An Interview with Sandman

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Jonas Eklundh - Digital Myst & Riven Books

Myst fans enjoy learning the details of how things are put together to make a whole. That's one of the reasons we were so delighted to discover Swedish-born Jonas Eklundh and his digital Myst journals. Jonas, also known as Sandman, has a passion for detail which is evident as you begin thumbing through his virtual journals. These interactive chronicles document his experiences of the Cyan games, Myst and Riven, which he has enjoyed playing for many years.

Riven and Myst Books

Sandman made good use of his Cintiq tablet and Photoshop to create the many gorgeous journal illustrations. Several of these beautiful images are available as prints on deviantART.

Artists or mapmakers may be especially interested in the walkthrough that Sandman produced on YouTube earlier this month. He made the video at the request of a few folks at the Cartographer's Guild, which is not related to the great Guild of Cartographers of URU Live. On this video you can view details of the process he used to create the map of Riven's Temple Island.

YouTube video

We hope you'll enjoy viewing Sandman's amazing journals at his website. A link to it is at the top of the page. Below is the interview Jonas Eklundh did for Myst Fan Club members:


Q: How long have you been a fan of Myst and Riven?

A: Back in 1993 when Myst was released, I was 18 years old and lived with my father who was a Mac user. Myst, being revolutionary as it came on CD-ROM played fine on our Mac at the time. I remember that we moved the Mac and cables and monitors and set it up in the living room, connecting it to the stereo. My father and I sat on the sofa playing through Myst and it is one of my favorite gaming memories of all time.

I was hooked of course, and soon I started to make notes from the games, and as time progressed, the notes became more and more elaborate.

I hooked up with a girlfriend soon after that who also loved the games, and together we have played through all of them several times.

Q: Your online journals are brilliant! Did the need to keep a written record of your game experiences inspire you to create your digital journals, or, did the desire to add depth to your Myst related art prompt you to make them?

A: Over the years, I had tons of note materials lying around; everything from maps to illustrations and puzzle solutions, in a dizzying array of various formats. I think it was some friend that suggested that I should compile it all into one book, and I got obsessed with the idea. I bought a lot of different note books but none really fit the feeling. Then I got the idea to create a book myself. I went to a used book-store and found a very old book that was the right size and feel. Then I bought tons of blank paper that had an antique look to it and went to a book binder and he ripped out all the pages and replaced them with blank pages.

This book is still with me and it encompasses about 80% of the first game so far. But I soon realized that it was hard to share this with the fan community, so in 2006 I started on the digital version of the book, and have been working on it on and off since then.

I will be working on my "analogue" book as well, but most of the efforts are directed towards the digital one.

So, yes, both the need to collect all the notes and all the art into one format is what prompted this project, really.

Q: We noticed that the latest paintings in your online portfolio are portraits. Do you find the focus of your art work is shifting more toward portraiture? If this is so, what do you attribute the change to?

A: It may, I haven't really thought about it. I think that portraits are just good gifts, and you usually get good feedback which gives me inspiration to do more. Plus, it's good practice, because I think portraits are my biggest weakness.

Q: Out of your various artistic interests; poetry, photography, painting and digital artistry, do you have one that provides you with the most satisfaction?

A: Absolutely, it's poetry coupled with some form of resonating imagery. Where the image, drawing or illustration completes the feeling or message that wants to be told.

Q: Finally, what do you see coming for the future of digital art and digital artists?

A: The tools for digital artists are very competent today, and will be even more so tomorrow. I use Painter a lot, which mimics the properties of traditional art very well, but I'm hoping to see more easy to use tools for special tasks. Being into map-making I like to see more user friendly applications that aids in the creation of maps.

:iconsomeconfettiplz:Updated Membership!:iconsomeconfettiplz:

A thoughtful dA member has gifted our club with a year's Premium membership! Our Mystery benefactor joins the ranks of Rium+, who donated our club's Premium membership in 2009 and in 2010. Thanks so much, whoever you may be! - Six degrees to D'ni is an absolutely fantastic website holding comprehensive, up-to-date links to all things D'ni. This site is a customizable portal to the community in and around Cyan Worlds' adventure and exploration games.

The goal of the Guild of Messengers is to keep us informed on everything  Myst and Uru. The GoMe Calendar lists current and upcoming social events like musical concerts, prearranged puzzle-solving get togethers and Guild meetings.

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CassiopeiaArt's avatar
Wow, wonderful and very inspiring interview!! Thank you both to Jonas and to MFC for arranging and being part of this! :love: :#1: