely enough, Square Enix did not offer to fly me to Hong Kong to meet actual Triads. My dragon back tattoo was completely wasted.
13. At what point in your life did you realize art could be your full time job?
I have yet to realize that.
14. When you send holiday cards are they Tyler Stout originals or do you buy regular greeting cards?
These questions are getting weirder. But to answer your question, my Festivus cards are store bought.
15. Have you ever had any super fun super-fan moments? You’ve got quite the following.
No. My fans mostly ignore me, and sometimes they are upset when they see me looking in their windows at night. Its been pretty upsetting for everyone. I don’t want to say children were involved, but children were involved.
16. When can we expect to see some Tyler Stout original video game controllers, ipad skins, coloring books, etc.?
2025. I’ve got some big plans for 2025.
[Note from the Editor: Sleeping Dogs ipad covers exist. They were given out at E3 by members of the Sleeping Dogs promotional team. I own one. Bwa-hahaha!]
17. How often do you see fans tattoo your work on their body? Would you sign and number it?
In person? Never. Via email? A few times. No one has asked me to sign it though. Very disappointing.
18. What’s the strangest thing someone has tried to commission you to do?
I get a lot of wedding invite requests and tattoo requests. I stay away from both of those, they’re both so permanent, it’s not something I want to get involved with. My stuff is meant to be a bit more disposable.
19. Are there any works of art “in the vault” you are not willing to release just yet?
Well...usually if i haven’t released something, its because its not very good. But there’s always stuff in the pipeline. I have no idea if its good or not. I hope so. But I’ve got a gut feeling it’s all downhill from here.
20. With a reputation like yours I’d be using the term “Tyler Stout Original” as often as possible. What’s the most creative you have been with that term?
I assume this is a setup for a bathroom joke.