At 3twins.net we love to tell stories, and we’ve had the fun of using a variety of mediums to do so: web-comics, cartoons, and most recently video games. The common factor in each of these genres is that they’re visual mediums. Thus, we wouldn’t be where we are today without our talented artists. Today I’d like to help you get to know one of those artists, who also happens to be our Chief Mission Officer: Steven Ware. I recently had the privilege of interviewing Steven for my series of interviews with the Of Mages & Pages team, and I think you’ll enjoy hearing from him:
Surine: Hello Steven! For starters, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Ware: To quote Steve Martin from The Jerk; "I was born a poor, black child" in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 1967 the youngest of four boys. My mother raised us by herself, made sure that we attended church regularly, and we all have a spark of something creative in us.
At 23 I met my first wife and soon found myself in Colorado for 13 years. Those years in Colorado produced my amazing daughter Makayla (a published book author at 7-years-old), a lot of memories, and some hard life lessons.
After a year back in Kalamazoo, I took a chance and moved to Savannah, GA, which I am proud to call my home now. Things have not always gone the way I wanted them in Savannah, but I know that this is where the Lord has led me and that I have work to do here.
S: How did you initially get involved in 3twins.net?
W: In that year back in Kalamazoo, I met the Kuder Brothers while attending Lake Center Bible Church with Tom Cox and his beautiful family. I started as a cover artist for a few Hatman & Indigo comics, which led to becoming a comic-book illustrator for Hatman.
S: Your position with 3twins.net is the Chief Mission Officer. What does this role entail?
W: 3twins has made it a point that the entertainment we produce needs to be family-friendly and uplifting. I have been tasked with making sure that whatever media we are delivering to our customers, be it comics, video games, animation, movies or even merchandise, meets those standards.
S: What is your role within the game Of Mages & Pages?
W: I am, along with the amazing Michael Lude, character and map designer for the games.
S: Can you tell us about your history as an artist? How did you get started? What has inspired you along the way?
W: I have been drawing since my earliest memory. I have been blessed to have had many talented teachers and mentors while growing up, though I have had no formal art-school training. I am always inspired by what I see, artistically, in the world around me, the new and different, and anything that challenges me creatively.
S: What can you tell us about your process for designing characters and other content for the game?
W: Reading the storylines from the game, having discussions with Jason about how he sees the character, then pulling from various resources – thank God for the inter-webs – for ideas and inspiration.
S: Who is your favorite character to draw in the 3twins.net universe and why?
W: Before the game I would have said Indigo or perhaps Super Cold Frozen Man, though I have a soft spot for the Mad Hatter, since he was the focal point of the first full comic I drew for 3twins, because they were so much fun to draw. Since the game I have fallen head-over-heels in love with Xilva the Elf. She is feminine, yet such a strong character. There's also Thafi, Mathos' daughter, for her subtle evil-ness. Is that a word?
S: In addition to artwork, I also understand that you'll be lending your voice to the characters Nyln and Fred the Yellow Wizard for Of Mages & Pages. What can you tell us about these characters, and where did you get the inspiration for their voices?
W: I have been doing voices since I was a kid, imitating comedy greats like Cosby, Murphy and Pryor, so having the opportunity to lend my voice to the characters in the game is a treat. Nyln is a powerful character, though a little dense, being made of rock and all. I used to tell African folk tales years ago; I used a heavy, rough voice for the leopard, and am using that as the basis for Nyln. I think Fred, being a Pollywoggle, will have an interesting voice to conjure up. I have a few ideas, though.