Artist Spotlight: Nick Choles

Human Head
06 / 06 / 18
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We’re fortunate to have such a talented group of artists at the studio. Their art can be seen and experienced by playing our games, but they also have a diverse personal portfolio that we want to showcase! This week, we’re admiring the artwork of Rune artist Nick Choles.


“I had created this piece years ago as a purely ‘personal’ piece. In essence, it was a bit of a mix of two motivations: the first, I saw it as a kind of ‘farewell to working with traditional media.’  For the better part of a decade I worked as a traditional freelance illustrator and comic book artist, and was transitioning into working digitally in the computer game industry. Having just committed to a full-time position with Midway Games Chicago I had wisely (selfishly?) built in an open month to do whatever  my heart and creative energies desired before my contract was to officially begin. This piece swallowed about 3 of the 4 weeks without even so much as a blink. Time truly flies when you’re having a blast, and this piece practically painted itself.

The second motivation for painting this piece was more or less a visual ‘thank you’ to one of my early artistic influences, the legendary artist Frank Frazetta. More than the obvious lessons of how he moved line, light, color and paint; he was an inspiration and guidepost to the idea that a person could carve a career out of working in the worlds of the fantastic.

The title, Bullgod, is also a mix. The most obvious and most direct influence was in Frank’s use of bull horns on one of his most famous paintings, The Destroyer. Another less-obvious influence spawns from the knowledge that not everything in life comes easily. And having, through time, learned more about Frazetta’s life, I came to the understanding that even with his insanely gifted and virtuosic talents there were times of great hardship. But, Frank also seemed to possess the necessary ‘”bull’-headed perseverance to get through those tough times.

Life can be a fight…another lesson. And that’s what I tried to get down on that canvas.”

Nick’s piece is a favorite around the studio, as many of our developers have a copy of this print at their desks! If you’re looking for more amazing works by the Human Head art team, be sure to visit our Artist Spotlights on Joe Reedy and Chris Miscik.

You can also view more of Nick’s work on his Instagram!