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Pierce Papke


Artist Statement
As a concept artist, I explore the intersections between worldbuilding, communication, beauty, storytelling, and consciousness in my artistic practice. These ideas are intricately intertwined, and my interest in their intersection drives my artistic practice. Communication has a multi-faceted relationship with consciousness: it allows us to inform others of our conscious experience and share perspectives, but also shapes and influences consciousness through the information received from external sources. Similarly, worldbuilding has a multi-faceted relationship with consciousness: we all engage constantly in a form of worldbuilding, constructing our own models of reality based on our beliefs, thoughts, and opinions. However, worldbuilding also has the power to create entirely new worlds from scratch, complete with alternate physical laws, people, and histories. Undergirding both worldbuilding and communication is storytelling and beauty. When applied to communication and worldbuilding, storytelling and beauty create emotional velocity for these imagined worlds, suspending our disbelief, and causing the imagined to appear real if only for a second. I am interested in bringing these alternate worlds into the observable world through the medium of video games. With video games, I can build complete alternate realities that players can experience. I use communication in my concept art to communicate visuals and stories to players, guiding their experience in a way that allows the player to reflect on their conscious experience and other important questions, while also infusing the work with beauty to add to the experiential enjoyment and value of the work. Although I doubt I will ever unravel a single secret of consciousness, by altering the nature of reality through video games, I can craft experiences that allow us to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

Artist Bio
My name is Pierce Papke, also known as Ekpap online. I am a Concept Artist and World-Builder with a dual Bachelor of Arts in Illustration and Honors Liberal Arts. I primarily work in the video game industry as a Concept Artist, but also create illustrations for mechanical keyboard companies, cafes, and other businesses.  
As a Concept Artist, I specialize in designing environments, characters, and props for both. To bring my ideas to life, I use digital tools such as Photoshop, Procreate, Blender, Gravity Sketch, and traditional methods like pen and paper. My approach to concept art is characterized by a focus on mood, design, narrative, and the distillation of epic moments, places, and characters into a 2D frame. 
When I am not working on concept art, you can find me reading, contemplating philosophical questions, gaming, weightlifting, practicing Karate, and exploring the outdoors for new and inspiring places. I am also a coffee lover: my morning ritual includes brewing a café au lait and studying various languages on Duolingo at 6 AM. These hobbies guide my creative process and are a large part of my life. This life, my life, could be described as a disciplined quest for beautiful moments, places, and visuals that I pursue through these hobbies, and then distill in my imagination and translate into concept art. I create this concept art to satisfy my love for creating aesthetic visuals and to reach for those intangible beautiful moments that make life worth living. 

Video Game Concept Art

Digital illustration


Cover Illustration for Lingua Journal

Digital illustration


Video Game Concept Art

Digital Media

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