What makes Mooncolony tick? What is the secret formula? What is the driving force behind Mooncolony’s success? Well, this is an easy one to answer: it’s our team of talented artists. In fact, there’s so much talent that we had to ship them all off to the Moon in order to protect Earth. (You’re welcome). These are masters of their craft, producing industry-leading art and illustrations to the highest standards possible. That’s why we’re introducing you to a segment we’re calling “meet the colony”, where we dive a little deeper into the backgrounds and the minds of our artists: the rockstars of digital art.
First up is Ekaterina Shapovalova, better known as ‘Rin’, our Lead Artist and the first-ever colonist to join the Mooncolony ranks. Rin originally began studying architecture at university but decided to pursue a career as a Concept Artist instead. In 2011, Rin worked on the ‘Allods Online’ MMORPG, where she expanded her knowledge of video game development and experienced what it was like to work in a studio. After 5 years, Rin left to become a freelance artist. During this time, she also became a mentor at a Russian digital art school and worked as an Art Director on an indie project.
Looking for a change from freelancing to working back in a studio, the stars aligned when Rin moved to Cambridge from Russia just as Mooncolony started looking for full-time in-house artists. Rin claims that she was simply in the right place at the right time, but we know that she created the blueprint of a Mooncolony team member: talented, passionate and driven.
Like most of our team, Rin loves to play video games and embraces the fact that she has 149 days of playtime in World of Warcraft. This makes her the ultimate fountain of knowledge when it comes to our projects with Blizzard.
We asked Rin some more probing questions to get to know her a little better…
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into a similar position to the one you are in?
Please, please, please do not underestimate the importance of soft skills.
How do you motivate yourself? What inspires you at work?
The best motivation for me is how badass my colleagues at Mooncolony are!
Which Artist(s) inspire you?
From the top of my head: Ivan Bilibin, John Singer Sargent, Edwin Landseer and James Gurney.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about your position?
That giving feedback is easy.
What are your favourite games?
Donkey Kong Country, Mass Effect and Warcraft III … and many more
What do you typically play on?
I've always been a PC girl, but lately, I lean a bit more toward the PS5 and Nintendo Switch, as you can play those lying down under a blanket.
What other hobbies do you have?
Living in the UK has allowed me to step into bird photography so I don’t miss an opportunity to go out with a camera.
What advice would you give to your teenage self?
Don't stress so much about school tests and try to have some fun! Also, do some sports.
If you could click your fingers and become an expert in something, what would it be?
How would your friends describe you?
"She talks a lot".
The zombie apocalypse is coming, who are three people you want on your team?
I am a boring lady, I want my family by my side.
What’s your favourite family tradition?
Travelling together. I miss that so much. Ah, that works nicely with the previous question!
What is your favourite Adobe shortcut?
Crtl+S! Even now when autosave is pretty good, old habits die hard.
What is your most-used emoji?
The otter one on Discord.
What’s your favourite food?
We hope that you’ve enjoyed getting to know Rin as much as we have! Don’t forget you can interact with our team and network with your fellow artists over on our Discord server, where you can get a peek behind the scenes of the galaxy’s fastest-growing concept art and illustration studio.
If you want to see more of Rin's work you can check out her ArtStation portfolio here!