Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.
An artist whose work I have admired for many years passed away this spring and I didn’t even know his name, until today. In an age where many artists have digital portfolios and links to their work all over the internet, where we are able to gush over their talent, I felt like I should have been more aware if this artist. If I had searched him out sooner I might have been able to share my appreciation of his work with him in some way. His art is from another time, a time where finding the name of a game’s cover artist wasn’t as simple as looking it up on Wikipedia.
Hiro Isono created the cover art for one of the best games ever made, Secret of Mana. This one piece in particular has inspired gamers and artists alike since its release in 1993. The colors and level of detail give an intensity that draws you in and holds you in that place, that luscious green space, for a long time before you can tear your eyes away. The piece of art that was cropped down for the cover was also released as a poster which came along with copies of the game. One of these posters currently resides in a special place in my household. This is the kind of art that makes me want to work harder at my own craft, in the hopes that one day I will be able to make something of lasting beauty, just as Isono has done.
Born 1945 in Aichi, Japan, Hiro Isono started working as an illustrator directly out college in 1970, and was soon part of some of the biggest projects in video game history. He passed away May 28, 2013.