Childhood entertainment has morphed into grownup art for Patrick Towers. Hours of video-game play influenced the Orlando graphic designer's style and art, which will be on display this weekend during Otronicon, an annual celebration of hands-on technology at Orlando Science Center.
"It's kind of a love letter to my childhood," said Towers, 27.
He uses a computer and drawing tablet to create digital images saluting elements of video games, particularly from the Nintendo stable.
"I take the characters, but I try to put a unique spin on it either illustrationwise or stylistically," he said. "I try to take recognizable characters and make them unique."
In the Super Mario World game, the villainous Bowser can be seen inside what Towers describes as a "kind of a clown airship." That left an impression on him.
"I always felt it was weird because it was big scary villain, and he's riding in this big happy vehicle. Even as a kid I thought that was a weird combo," Towers said. The result is his "Koopa Clown Art."
"I have this picture where Bowser is exaggerated and illustrated, but then his clown car is not illustration — it's much more designed and abstract."
Towers, along with fellow artists J.P. Perez and Mark Perez, are the anchors of the Otronicon art show. The artists will be stationed outside the event's Reboot Lounge in meet-and-greet mode.
"I'm going to have a computer set up with a monitor and every so often I'm going to give demonstrations of how I draw on the computer," said Towers, who was born and raised in Brevard County and is a UCF graduate.
"It's really just like drawing with a pencil and paper, just on the computer. It's a much newer medium than traditional stuff."
The interaction is a hallmark of Otronicon, which strives to show off technology in entertainment, medical, military and educational uses. It also tries to guide folks to technology-based careers in Central Florida.
Towers said his digital art was just a hobby until a few years ago.
"I realized that creating websites and doing graphic design is something I went to school for and I can do — but illustration is something I'm good at and really enjoy," he said.
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Where: Orlando Science Center, 777 E. Princeton St., Orlando
When: 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday and Monday.
Cost: Included in regular science-center admission: $17 general, $12 ages 3-11.