Noel-Tien Nguyen The

I’m a game artist guiding indie game developers around the artistic side of game making. I love indie games and I aspire to see more original creations to move the world!


Noel-Tien Nguyen The

I’m a game artist guiding indie game developers around the artistic side of game making. I love indie games and I aspire to see more original creations to move the world!

What motivates you to mentor creatives?

What’s your current role and origin story as a creative?

Let’s go! I’m currently a game artist: I design, paint and arrange scenes in video games. I work mostly with small teams, which leads me to take on many hats like producing tasks, level and game design (setting rules for the game).

I don’t really think there is a moment I can pinpoint saying, “this is my origin story.” I believe it happens everywhere, all the time.

As a kid, I was fascinated by my dad drawing my toys as a kid. It seemed magical. The running lines on paper made stars in my eyes. Later on, I discovered the stars in a telescope or the microscopic world under the grass and more recently, accepting certain parts of myself.

Each of these events are an origin story leading to what I do today. Like little streams joining into a larger river.

What creative work(s) are you the proudest of?

The first picture was commissioned by Sen-Foong Lim and Banana Chan, designers and writers of the role-playing game Jiangshi: Blood in the Banquet Hall.

I illustrated two of their horror scenarios. This project was the opportunity for me to represent ethnic and immigrant minorities in a way where everyone can peek at the hurdles these communities face when arriving and adapting to a new country. The game addresses many themes and stories close to me such as racism, cultural gaps between generations, cultural heritage… As such, it was emotionally intense but freeing to work on this piece.

Besides, the project had a successful crowdfunding campaign, was a 3 times nominee and was awarded Winner of the 2022 Silver ENnie Award for Best Setting, which makes me even prouder to have been part of the team!

The second picture was freeing in another way.Lately, I discovered I could own myself, in life and in the arts. I learned this after years of forgetting the fun of drawing. I lost myself in practice and fundamentals, in following other people’s advice and feedback.

I do not have to be like everyone else so I shredded many of the techniques I used in my workflow to find something closer to who I currently am. It is far from done. But it came out as this little guy!

What’s your current “creative studio”/desk setup like?

It’s… A mess!

But definitely a cozy corner. I work almost exclusively in digital. After spending years traveling, I took the habit of keeping information on digital support as much as possible. But having a second screen is definitely a comfort I’d like to keep though!

The challenge is to arrange it based on the cat’s location. We found a compromise.

Where do you go to get inspired?

Parks, forests and nature are my go-to places to recharge! I’m lucky to have those in Brussels.

I take my time enjoying the fresh air of those places, looking around at forgotten details in the nooks and crannies. I can spend hours looking at the light on a leaf, a spider making its web, or the funny little shapes of moss.

I find beauty in nature and in wondering why it is the way it is. Walking there also gets me inspired as it helps me process my thoughts and find solutions to problems.

Do you have a ritual, or time of day that unleashes your creative powers?

Asking questions when I don’t understand something. I am obsessed going down the rabbit hole of each particular topic. It’s like… having a furious itch I have to scratch.

I spend months researching it until I get enough of it and end up with newfound weird knowledge. Knowing that sea sponges are the best virus filters in the ocean brings joy to my heart (crabs are pretty good too, but a league under sea sponges).

Specifically, it helps me understand a topic from another lens, match and mix fundamentals between disciplines, and draw weird conclusions and analogies to be used in my work. That way I can better communicate, find new ways to depict an idea for a game or unique solutions to problems.

(Lately, it’s been boxing and haircare science…)

What’s an album that changed your life?

Dragonforce! It began with Soldiers of the Wastelands.

This track brings me to lands of fantasy, to Valhalla and dragons! I travel through their epic storytelling, the guitar solos of Hermann Li. It never misses to put me in the flow. It lifts my spirit and give me confidence.

Actually, I’m typing this with my axe and my shield. I used their songs to help me go through many life events. And mornings instead of taking coffee: Through the Fire and Flames gives +5 endurance and +4 charisma and dexterity.


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