Artist Joshua Cairós has built a fantastic career around his passion for art, bringing fantasy to life that's enjoyed by millions of people around the world through digital games. An illustration, digital art, and character design artist, his work exemplifies the intricate and nuanced detail needed to bring excitement and realism to the games. Focused exclusively on fantasy and sci-fi themes, he calls it "Fantastic Realism".

His love of art started when he was a child, attending oil painting classes with his mother. However, he was more interested in copying book covers, comics and creating cartoons than oil painting and it wasn't long before he discovered the magic of digital art.

"When I was a child I discovered sci-fi thanks to the Star Wars movies. I remembered that I didn't understand the movies but I enjoyed them a lot. After that I started Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean and Lord of the Rings. Those movies impacted me a lot. I wanted live in those worlds." he says.

"I began working in 2012 with some publishers, and bit by bit I began getting international clients." says Cairos. "Now I work for Fantasy Flight Games on the Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game and Game of Thrones, TCG. This year I worked with Legendary Pictures on my first movie as assistant costume illustrator for the movie "The Great Wall " by Zhang Yimou, and other works."

He has also worked on Spellweaver, a great Trading Card game with a fantasy theme. "Three years ago they trusted me when I was just beginning, since then I've made various illustrations for the game and heroes of the game."

Cairos has a particular creative process he uses on projects. "When the client sends me the description for the illustration, I usually write out and draw what I want. Then I make various sketches until I find the best direction. Afterwards, normally I make some studies. For example, if I have to make a horse, I study and draw horses." he says. Not until then, does he begin the final illustration.

His advice for aspiring artists is to have a passion for what they are creating and be motivated to learn and study about what they are creating. "Use your head," he says. "Don't be a scanner."

The secret to his success is his patient focus on learning how to create each and every detail perfectly and his motivation to "know". "Learn learn and learn," he says. "I dedicate a lot of time for studying the details of animals, armor, ancient pictures, wrinkles ... each one is a world and each one within that other world." A constant guide for his creativity he says, is his own inspiration in "Knowing that the possibilities are infinite."

His always keeps learning and growing as an artist, "There's a lot to learn," he says. "Both from studying and from other artists."  Keep an eye out for a new book featuring his work and the works of other great fantasy artists coming out around Christmas.  

See more of Joshua's incredible work on his websitedeviantart and StudioVox

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