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Community Focus – Pesty

Our focus this week is one of the spectacular artists from our community. His work is iconic and his style is instantly recognizable. We wanted to hear more about how he creates these unique depictions of Destiny characters and gear. 

Please meet Pesty.

Hi! Ok, why don't you start by sharing a little about yourself? 

Pesty: Hey! My names Ian, but most people know me as Pesty or by my online handle IanPesty. Art and Gaming has always been a constant in my life. From a childhood full of drawings and playing on the earliest versions of home computers and gaming consoles, to studying Visual Art at University, then on to a career in the games industry as a Concept Artist and Art Director.

I first got into Destiny when I purchased my PlayStation 3, around the same time as The Dark Below [was released], but it wasn’t until the lead up to the release of Rise of Iron that I began creating Destiny-themed artwork, when I sketched and painted an Iron Banner Titan with Flaming Axe (which was a Destiny T-shirt contest winner) and I have never stopped painting Destiny themed art since then!

Tell us more about how you create these beautiful pieces. Take us through your process from inspiration to finishing touches. 

Pesty: I find the experience of playing Destiny stays with me even when I am not playing it; I feel this is one of the reasons I am inspired to translate it to my own personal artwork. Typically [when] I see an aspect of Destiny that really speaks to my particular taste, I like to look for a way to represent it in my art but with the addition of my own personal twist – the face grill of the OEM torn free to reveal a grinning skull, Trials armour immortalised in the form of a sarcophagus, ‘Guardian Down’ reflected in reverse on a bullet-cracked visor, the aspects of Saint-14 summarised as a heraldic coat of arms...

My process varies but typically I collect a series of ideas and sketches that steadily grow and evolve into a clearer image; those which I feel compelled to translate to the page are the ones that make the cut. I really enjoy working in the evenings whilst listening to atmospheric soundtracks and podcasts to get me in the mood; with copious mugs of tea – most of which I forget to drink and go cold.

Over the past four years of creating Destiny-themed art my approach has varied, though stylisation has remained a theme. This past couple of years I have settled on a more consistent style, at its core it’s tonal – black and white, I utilise colour sparingly and purposefully where it complements the character of the piece. Lighting, composition and mood is a major component, I like to work close in on a subject and at high detail. 

Most notable is the mark making, as it’s expressed through etch-like hatching and texture -- the amount of brushstrokes used to create a piece is possibly insane, but there’s a Zen to it I enjoy.
Overall it’s important to me to produce a piece that excites and challenges me in terms of style and subject, something that is visually arresting and inspires conversation, something I enjoy and feel would look cool framed on a wall. 

Wow! That sounds both relaxing and exhausting. Tell us about you as a Guardian -- what has been your favorite Subclass and weapons?

Pesty: I’m die-hard Hunter. Nightstalker, Way of the Trapper, everything set to max mobility/invisibility. I love being able to play out the fantasy of a highly agile invisible assassin -- I do miss the Sealed Ahamkara Grasps’ “double smoke grenades” evilness of Destiny 1 though... With regards to weapons I have a few that I never get tired of: Quickfang for its speed, clean visual style, and that run animation obviously; a particular Trust “Dragonfly, Rampage” roll whose pyrotechnics always makes me smile; and a collection of Pulses ([Claws of the Wolf] and Vigilance Wing) and Scouts ([Randy’s Throwing Knife] and Jade Rabbit) are my poison of choice for the Crucible.

Nightstalker, I see you are a man of culture as well. Do you have upcoming project ideas or works in progress you want to give a peek at?

Pesty: I’m currently working on the third and final (Titan) piece in the series of Sarcophagus of the Exile artworks I’ve been creating. I’ve also began chewing on an idea for a Festival of the Lost themed piece which I’m keen to sink my teeth into.

Can’t wait to see them. Tell us about your favorite Destiny memory, either in-game or outside of it with the community. 

Pesty: I feel that any time I get the opportunity to play alongside my community friends/artists are my favourites. I recently raided with fellow Destiny artists Kob, Brian Moncus, Pherian, Emily Megan with hilarious results. I also completed the Prophecy Dungeon with Mekki and Plain Ben and my first experience of Trials was with Jake Myler and Mekki carrying my ass  if I remember rightly... 

Outside the game, my favourite aspect of Destiny is how welcoming and supportive the Destiny community and Bungie community and dev teams have been. Travelling from the UK to GuardianCon/GCX and having a table in artist alley was truly an unforgettable experience -- one I look forward to repeating every year now. The Destiny community has a wealth of creative and supportive individuals who I am lucky to call friends - the content they create and the interaction we have is amazing -- it motivates and inspires me. I also have to call out being chosen to be in the first wave of artists featured by Bungie in the Community Artists Series – that was a definite highlight!

It’s always great getting to see you and the community at events. Where can others go to admire your art online?

Pesty: You can find me on Twitter and on Instagram

This has been fun. Anything else you would like to add before we let you get back to your art?

Pesty: I feel I’ve kept you long enough with my answers, but if I could, I’d like to give a shout-out to my longstanding fireteam partner Brynfinity for suffering through every time I bounced off a ledge, fired my tether into the back of his head, or subjected him to my ‘opinions’ on Titan shoulder charges. 😀

Finally, a big thank you for having me on the Community Focus, it’s an honour -- another great Destiny memory!

Let’s all send Pesty some thanks for taking the time to share more about his artwork here. Drop by his Twitter and say hi. We have a ton of great artists in the Destiny 2 community. Follow @Bungie on Instagram to see more fantastic community created artwork. 

If you have any suggestions on who we should focus on next let us know us on Twitter or our forums.

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