Tibia is a world full of interesting stories and anecdotes. Lupus is a lawyer, but in the world Tibian is one of the most recognized artists, creator of several fansite items, illustrations for fansites, fanart and so much more. If you want to know the history of Lupus Aurelius, then you should read this great interview that we are so proud of.
Hello Lupus! Tell us something about you.
Hello! My name is Esteban, I am 36 years old, I am from Córdoba, Argentina. In real life I am a lawyer, and I am currently focused on business administration. In my free time I try to fulfill my dream of becoming an artist. In addition to making sprites, I started making illustrations, and I have also been making music since I was 16, although I never fully devoted myself to it.
How did you met Tibia?
I met Tibia in January 2009, thanks to one of my brother’s friends. At that time, I played a strategy game called Ikariam, where I used the same nickname that I use on my character in Tibia. To my surprise, the game still exists, although I have no idea if my profile is still there or not. The thing is, I tried Tibia and I fell in love with the game so much that I abandoned Ikariam and dedicated myself to Tibia.
How did your Tibia adventure as a PixelArt artist begin?
I remember it all started in Ab’dendriel depot. That’s where I met the player Prince Nuada Silverlance. He gave me some tips and recommended me the fansite TibiaWiki. It was there that I began to learn about the beginnings of Tibia, a game created by four university students, and by the active collaboration of a flourishing community of members in the late nineties. A game created by players for players. That’s when I found out that players created sprites, maps, missions, etc., and that’s when I completely fell in love with that idea. I found it super exciting.
Unfortunately, when I started playing, that part of Tibia was already gone. By 2009, it was almost the end of the era of game masters. Cipsoft was already a professional video game company and it is understandable that player participation in the creation of content for the game was restricted.
But not everything was lost. In 2008, the fansite program contemplated the possibility of official Tibia fansites being able to incorporate a decorative item representing the website within the game, and as a kind of policy to encourage player participation in the activities of the tibia fansites.
That’s when I saw the possibility of making a contribution to the game that I was so excited about. That’s when I started creating sprites. I waited for fansite item creation contests to open, and I participated in several, but never won any prizes.
It wasn’t until 2012, when I won my first contest, with the Mathmaster Shield, for the TibiaStats.com site. Like many of the items I have designed, this shield was part of a process, with several versions, tests, etc., which I did in private and in my free time and which I never shared with the public, unlike later designs. Originally, the sprite was called “Shield of Virtue”. Here is an early version of the shield. Later, I used the base of the shield and incorporated the Pi symbol, referencing mathematics.
The Mathmaster Shield was going to be called Mathemagic Shield. But I did not agree with that decision. Today, as I get older and know more about Tibia’s history, I regret that decision.
I was so excited, I couldn’t believe it. At that time I was competing against Li Dao, a well-known Sprite creator. I still have, along with many memories, a screenshot of when the results were published.
I also have the disclaimer that I sent to Cipsoft. With a very funny postscript. There I began an email exchange relationship with Rejana, which lasted for many years.
I also saved the image of when the new fansite items were about to be introduced to Tibia. I think the one in the image is Lionet (because of his outfit) in the Isle of Solitude.
And well, that’s how a long journey of creating sprites began.
Outside of the world of Tibia, does your work have any relationship with art?
My main job in real life has little to do with art. However, I try to give it a creative and artistic approach. In recent years, I am occasionally hired to do artistic work, both in sprite design, guild banner design, personalized digital illustration of characters, and also in the area of music production. I have designed book covers, created illustrations inside and outside the world of video games, I have made musical arrangements for friends’ songs, etc. I have been working on a multimedia artistic work since 2019, which I hope to publish one day.
What was your motivation to learn about PixelArt in the past and currently about digital illustrations?
All my life, since I was little, I have drawn. I liked drawing dinosaurs. In my adolescence I also drew a lot. My main motivation to start doing pixelart was Tibia. I dreamed of incorporating an item into the game. Digital illustration began almost parallel to the creation of sprites, when I became involved as a graphic artist for the Tibia Bariloche fansite. I started making some designs for the site until I was a stable part of the staff. At first I made my drawings on pencil and paper, then I scanned them, and then I painted them using GIMP. In 2019 I bought my iPad and there I was able to go deeper into the subject of digital illustration.
These were my first digital designs for TibiaBariloche. A book to contain the choice of languages (hand drawn, scanned, and painted with software), and a container for google ads (made entirely with a mouse).
Of all your sprites, which was the first one you created?
My first sprite was a sword, which I presented for the TibiaBariloche contest, precisely. It’s called frozen sword, and it was also a process of testing and changes, versions, etc. Although it was never incorporated into the game in any of its versions.
Which of all your Sprites, you’re the most proud of?
To be honest, I like all my sprites. I have a love for all of them, because they contain stories, friends, anecdotes, etc. I have all my Tibia sprites and memories saved. When choosing my favorites incorporated into the game, it is difficult for me to decide on just one. But I think I could say my favorites are, in no particular order:
- Bonelord Tome. It is a design that I worked on, intermittently of course, for more than ten years, until it was lovingly adopted by TibiaSecrets, to whom I am infinitely grateful.
- Dark Wizard’s Crown. In its time, it was one of the items with the most complex animation. It also went through an interesting evolutionary process.
- Shield of Destiny. I have a very great affection for this item, because it was the Tibia Royal fansite item, a fansite that we founded with Patrik, one of my great friends from Tibia, with whom we made a great work team, which was reflected in the concept of the item, relating it at the same time with Tibia’s lore. Him working with codes, and representing Uman, and me, in the graphic part, representing Zathroth.
I also have a great affection for other sprites that were never incorporated into the game, due to the challenge that creating them represented.
- Draptor Shield. In this concept I tried to make a version that played with the scales of the Draptor and its two species. The red draptor and the shadow draptor.
- Oracle’s Feather. For the nostalgic and the rookstayers
- Hat of doom. The dark version of the Tibiawiki.br item
- Golem heart.
- Golem spark. Creating a 3D cube floating in the air was a real headache, but it was possible and I was very satisfied with the result.
- Sword of the humbles. A reference to the legendary sword of fury.
Of course I also have a lot of love for the Demon Boots, which I remade a few months ago.
How could you describe your style of pixelart and illustrations? What is the concept that fascinates you the most?
I’m not sure if I have a style. My sprites are mostly oriented towards the classic Tibia style. The same thing happens with my illustrations, I only draw what I imagine in my mind, although sometimes the result is far from what I have in my head. The style that fascinates me the most is the comic type, which I aspire to be able to reach one day.
Do you have any goals as an artist in Tibia?
I dreamed of being able to incorporate items into the game and being able to hold the record for the largest number of items designed and incorporated, which I held for a while. Currently I have other goals as a Tibian artist. I would like to create concepts that evoke the nostalgic eras of Tibia as well as its extensive Lore, and be able to revive old passions in the hearts of players. Some other dreams I have are to create my own fansite where players can create content for Tibia, and to one day be able to work for Cipsoft as a sprite creator.
Are you still an active artist within the Tibia community? What was your last creation?
I am no longer an active player. I follow the evolution of the game from the outside, entering the website, reading the news, the forums, and from time to time I participate in a odd contest. Every once in a while, I upload content to my Instagram.
As for recent creations, I have made some sprites for contests, but the one I am most proud of is a sprite called Amazon War Crown, of which I made both a sprite and an illustration, and also a custom illustration that I made for an old friend from Tibia .
Any future projects as an artist within Tibia?
Yes, there are several things on my mind for a long time. I would like to create a content fansite, my own asset and illustration store, and publish content on my networks just for fun. Another project is the creation of my own video game inspired by Tibia, but that is a very big thing and unfortunately I can’t do it alone. But who knows, only time will tell.
Thank you very much Tibia Tales. Answering these questions made me reopen my chest of memories and I had a lot of fun. A big hug for the entire Tibia community.
With this we end this incredible interview. We hope you enjoy learning more about Lupus and his art as much as we do.
If you want to see more of Lupus Aurelius’ art, you can visit his subpage on TibiaFanart and follow him on Instagram