Stefan Bjornfort

Christo is currently based out of Dubai and is best known for his epic Sci Fi style and phenomenal Concept Art.

What is the story being told in your cover art?

It's about rebuilding what was seemingly lost. In the current situation around the world I think it is important to remember that from tough circumstances good things can come. That even though times are challenging, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

How did you come up with it? What inspired you?

I was very inspired by the castle ruins I saw in the pack as well as Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. Alan Lee's paintings have always been a huge inspiration to me. I remember seeing his paintings for the first time as a teenager and it had a huge impact on me. I wanted to capture an illustrative  "old world" feel in this painting, something forgotten but not lost.

Ghosts of the Desert - Christo Crafford

What was your approach to creating this image?

I already had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to create with this pack but I still gathered some reference of castle ruins. I've been wanting to pick up 3D Coat for a while and thought this painting would be a great opportunity to jump in and get my get my hands dirty. I used it to create several pieces for the castle ruins to populate the scene and build the main focal point structure. Once it was completed I assembled the scene in Maya and rendered out a few passes to take into Photoshop for finishing. I laid out the basic composition using photo elements from the pack which was an absolute joy to work with. Next up was bringing in the rendered passes. I made a few adjustments and tightened things up a bit. Then it was time to use more photo elements to add detail and texture to some of the walls and facades. And then finished it of with color grading.

Some of the Images in the Pack!

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What Software did you use?

Photoshop for painting, 3D Coat for sculpting, and  Maya for layout and render.

What did you think about working with this pack?

It was a lot of fun working with this pack. It provides a lot of freedom and choices with different lighting conditions and moods to work with within the pack. The quality of the images are amazing too!

Why do you make art and how did you get into the industry?

As a kid I always loved being transported to other worlds and getting lost in them, and I want to pass that same feeling of to others. In a way I think creatives "have" to create. It's in our blood. But what a privilege! In closing I wanna thank Mattepaint for the opportunity to create a painting for this pack - I had a blast! Happy painting everybody! Stay safe.

Christo is a Concept Designer and  Illustrator based in Dubai.
You can follow him here:

Artstation | Website| LinkedIn

This interview is part of our Castles Image reference pack. Christo created the amazing cover art for the pack. There is a guide on how to recreate his work coming soon!

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