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A.B.C: Always Be Creative
Samwise Didier has been drawing for games at Blizzard Entertainment for almost as long as there has been a Blizzard Entertainment. If you’ve been playing for a long time, you’ve seen one of his illustrations or paintings.
He has created for almost every Blizzard game: Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, and Overwatch. His freelance work includes a stack of album covers and a wide variety of side projects, including former Blizzard vice president Chris Metzen‘s first new top-secret project for the Warchief Gaming tabletop game studio.
Last October, Abrams Publishing published a beautiful $50 artbook containing the vast majority of his illustrations: Brutal, The Art of Samwise. As you flip through the pages of this magnificent book, you can see how Samwise has shaped Blizzard’s art line. All his creations transpire his identity and what we immediately recognize as the style of Warcraft or Hearthstone. His unique style, composed of bright colors, a good dose of humor, and a strong visual narrative, is instantly recognizable to fans around the world.
All the works in this book remind me of my teenage years and the many (very many) hours I spent on the various Blizzard titles. From Warcraft 3, which introduced me to strategy games, to Diablo 2, which I started sanding at a time when ADSL was a sweet dream, ending with World of Warcraft, which was a kind of apogee for me.
Samwise’s work resonates with me because it’s my childhood work, I just didn’t know it at the time. By providing art direction for Blizzard on all of their flagship projects, this artist has left a lasting impression on our imaginations as gamers and fantasy fans. For this reason, getting lost in the pages of this magnificent artbook is almost equivalent to stumbling upon an invincible time capsule. I personally saw myself as a teenager, in front of my old computer, discovering the mysteries of Azeroth for the first time, a universe that Samwise has greatly helped to put into images. And for that feeling, I can only recommend this book, if Blizzard has been part of your life at one time or another, just like me.
Brutal: The Art of Samwise celebrates all of Samwise’s imaginative artwork by adding personal illustrations by the artist never before published, as well as a selection of Samwise’s own favorite works. Divided into several chapters, each centered on a different genre, the book ends with a lengthy interview with Samwise, allowing us to understand his relationship with Blizzard and his rigorous working method.
This paving stone is a little jewel of art, transpiring passion on every page. It is available directly on the Abrams Publishing website, and you can also find Samwise Didier’s work directly on his ArtStation page.