Epic Games are on a mission to transform Fortnite Battle Royale into a social platform for expression, growth and recognition. This epic vision has led to the expansion of an already populated community, incorporating and empowering creators, artists, cosplayers and more.
It is safe to say that Epic Games are creating a sustainable community in the gaming industry with their innovative ideas regarding Fortnite. Encouragement for independent artists took the next step when developers at Epic started incorporating concepts and designs into the Fortnite storyline.
This is the story of Kitsu, the artist who started her journey as a Fortographer, and went on to have her designs featured in the game. The Marigold outfit arrived in Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 7, and in Season 8 players got to see the fan-favourite Charlotte outfit.
In an exclusive conversation with Gfinity Esports, Kitsu, the artist behind two of Fortnite's most popular outfits, revealed her inspiration, goals and future projects.
Fortnite: Kitsu, Creator Of Marigold And Charlotte Reveals Her Journey As An Independent Artist
Here's an excerpt from the conversation we had with Kitsu.
Q1: Thank you for taking the time out for this interview, and congratulations on having another concept art in Fortnite. Tell our readers a little about yourself and the journey that led you to become a concept artist.
Hi, thank you so much! It’s an honour to be interviewed by you. I’m Kitsu, an aspiring 3D artist who enjoys making art on a daily basis while chilling to my favourite music playing in the background with a cup of tea. I joined the Fortnite community in late August 2019 and back then I was only focused on Fortography (taking screenshots of in-game skins) since 3D art wasn’t that popular.
Once more people started doing it I wanted to give it a try as well. Starting with simple designs in February 2020, I’ve made my first ever custom skins, including Marigold. When I made her I couldn’t even think of “being able to put her in the game”, it was just a simple fanart; but surprisingly it happened anyway and it’s still sort of unbelievable for me. I was literally a beginner and community concepts were barely noticed back then.
Q2: As an independent concept artist, what would you say is the key to growth and sustenance in the gaming industry?
In my opinion, the key to growth is introducing brand new and unique ideas to the community - something nobody has made before. While working on a real concept I’m always focused on giving the character an original design and perhaps personality, because that’s what makes the skin recognizable and well known.
The distinguishing marks that need to stand out are quite important to me. I’m honestly not a fan of “cute” or “basic” concept designs unless they include something that makes them, “them”. And by “them” I mean those unusual features nobody else has, for example, Charlotte having her “Enchanted Spirit” style, Kei & Mai being cyberpunk cyborgs or Michiko being a dragon-demon stuck in a human body.
Q3: Fortnite's narrative incorporates almost everyone, from John Wick, to Le Bron James, to Superman. All the icons of popular culture are stacked in a single lobby for players to enjoy. How does it feel to have a few creations of your own in this massive universe, and do you see them adding to the Fortnite storyline?
This is actually very funny to think about - I can make a character I’ve created do a high five with Rick Sanchez, Master Chief or even LeBron James, that’s crazy. I really like the idea where you can play as characters from different dimensions in one place. I could never think of being able to put my creations in such a huge game and let people play with them, make content with them or even talk to them (since both of them were NPCs).
Q4: The new Charlotte skin looks absolutely spectacular, and it has become a fan-favourite in Season 8. Did you ever imagine this to be a possibility, especially for independent artists?
I’m very happy with the popularity of Charlotte and I wouldn’t expect her to get such honourable treatment. She’s literally in every lobby I enter and it makes me satisfied that people actually enjoy something I’ve made. It gives me more satisfaction than seeing Marigold honestly because Yuki (Charlotte) was an original idea from the beginning. However I still love both characters equally, they’re my everything. And to be fair - I’ve always silently had hopes to get Charlotte in the game because I knew that the community would enjoy her, mostly cause of her design and extra progressive styles, and, I was right! It’s so heartwarming to see.
Q5: Our readers would love to know the creative process behind Charlotte's concept. How did you first come across the idea and will she remain in the Fortnite universe after Season 8?
Firstly Charlotte was a simple custom skin I’ve made back in April 2020 (my early journey with 3D art, I was 2 months experienced) and it was her first style only. I actually didn’t have any clear inspirations for her aside from being into Japanese culture, style and aesthetic. My concepts and custom skins just randomly pop up in my head and I wanna recreate them from my mind into real characters.
Then I’ve made two extra outfits for her, but it was more just for art, nothing of a “concept”. I can’t assume if she remains that popular after Season 8 ends, but I have high hopes. Lots of people in the community called her “best tier 1 skin” or at least one of the best we’ve ever had which is extremely making me proud.
Q6: A majority of the Fortnite community loves Marigold more than Midas. How do you see the character fitting in the Fortnite universe with its vast storyline?
Midas is definitely one of the most important characters in the Fortnite storyline - he takes a huge part in it. And to be fair, I wouldn’t expect Marigold to be such relevant in the lore since she’s been considered by the majority as a snapshot of Midas and nothing else. Surprisingly, Epic decided to give Marigold a whole different story - she mentioned Midas a few times and had special dialogues with him when she was an NPC in season 7. It was very exciting and interesting to see and I really hope to see Marigold in the lore more often.
Q7: How would you describe Fortnite's influence on popular culture, and do you think that the game will eventually evolve into a platform for creative expression?
Fortnite is one of the biggest worldwide games now and honestly, I see the bright and far future of it. The Epic team puts a lot of effort into their game with each update and feeds us with new content every single day. Aside from people calling Fortnite a “dead game” it still catches the attention of millions of people who decide to play Fortnite and stay in the community, which basically means that it isn’t “dead” as many people say (no matter if it’s ironic or not). In my opinion, it’s gonna be a very popular game for ages and definitely evolve into something bigger in the future. With the huge fanbase and effort, it’s possible.
Q8: Out of your featured creations, which one are you most fond of? Are there any novelty stories you'd like to share about these characters?
I love all my creations in general. But if I had to choose one, I’d probably go for Charlotte. Yuki (Charlotte’s original name) was an old OC of mine (later turned into a progressive skin concept) and it was a brand new, original idea.
It’s more satisfying to see your unique creation being featured than something based on already existing stuff (Marigold is basically just a female counterpart of Midas) because it’s bringing something new. And that’s what I admire the most.
I don’t have any exact stories of Charlotte, but I have some kind of head-canons:
- she’s kind of a mysterious and introverted person with a bit of a rude personality.
- when I created her back in 2020, I saw her as 18 so she could be 19 now (although Epic said she’s a teenager, we don’t know her exact age right now)
Her biggest enemy is Claire, my other skin concept:
Her boyfriend is Kei, another concept of mine:
she has a dog which is her best friend as well:
Q9: Would you agree that Fortnite and Epic Games are creating a multiverse that's all-inclusive. How do you see young artists, pros, & content creators fitting in this huge universe?
I totally agree with this. Everything is for people! Everyone can find their path to what to do in the community - for example, some people go for Fortography (taking screenshots of in-game outfits), others decide to collect every cosmetic and review it, and the other ones feel themselves the best at creating Fortnite art. The variety is vast - I’m sure no one will get lost and everyone in the community would know what they would like to do here.
Q10: Lastly, is there anything you'd like to say to your fans and aspiring artists, any advice for those who aspire to have a career in the gaming industry?
Sure! Generally speaking - always be yourself and kind to others, never brag about what you do - we should be equal no matter how experienced we are or what our content is, we’re all only people. Focus on making art and that you enjoy it - trust me, clout is important, but not the most. Doing something out of interest is way more fulfilling. And also - take it easy! Never stop practising, improving and stepping out of your comfort zone from time to time. Everything has its ups and downs, not everything will be perfect from the beginning - it takes time. You got it, I believe in you!!