Meet Josh Corpuz, the creative force behind JSH. As a professional concept artist, JSH brings his sharp eye for detail and personality to every piece of artwork. From reimagining iconic FFXIV characters to breathtaking original character designs, his art leaps off the page with life; it’s no surprise his art caught the eye of the XIV community—and Aetherflow Media. He graciously lent more insight into his work and his love of FFXIV in his interview with AFM, so we hope you enjoy learning more about JSH as much as you enjoy his art!
Tell us about how you got started drawing FFXIV—did you start with personal art and slowly expand your work, or were you active in the XIV community from the get-go?
JSH: I started with mostly just doing personal work and sticking with other artist friends who play as well. It wasn’t until a few years ago where I started posting in r/ffxiv where the community also started finding my artwork.
What design elements in a Warrior of Light or NPC do you focus on and incorporate into your art?
JSH: I put heavy emphasis on the character’s face and the patterns on the armor and clothing and try to incorporate those whenever I’m working on an FF14 commission.
When I’m working on personal work, I try to remember how they balance out the details in their gear and try to add those points into my own design.
What do you enjoy most about FFXIV, and how does that influence your work?
JSH: These are the major things that stand out to me: the stories. I love the narrative of FF as a franchise. Shadowbringers only heightened that respect, so I’m really excited when I get work that has an engaging story.
Next is the art, not a lot to say about this since I think my work speaks for itself. Last is the raiding content. I enjoy the problem-solving aspect of it and I often think about the mechanics of the characters that I’m designing at work, things like “Is this design readable from afar?” or “If this character has this prop here, how can they use it in a fight?”
What materials or media do you use?
JSH: I do most of my work using iPad pro and Procreate, Clip Studio Paint every now and then to change up the pace.
Have you experimented with other drawing materials or art forms? How has that shaped your current art process?
JSH: Illustration and character design aside, I used to do animation work for some anime as well. I think having the opportunity to work on those helped me preemptively think about how a character will move as part of my thought process when working, resulting in a design with some sensible articulations.
It also helped me become a better draftsman due to the nature of the work, however having spent a decent amount of time working in animation, my rendering/coloring skills deteriorated due to lack of practice. It’s pretty much like respec-ing your skill points to other skills. I’m working on making my rendering better again though!
Do you have any particular artistic inspirations or influences?
JSH: Akihiko Yoshida and Tsubasa Masao are my main North Stars when it comes to artistic influence. Final Fantasy Tactics has played a big role in my artistic growth and is still continuing to do so.
Lately I’ve been hooked on Naoki Ikushima (Octopath Traveler) and Yusuke Mogi’s (FF14 concept lead) work! So I’ve done some personal analysis on their works and trying to break down how they get the results in the work they do and try to take out the bits that I find interesting and add it to my own work.
How would you personally describe your style?
JSH: Bootleg Akihiko Yoshida, haha! But in all seriousness, I think it hits the JRPG vibes that I think some people enjoy. Being able to work how I’m working right now took a very long time though, but I’m glad that more people are resonating with my current work.
Tell us a bit about yourself in-game and how you got into FFXIV!
JSH: I started on 2.0 (not sure which exact patch number, but I think it was a few months before HW release) at a suggestion from a friend around mid-2015. Prior to that, I already had my eyes on the game due to the first FF14 artbook. I never got to finish ARR MSQ during my free one month of sub before it expired. I stopped playing for a while due to schedule and went back around 4.1 and pretty much have [sic] only done MSQ content for a month until I was all caught up. Suffice to say that I missed out on a lot of raiding content for HW and ARR.
In-game, I mostly enjoy raiding content! Although with the current content drought, the group I’m in has set out a goal for an ultimate (TEA!) clear before the next expansion. When I’m not raiding, I mostly do other side content like Bozja, ShB mount farming, and lately trying for a solo Heaven on High clear as well.