After the Breaking of the World, artwork by Jesse van Dijk
Good design is not about beauty alone, as the work of digital landscape artist Jesse van Dijk demonstrates. The landscapes he creates for the international game and entertainment industry are visually spectacular but also communicate an elaborate design vision. The design also has a concrete function, much as architecture does, in the context of its virtual world. It needs to blend in or jar incongruously, stir emotion or convey a message.
The spectacular and richly detailed After The Breaking of the World can be examined and enjoyed endlessly purely for its richness of detail. But it also encapsulates multiple themes, much like the landscape itself, emphasizing rebuilding and cooperation.
In this digitally created work the landscape has undergone a recent catastrophic split. How this may have happened remains a mystery to the viewer. Two cities strive to literally overcome this traumatic event. The artist has deliberately chosen to leave the symbolic bridge unfinished. Through his chosen perspective, Van Dijk also shows us the sheer scale of the project.
With After the Breaking of the World Jesse van Dijk shows talent beyond the creation of merely beautiful or striking landscapes. His work evinces research into historical architecture, technological developments and the geological processes through which landscapes unfold. "If you create images and structures that are grounded in reality - that obey the laws of nature, complying with physics - the image becomes more expressive and powerful. I always look for something that could theoretically exist in reality. From my experience, the more you keep achievable possibilities in mind, the more creatively expressive the work becomes. My work allows suspension of disbelief by refusing to engage in the merely nonsensical. If reality is discarded outright, it's all too easy to default to the stylistically obvious. You find yourself going for the visual archetypes, and cliche is just around the corner. I don't want to create cliches."
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More about the artist
Jesse van Dijk
Jesse van Dijk (1977) is considered one of the finest digital landscape artists in the world. He currently works as a concept artist at Bungie Studios in Seattle and has worked for other high-profile game studios, such as Guerrilla Games. Van Dijk also freelances regularly for major Hollywood movie studios and publishers in addition to working on his own private projects.
He recently won an Into the Pixel 2011 award from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences with the work Stahl Arms that he created for Sony's blockbuster game franchise Killzone.