Two weeks ago, we launched an art contest for a chance to win a special AU/NZ Zelda Symphony experience, complete with a pair of tickets to the AU/NZ show of choice, a backstage tour, and a merchandise prize pack. In addition to these prizes, the winning artwork will be on display during the AU/NZ concert tour.
After careful deliberation, we have chosen the three winners. The theme of the contest was Breath of the Wild. Artwork was allowed to be in any medium, although the majority of entries we received were drawings or paintings. Each of our winners should by now have received an email from us to confirm which show they’d like to attend. If you are one of the winners announced below, and you haven’t received an email from us (which was sent as a reply to your entry), please contact email@example.com as soon as possible as the Auckland Zelda Symphony show is only two weeks away! If you do not RSVP as instructed in the email, we may be forced to give your tickets to one of our honorable mentions.
So now, without further ado, here are the winners:
Wow. Just wow. Where do we even begin to describe just how wonderful Aeon’s artwork is? Just look at the myriad of characters, each with their own hard-hitting expression. Every single one is just amazing. Purah has that innocent yet devious smile suggesting she’s up to something, Riju has that coy smirk and eyes that speak volumes, Sidon’s cheeky grin cracks us up, and the King’s solemn and humbled downward gaze reminds us of the seriousness of Hyrule’s situation. The use of light in this piece is magnificent: the ethereal auras of those deceased, the flames on the field, the bursts of brilliant magic, all of it just highlights so many of the amazing qualities of Breath of the Wild. We cannot fathom how many hours went into it, but it easily was our favorite amongst all the excellent works.
For a moment when we first looked at Mike’s work, we had to do a complete double take. It looked like a screenshot. We thought it had to be a screenshot. And only when we looked closer did we realize that, no, it’s not. There are subtle differences and effects that distinguish it from the original, but it’s ever-so-close to how we imagine Zora’s Domain in our heads that it’s so easy to be fooled. The rain effect that Mike employed is ever so subtle, but there are certain places that exude technique and sophistication. The subtle blues and aquas perfectly depict the Zoras’ home. And even though we cannot see Link’s face, it doesn’t take much effort to imagine how Link might be feeling in this moment, approaching the Domain for perhaps the first time; his posture, his stance, his moment of breathless wonder upon seeing the Domain make this piece a standout.
Zak’s hand-drawn picture of Naydra was easily one of our favorites. By no means are we art majors or have any real history dissecting paintings, but for us it was the contrast between those thick black outlines of Naydra and the frame with the white specks of frost and snow that defied them that evoked the sense of farming dragon parts again and again, sometimes being frozen in the process. We also appreciated the fact that this style of artwork is very traditional in nature, taking inspiration from depictions of dragons in Chinese and Japanese artistry. The sight of Naydra in this picture is about as breathtaking as happening upon one of the three dragons in Breath of the Wild. For us, that made it a shoo-in to be in our top three, and a deserving winner.
We received a lot of great entries for this contest, and it was difficult to narrow it down to just a few, yet that’s unfortunately what we had to do. There were four other pieces of art that were particularly compelling to us, and, since we didn’t have the capacity to give them a Zelda Symphony experience, we figured the least we could do was to give them special recognition.
Cynthia’s depictions of Link, Zelda, and the main characters from each of the other races really sat well with us, so well that we agonized about how we only had three prize packages to give out. There’s something incredibly special about seeing these ten individuals next to one another. Zelda’s and Riju’s expressions are intense and meaningful, and the special bond Link and Zelda both have with the Master Sword is equally well depicted. We loved all of the detail in the outfits and the expressions across the whole image. Even if it didn’t make our top three, it still sits in very good company.
Sarah’s take on Breath of the Wild’s Link may not look 100% like the official artwork or the in-game representation, but the liberties that Sarah took in depicting Link are far from unwelcome. The details of Link – especially his countenance, his injuries, and his focus – make it very easy to forget that the background isn’t some rain-trodden, mountainous landscape. The depth of Link’s expression plays tricks on the eyes and conjures up so much more to this scene than what we physically see. We couldn’t help but be enchanted by it.
While we recognize that Fi technically doesn’t appear in Breath of the Wild, her presence is still strongly felt. Even though I’m not the strongest lover of Fi, Jesse’s depiction of her within the Korok Forest still manages to hit me squarely in the gut with “the feels.” It has something to do with that ghostly, almost non-existent Fi – there and yet not there – in that state of faded corrosion and ill-kept rust. This is not the way we’ve normally come to see Fi depicted, and yet there’s no better way to really describe how she could appear in Breath of the Wild than this.
Rounding out our list of runners up is Fabian’s image of Kass. We feel as if we’re looking back into the game, spying Kass off in the distance, completely oblivious to our presence, singing and playing to himself, half-pleased and half-serious as he tries in his own way to help the hero face down Calamity Ganon. It’s been said that bodies are difficult to draw, but we would have to think that accordions would have to be difficult to draw too! And yet Fabian makes both look very easy, doing so with flawless execution.