Meet Cynthia Williams, the Artist Behind the WoE Monsters

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World of Ether is live! Play now:

One of the many ways we’ve tried to make World of Ether stand out from other decentralized projects, and even from other video games, is with our style.

Something that illustrates this is the attention to detail and creativity that our artist, Cynthia Williams, puts into each monster.

Some of these monsters have been revealed so far, but most are being saved for players to discover as they explore this world.

We hope that by telling you a little bit more about Cynthia and showing some of the WoE creatures she’s dreamt up, you’ll be as excited to see this world as we are to bring it to you.

Sitting Down With Cynthia

Cynthia, what makes you the most excited about World of Ether?

I’m very excited to see the eggs hatch and gameplay begin!

Specifically, I’m excited to see who discovers what monsters, what the first monster to be bred is, and what the first battle will be like.

What are some of your favorite games?

Right now I’ve been really into Monster Hunter World, playing mostly as an archer. My favorite things are dinosaurs (I absolutely love dinosaurs), from the Anajath to the Thunderjaw. These games just tickle my fancy.

After being an archer in Horizon Zero Dawn, MHW became a nice replacement for my hunting needs.

A game I don’t play, but always love buying, is Magic the Gathering, due to the beautiful artwork.

A time lapse of the WoE painting above.

Tell us a bit more about your background as an artist. When did you first start drawing? How did it develop?

I’ve been drawing since I was a child, but I became more serious with it when I realized I wanted to do art for games.

A lot of my initial inspiration came from the Magic the Gathering collection that my father had. He let me organize and look through the cards when I was a child.

I started by getting a Fine Arts Associate’s Degree, where I learned the basics of painting and general theories in many aspects of art. From there, I decided to take my education online. I researched, joined communities, and sought in general to grow my understanding and skills with art, with a focus on monster design.

Where do you get your inspiration for monsters?

The animal kingdom is my number one go-to when I need inspiration, with the vast diversity of forms and structures to be found.

I also have a large collection of beautiful books from places such as Dungeon and Dragons and general art subjects to further inspire me.

What is the first thing that goes through your mind as you’re creating a new monster?

When I start making monsters, I sketch and paint random formless blobs here and there. Over time, the sketches and blobs begin to take shape and meaning. When I can detect a monster lurking within the blob, I work further to “bring it out” and to “reveal it,” so to speak.

Another method I use is word prompts, consisting of one or two words. For example, I asked the team to give me some ideas for monsters they would like to see in World of Ether.

One of the prompts was for Cerberus, a well-known mythological hound with three heads. I then gave my own spin on the design for this popular mythical beast. I made it more like a fire-breathing dog dragon, with the build of a bulldog and floppy ears.

Each head has its own special traits and characteristic horns. The solemn head is droopy and has one horn, the “leader” head has three horns and a strong jaw, and the silly and playful head has two horns.

Lastly, the monster has a thick tail that it loves to wag when meeting new creatures, and powerful front legs that help it to carry the massive bulk that is its body. The Cerberus I designed was a fun challenge, blending dog and dragon- both creatures that can be fearsome guards, particularly the dragon when it comes to treasure.

How do you keep monsters fresh and unique?

That’s a hard question! Basically, I try to ensure I’m making creatures I’ve never seen before, or creatures that I wished I could see in games.

I try to paint the monsters in such a way as to give them their own unique touch of life as well.

What’s your favorite monster design so far?

My favorite so far is probably Catcus! This succulent cat is my absolute favorite design and was one of the first monsters I made for World of Ether. I want this little creature so bad!

He purrs, he cuddles, and meows at you; who wouldn’t want this little guy! I would hate him rubbing against my leg though; that would probably be an unpleasant sensation.

What do you think are the most desirable aspects of a monster when you are designing and creating them? Do you consider the monster having a market value — and how does that impact your creative expression?

From previous experiences I’ve had with making and selling monsters, I know that there will always be some that strike a chord or become big favorites with the audience. This can be because of memes, because the monster looks cool or archetypal, or because the monster has an innovative design.

It’s up to the audience to determine which monsters will be most desireable.

I’ve shown past designs to other artists, and there are certain ones over others that they gravitate towards. The same happens with Alain- he has favorites among the World of Ether monsters that are different from my favorites.

Everyone has their particular combo of likes. When I learned World of Ether creatures would be used as part of a battle-operated system, I made sure to design some monsters that would be really suitable for battles and fearsomeness, while still making sure to mix in cuter critters.

Since players obtain rarer monsters as levels increase, I knew these creatures would have to fit aesthetically along the spectrum of common to rare.

World of Ether is part gaming, part lore, part art, and part economics. How do you see all of these worlds evolving together — and what do you think the opportunities / challenges will be as they do?

There are many games, such as League of Legends, that put out timely intervals containing new art and lore. This allows players to continually learn more about the world they play in, increasing curiosity and growth.

I think players will have a lot of fun in working to not only discover new monsters and all the different types, but also seeing the lore and history of the world grow over time. Players and their efforts will run the market and help it to grow alongside the world.

I also believe in the WoE team to create a game that’s fun and engaging. There are some challenges to be sure — the team was taken by surprise at how quickly the eggs sold and increased in price — but these challenges also present opportunity. Through the efforts of the players and the development team, I believe World of Ether will be something superb.

You weren’t very familiar with blockchain when you first started on this project. As we move forward, how has your increased knowledge on the subject affected you?

It was a completely new subject to me; I had to do some research to understand what exactly this game was. I thought at first this was a pet game but quickly realized the scope and magnitude was far beyond that.

I felt like I was swept up into a very different kind of world than I’ve been used to!

Now that my understanding of this space has improved, I can better relate to the players and to the team. Talking to players in the Telegram, and understanding how this game uses blockchain helped me really get behind the vision!

Where can we learn more about you, Cynthia?

The best places to find me are either on my DeviantArt or on my Twitch!

Into the World

We’d love for you to join Cynthia and the rest of us in the WoE Telegram, if you haven’t stopped by already.

If you’d like to learn more about the game and how it’s played, that be found in the WoE Vision Guide, or on the WoE website.

And for everybody with an egg (or several), we hope seeing a few of Cynthia’s Etherians here have made you excited to see the monsters that your eggs hatch!