There aren’t many artists who can seamlessly go from video game developer Naughty Dog to children’s book illustrator, but concept artist Alexandria Neonakis is living the dream in Los Angeles!
In the latest installment of SYFY WIRE’s Artists Alley, Neonakis drew Ellie, the fan-favorite female lead of The Last of Us and the upcoming sequel, The Last of Us 2. For this particular illustration, Neonakis decided to depict the older Ellie from the next game in the series.
“A lot of her design was by Ashley Swidowski ... like her updated look,” said Neonakis. “Obviously we’ve aged her up a little bit. She’s 19 years old ... She was 14 in The Last of Us Part 1, so just trying to make her feel like an older teen and a bit more serious ... I really like the direction that we ended up going with.”
Neonakis also touched upon her own origin story as an artist.
“I actually started in games about 11 years ago,” recalled Neonakis. “I started as a UI designer, so I did the HUD, the gun icons, and all of that stuff. I had always done illustration, I always wanted to try doing concept or illustrative work. The time I’ve been at Naughty Dog has been six and a half years now ... I’ve voiced that I’d like to maybe move into a character concept role. It took me a little bit to transfer over.”
Neonakis also shared some insights into her art process, as well as a few other tidbits from her career. But if you want to hear them, and watch the artist in action, you’ll have to check out the full video below!