Designer/Artist of the week: Mike McCarthy

Don’t know where to start with this very inspiring concept artist, really. I personally recall being a particularly great fan of his work, and the amount of design work he’s contributed towards Fable over the last 8 years. Mainly towards Fable 2 and 3, and also now with Fable Journey. Not to mention, he was educated at the Sir John Cass Faculty of Art in London.

Above are some examples of conceptual character art that he’s designed and created for Fable 2. There are several things that I absolutely adore about these and one of them is the quirkiness. Fable in general has always been a very bold, quirky video game series, and this is partially due to the characters involved.

The use of the very rough, groggy and mix of earthy tones for the colour pallet are another thing I would like to mention. Brown, grey and green aren’t the typical kind of colours that you would mix together normally, but as Fable is dark, odd and involves a series of RPG quests and hero duties in a world where monsters, bandits and even villagers that are very guilable exist, this is probably the only exception where these colours can be used together regularly.

As you play through out Fable 2 and 3, you always have to make sure you save your file, that’s what you’re suppose to do, if you make a change to the file data and finish a quest, right? Well, during the process upon saving; a save screen appears with these unusual posters that you also see while travelling throughout Bowerstone (A town in the games).

I found these posters to be both gross and amusing. I loved the use of expressions, and  how much detail goes in to each poster. I especially enjoy how the comedical side of the art brushes off despite that there’s an advertisement for a tool that can pick almost everything off of your body.

Below, I’ll give you all another example of some of the other art created by him:



The lines are always so crisp and sharp. I love it. Even with the humour, I find the amount of detail that are put in to the colouring, experessions on the characters faces and the work itself to be magnificent. Flawless even.

Moving on from that, I’m going to come to terms with whether or not he is considered an artist or a designer. He’s an artist. I state this because the work he’s created so far is considered as ‘Concept art’, it’s considered as that because it’s still being taken further. Not only that, but this artwork can be interpreted in so many ways. While design has to have the meaning of communicating something to them. These pieces weren’t really there for communicating anything; they were more to humour.


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