The Fully Illustrated N. Drake Dictionary
size A2 (16.5" x 23.4")
Sketchbook Pro, Adobe InDesign
Do you remember this joke?
"If you looked up lazy in the dictionary, your face would be next to it."
Insert any word you like to define who you're talking to, and you've got an elementary school level quip.
But a really fun quip none-the-less, and one that came to mind when I was trying to think of what to draw to represent Uncharted. Not just because I totally thought that Drake and gang would put it to good use, but because of all the times I played the game and thought "man, he's lucky." Luck, or more specifically "devil's luck", seemed to be the adequate definition of Drake, and I began to imagine what he himself might say to define Elena...and then what Elena would say to define Sully...and then Chloe and Cutter....It was just too perfect of a fit to pass up!
There were actually so, so many possible dictionary entries, and so many possible ways to design the dictionary itself, that it was daunting. It was hard to choose how many entries I could fit (typed) onto one page, along with how it would be represented visually. The initial design had a typical one individual illustration per entry layout, but there are some dictionaries that have a full page of images, each with their respective number associated with its entry. So I chose to mix those ideas, which gave me a chance to create full scene illustrations - and challenged me to intentionally mix definitions together in a single image! And yes, that was a challenge. A fun one. And also, each figure number was chosen very, very carefully. Some are more obvious than others. Some are quite impossible to guess. But they definitely have a meaning.
Man, it was fun. And hard. Really hard. I still prefer paper over digital, and I had to draw so many things that I never, ever draw - inside buildings, city streets, cars, guns, and explosions. And they were at odd angles and extreme perspectives. But if it wasn't *that* way, how I saw in my head, it wasn't acceptable. So I drew...and redrew. But the more I did it, the faster I got. I gained more confidence. I learned a ton. It's still out of my comfort zone, but I'm now much more willing to dive into that. I realize now how true it is that you don't learn or get better from watching, but from doing. I wish I hadn't held back from trying for so long, and I'm totally willing to go for those crazy illustrated cities or busted up bars again. I must be crazy. No. I'm inspired. Uncharted was that fun, that entertaining, that memorable that I was willing to go out of my comfort zone make a tribute to it.
So to everyone at Naughty Dog who ever wrote, planned, designed, lit, colored, animated, composed for, modeled for, or contributed to the shaping of the Uncharted franchise, hats off to you my friends. I wouldn't have done this if you hadn't done that. You guys have been at the top of my list for over 10 years, and I trust you'll stay there.
Click to enlarge and see all the little details - it's HUGE!
You can search Twitter with these tags to find individual entries!andrea
_nagai #Uncharted4 #dictionary
You can see the T-shirt design ("abridged" version) on DA here
You can visit the dictionaries together (abridged and colored, and unabridged, with details) on my behance gallery
Or if you're looking for more sketches, works-in-progress, or little life bits from me, you can just follow me on Twitter