In the world of esports, a player’s online identity or persona is usually captured through the design and makeup of their socials or their stream overlays. These small details, while aesthetically pleasing and usually for show, can also help to enunciate and project the identity of said persona tenfold. One of those people known very well around the Rainbow Six esports community, is Deadbird.
Deadbird has done commissions and astounding work for pro players in the past such as mousesports’ Ville ‘Sha77e’ Palola and Team Reciprocity’s Gabriel ‘LaXInG’ Mirelez, amongst recent work he’s completed for PENTA coach Jessica ‘Jess’ Bolden, CCS, and a number of the current active roster for Spacestation Gaming. He continues to support the Rainbow Six esports community with the work he does and the graphics he provides- whether it’s emotes to express an incredible clutch by your favorite streamer or a hand-illustrated profile picture to elevate your online persona. We sat down with Deadbird recently, just before his visit to the ESL Premiership, to talk more about what he does.
What is it that you do for the community?
I’m an illustrator and graphic artist who makes Siege-themed emotes and fan art for content creators, pro players, and Ubisoft devs.
What got you into design/illustration in the first place?
I’m a qualified graphic designer but fell into illustration through my love of drawing. It’s always been a hobby of mine that, thankfully, turned into a career.
How did you end up in the Rainbow Six community, doing what you do?
I guess I ended up in the R6 community through my fan art. I’m a huge fan of the game so began creating illustrations for use as YouTube thumbnails when it first released. Things have steadily increased from there.
How much R6 esports do you watch, and what is your favorite competition/regional scene to follow?
I don’t watch as much as I’d like, my schedule has been pretty crazy since I became a dad and my work schedule revolves around my daughter. I’m usually working at stupid times but I do have the matches on in the background while I do work.
The Invitational has gotta be everyone’s favourite, right? The fact that it’s getting bigger each year just shows how big the community is and the passion the devs and everyone involved have for the game. I love the fact that there are ‘smaller’ competitions involved as more people can get into the competitive scene.
Do you have a favorite team?
I don’t specifically have a favourite team as I’m more a fan of the players. The roster changes can make it difficult although you’ve got to give credit to G2 (formerly PENTA) for their sheer dominance in the scene in recent times.
You’ve recently partnered with T3H, an organization that has had many current professional players rise through their ranks, what is that like?
The group at T3H are a talented group and great to work with. They have a great work ethic and professionalism, to work alongside them is fantastic.
Do you have any tips for people looking to approach graphic designers?
There are many graphic designers, illustrators and creators out there. Before approaching any for work- always do some research. Check out their art style, drop them some messages, you can gauge how professional people can be from your correspondence with them.
I always try to be as helpful and stress-free as possible for my clients. I also try to offer advice on their ideas and suggest things that may work best to get the product they want.
You’ve recently done work for people in SSG, CCS, and the incredible SI’19 themed profile pictures- which of your recent projects has been your favorite to work on?
It's an honour to work with those guys, the fact that I love Siege helps greatly as the work is always so fun to do and the clients share that passion. I guess that's why this community is so great, it's a huge family and we all know each other through Siege. That also includes the many content creators I've worked for, the passion is there from everyone. I did enjoy creating those S.I themed pics, it's a little different to my usual work so it made a nice change.
In your own words, how does graphic design serve as a tool to elevate an identity?
Graphic design is key for your brand, starting with your logo. It's all about the identity. You need something to portray YOUR identity and create something unique to yourself. Having professional looking branding is the 'icing on the cake', the 'cherry on top' so to speak. By all means great graphics are a necessity but having them is what sets you apart!
Any closing words to your supporters?
To be honest, I'm thrilled to be associated in the community, from players and creators to devs. I'm just a huge fan, like anyone else, so the fact that I create things for the community as my job is an amazing privilege and a great job. I've met a lot of great people from this community and there are many more I'd like to meet but I'm so grateful to all of you who have supported me and turned my hobby into my career. I wouldn't be here without you!