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At CGMA, we know our students are accomplishing amazing things every single day, but we’d like to highlight three artists from Ashleigh Warner’s ‘Creating Stylized Game Assets‘ course. Peter Burroughs, Michael J. Esten, and Tiffany Shen all submitted the projects they completed in Ashleigh’s course to the 2020 World of Warcraft Student Art Contest in the Environment Art Category.

Peter Burroughs

Congratulations to Peter Burroughs for placing FIRST PLACE with his submission, “The Most Dangerous Game.”

“Phew, Revendreth sure is creepy!! In Shadowlands, when I saw the Fearstalker’s quests, I was immediately reminded of Richard Connell’s short story, The Most Dangerous Game, where the lost narrator is lulled into a false sense of security by the aristocratic General Zaroff, who actually hunts people for sport! This inspired me to make a small venthyr tower in the middle of the uninviting Forest Ward.

What would have been a normally quaint abode (perhaps for long-haired Disney princesses?) is unsettling in the Shadowlands, adorned with spikes as pointy as the surrounding trees, and dangling lanterns like the luminescent anglerfish of the deep sea. Even the foliage is a little more sanguine than it should be, but the red flags don’t always register with the sinful souls on the run from The Penitent Hunt. As heard by our player characters: ‘I am known as the Fearstalker, Harvester of Dread. In my forest, I am the predator, and the souls my prey.’

Many thanks to Ashleigh, Marie Lazar, and all my classmates for advice and encouragement along the way!”

Peter Burroughs

Michael J. Esten

Congratulations to Michael J. Esten for placing RUNNER UP with his submission ““Uldum Campsite.”

“Three Dwarven brothers celebrate the completion of their quest to find a set of titan discs near the delta oasis of Uldum.

I learned a lot of new techniques about level editing in unreal during this, like creating effects and wind animations, as well as more material authoring options. Big shout out to the Hand Painters guild and Ashleigh Warner for feedback and advice.”

Michael J. Esten

Tiffany Shen

Congratulations to Tiffany Shen for placing RUNNER UP with her submission “Winter at the Rosewald.”

“A gentleman’s private grounds in the picturesque countryside, away from the hustle and bustle of Gilneas City. The Rosewald is named not for the abundant wild roses that grow here, but for the rose red foliage of trees native to this region. During winter, these crimson leaves stand against the backdrop of snow like fresh drops of blood – what a spectacular sight to behold!

This was my submission to this year’s World of Warcraft Student Art Contest and also includes a few props I made during Ashleigh Warner’s CGMA course ‘Creating Stylized Game Assets.’ I learned so much from creating this scene, and special thanks to everyone who helped me along the way!”

Tiffany Shen

Not only did these artists win bragging rights, but all three of them earned internships with Blizzard Activision. Watch the video below to hear Peter, Michael, and Tiffany share where they were when they received the news, as well as some important advice for artists who submit to contests! Pro tips include:

  • Stay in the country
  • Ignore the wall of self-doubts
  • NEVER eat a peanut butter sandwich.

Though competition isn’t everything, art contests are a fantastic way for you to set project goals, get feedback on your work, and let your peers’ art challenge and push your own skills. We commend every student that chooses to share their work with the online art community! If you are a CGMA student or instructor with a recent professional accomplishment, let us know! Email [email protected].

Be sure to check out instructor Ashleigh Warner and her ‘Creating Stylized Game Assets‘ course to see the instruction all three winners received on their stunning pieces.


CGMA provides comprehensive instruction for Art, Games, and VFX industries in a variety of courses for a range of students, from 2D and 3D artists looking to supplement their college studies to industry professionals looking to stay up to date on emerging trends and techniques in the field.