Unknown Armies: Illustrating the Occult Underground

This is the latest in our series of guest blogs by Unknown Armies collaborators and contributors. Today's blog is by UA3 contributing photographer and artist Beno├«t Felten.

When I first heard that UA3 would be partially illustrated with photographic material, I got really excited and started experimenting with some ideas. Reading the books, particularly book 3, I'd have all these cool ideas, but not all of them were practical to set up. Still, there were a number of things I wanted to try. One was to illustrate some freaky stuff, the other was to illustrate obsession. I first focused on the latter, and one of the first photos I came up with was this one:

I thought this was a good illustration of, in Greg Stolze's words, "doing it wrong."

I really like photography, and I think I'm quite good at it, but I'm not a graphic artist and my photoshop skills are pedestrian at best. So I tried to experiment with things I could get a good grasp on, and played around with tools that are not designed to do what I used them for. I did a series of portrait shots specifically for UA and I was trying to find a way of making them look creepy. For this next shot I used the tool that is so decried in photoshop because it's used to slim down models on magazine covers. As you can see that's not exactly what I did with it.

Finally, I tried to think of outdoor scenes that might look atmospheric and would work for the game. Things that would evoke the underside of urban life. I went through my photos in various places in the world and this one of Bangkok seemed perfect. It's one of those shots that seems to tell a story, but not one you can readily figure out. A great analogy for what Unknown Armies does best, I think.


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