In early 2019, I was contracted by Portland, OR- based Skylight Collective Design Agency to create a large scale 36”x36” illustration for Xbox’s Diversity in Gaming initiative. Artists from five marginalized groups were commissioned to design something personal to them that reflects their gaming experience. I was selected to represent Disability in Gaming. Xbox debuted their adaptive controller during the Superbowl last year (and if you haven’t seen the ad, go check it out. It’s a happy tear moment). I was very inspired by how the controller is clearly designed with disabled folks in mind rather than profit margins.
I knew I wanted to focus on communication in my illustration. As a disabled person, I’ve experienced firsthand how easy it is to become isolated and cut off from society when it’s physically difficult to leave the house. However, with the addition of the adaptive controller, it opens up new worlds and new experiences to those of us who will maybe never easily leave the house. In this piece, I tried to show a range of people and situations without making the focus their disabilities. Additionally, I tried to capture a diverse array of games, from single player adventures to co-op battle royales.
I started with an isometric grid, a style common to the 90s/00s video games I grew up with.
(above) time lapse video of sketch. (right) final sketch before adding color.