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World of WarCrafts: The dark art of Christopher Bennett

Anne Stickney

World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music, fan fiction and more. Sample the whole spectrum on WoW Insider's Arts and Crafts in WoW page.

Is it Monday already? Fear not -- we've got some incredible art to shake up the start of the work week!

In a game populated with cuddly critters and pretty scenery, we sometimes forget that the world of Warcraft is a dark, dark place. Not so for artist Christopher Bennett, whose fan art twists the world of Azeroth into a dark mirror of itself. Christopher runs a Forsaken-only RP guild on Wyrmrest Accord (US-H) called <Scythe of Sylvanas> and has done more than a few pieces inspired by his undead characters and companions.

Gallery: World of WarCrafts: The dark art of Christopher Bennett | 23 Photos

Continue on for a chat with Christopher and his unique approach to the Warcraft universe, after the break.

World of WarCrafts: These are some really amazing, twisted pieces. How long have you been involved in art?

Christopher Bennett: I've been drawing since I could hold a crayon As a kid, I had an overactive imagination and drawing was the only way for me to put the images in my head down on paper so Mommy and Daddy could see. Back then I was still drawing very strange things. Zombies, monsters, lots of horribly grotesque things. I'm surprised my parents never took me to a psychologist! That probably explains a lot about me, though.

What about your art background? Any training?

I've taken a lot of college courses since middle school and even attended an art school for game art and design. I left to pursue other forms of art, as the reality my professors painted for me was a very boring, uncreative game industry not looking for ideas but for people to draw big, muscular football heroes. They told me that. Sad story.

I worked as a graphic designer for four years in a cubicle, was driven mad, built an underground lair and then I got into pantomime after I took a class at a community college. Somehow I now perform as a malfunctioning steampunk robot named Rabbit in the musical mime troupe Steam Powered Giraffe. A slight detour into acting and music, but I've kept up with my art and it has been a key tool in all aspects of my spontaneous life.

Wait, musical mime troupe?

Yeah, I'm a mime. I've heard all the jokes. People don't usually like mimes, but I think clowns are far worse. I dabbled in acting while attending high school and scored a few lead roles, so after leaving art school, I started doing some acting classes in college, which also included a mime class taught by Jerry Hager, aka Kazoo. He was the San Diego Seaport Village mime for 26 years. I found I had a knack for pretending to be trapped inside an invisible box and continued studying for two more years with my identical twin brother and our unicyclist friend.

I met the rest of the Steam Powered Giraffe crew while taking the class and we did white face silent auctions for charities, formed an improv troupe, did children's camps as pirates and cowboys, and then started busking as malfunctioning robots. It's a terrible idea and I think that's why people love it. Currently I also do the comics and graphic design work for our website and promotional material.

You have a very unique approach with your pieces. Are there any artists out there that you draw on for inspiration?

I really like surrealists such as Dalí, the disturbing nature of Goya and the super-exaggerated anatomy of Burne Hogarth. I guess I need to mention Tim Burton, as he's an obvious source of inspiration. But don't get me wrong -- I hated that terrible Planet of the Apes movie as much as you!

What made you decide to draw Warcraft art?

I am in love with the Warcraft lore. I really think Blizzard has paved the way for the future of entertainment, and WoW is the best MMO out there. There's a lot of love and talent that has gone into this game and as an artist, I really appreciate it. I've played WoW since Day One, but I'm not a huge gamer. I stayed a level 14 noob until The Burning Crusade released and I was assimilated into the roleplay community. Now I have a level 80 undead fury warrior and run an all-Forsaken guild on Wyrmrest Accord! Favorite race to draw? Forsaken. I love monsters and I love the twisted romantic theme of Sylvanas' undead. But I also am developing a soft spot for worgen, though I haven't tried my hand at one yet.

Any last words of advice to aspiring artists out there?

Draw! You should be drawing right now. Get off the internet and go to the park and start sketching trees and people. They won't think you're weird. Especially not the trees.

Thanks for your time, Christopher! Check out more Warcraft art from Christopher Bennett, as well as his other works, on his DeviantArt page.

World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including arts and crafts, fan art, WoW-themed recipes, comics, cosplay, music and fan fiction. Show us how you express yourself by emailing with your not-for-profit, WoW-inspired creations.

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