Interview with Wanderweird
If you've been to any video game conventions in the past few years, you may have noticed a guy painting mandalas based on classic video games. This extraordinary artist, known as Wanderweird, has painted mandalas based on classics such as Tetris, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Mario Bros. 3, and Sonic the Hedgehog 2, to name a few. I was lucky enough to be granted an email interview with Wanderweird, so here we go!
Q: When did you first discover that you enjoy making art?
A: I've been making art my entire life, the edges of my elementary school notebooks were covered in doodles, mainly cartoon characters set into complex maze structures.
Q: What inspired you to start creating video game mandalas?
A: The earlier designs that I had done were mandalas based on Christian mythology: Dante's Inferno and The Book of Revelation, and I wanted to cover some of the more light-hearted (and more influential) mythologies and meditations of my childhood. I think that video games, comic books, and other types of pop art fill the same role that mythology of old would fill, by providing a story of obstacles overcome, challenges bested, but without eternal torment threatened after GAME OVER.
Q: What are some of your favorite video games?
A: Super Metroid. It's perfect.
Q: Which of your mandalas are your favorites and why?
A: Of the video games, the Super Metroid one is my favorite. It was the first design to be totally playable, containing all weapons, items (except for X-RAY SCOPE for obvious reasons), and bosses, set into a playable maze. Of the non-videogame mandalas, the Dante's Inferno one is my absolute favorite. It's the most complex thing I've ever done, and it was one of the very first.
Q: What other projects do you enjoy working on?
A: I also write and illustrate psychedelic comic books. I've published one so far, entitled REMEMBER, and I'm currently working on a longer series of meta-mythology called APOCRYPHON. You can read both of them for free on my website: http://wanderweird.com
Q: Do you have any new pieces planned for the near future?
A: I'm currently working on mandalas for Super Mario RPG and Final Fantasy 6 (US 3), with hopes to find time for Ocarina of Time and ChronoTrigger in the near future.\
I'm the guy who programmed this whole website from scratch and I'm responsible for most of the content you see here (including these cool author profiles!). I've been a huge fan of Nintendo since I picked up my first NES controller when I was 3. When I'm not writing articles or filming a new video, I enjoy playing and composing music, reading, math, art, and computer programming.