With only one more piece of art to go, Crystal Dynamics adds art director Jonathan Jacques-BelletÃªte as the seventh artist to grace the Tomb Raider 15-year anniversary exhibition. As the month of October comes to a close so will this amazing display of artistic interpretations of the new Tomb Raider reboot trailer in celebration of everyone’s favorite tomb raider, Lara Croft.
The tribute to Tomb Raider began October 5th and opened with Andy Park’s work which we all know as the new depiction of the younger, more real Lara. Two more artists joined the group, Long Vo and Camilla d’Errico, who are traditionally known for their more comic/manga styles. Brenoch Adams was the fourth artist to have his work on display while Brian Horton followed thereafter. Last week, Randy Green added his own comic book stylings to the group and today we are graced with the illustrative style of Jonathan Jacques-BelletÃªte.
JJB hails from MontrÃ©al and graduated from Classic Commercial Arts in 1997. He has been working in the video game industry for about 13 years where he started on a small start-up that would eventually become JamDat (EA Mobile Games). He has worked on many projects but has been involved with Ubisoft as an art director where he worked on Far Cry, Assassin’s Creed and the Prince of Persia series. Jacques-BelletÃªte has spent the last four years art directing Deus Ex: Human Revolution for Eidos MontrÃ©al/Square Enix.
After seeing the new Tomb Raider trailer, Jonathan Jacques-BelletÃªte speaks about his inspiration for his piece, “Profile Pic”:
“The idea behind the illustration was to give the viewer (and the players) something a bit different; a bit unexpected. People are now well aware of the events portrayed in the trailer, as well as the plausible impact they will have on the actual game. So I didn’t want to show these same events again. I wanted to illustrate something new, something that happened before the trailer. The new Lara is all about her genesis, the beginning, and the unknown. Hence, I thought it was suiting to show her right before she gets on the Endurance. Ultimately, I wanted to put some meaning inside the image. The piece is basically a premonition: she’s taking a picture of herself before getting onboard, but the resulting photo is her future self. It’s her on the island, discovering who she really is and what her destiny will be. And if you squint your eyes while looking at the image, you will notice that the strap from her bag looks like the braid she had in the older Lara models. Which for me, also represents an omen of the women she will become.”
Click on the image below to enlarge Jacques-BelletÃªte’s illustration:
This particular piece is interesting, as it is not as gritty or emotional as the others. The unique angle that Jonathan has chosen to illustrate shows a very different side of Lara than is not recognized from the art showcased in this exhibit for the new reboot nor the original Lara Croft from past games. She looks very happy, young, and naive; you would never have guessed that this young woman would become a survivor and heroine of an epic tale.
Again, expect to see a limited selection of T-shirts and posters that will be available to purchase from The Nerd Machine with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Child’s Play charity at the culmination of this month.
Tomb Raider is scheduled to release in Fall of 2012 on the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.
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