By Antonela Pounder
on June 30, 2023 9:56am

We’re almost halfway through 2023, which means we’re halfway through our #DSPorterSpotlight series! Over the last 6 months, we’ve celebrated some of the biggest DEATH STRANDING fans in the community and the response from other Porters has been wonderful. Thank you all so much for being the positive forces that you are!

In our latest article, we had a chat with Vincent Hult, an incredibly talented artist who caught our attention thanks to their stunning DEATH STRANDING character illustrations. Enjoy!


Hi! Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us. Your DEATH STRANDING illustrations are fantastic! Could you tell us a bit about yourself and what makes you a DEATH STRANDING super fan?

I’m Vincent, freelance illustrator and obsessive fan-artist when the mood strikes me. I’ve been living inside the DEATH STRANDING universe for the better part of 6 months now, being a bit of a newcomer to the game. At the time when I decided to start playing DEATH STRANDING, I was in the middle of rewatching The Walking Dead in anticipation of the spinoff series with Daryl Dixon. With Daryl being my favorite, I saw Norman Reedus as the main character and thought “might as well check it out” after it was distributed for free for a short time on Epic Games. DEATH STRANDING was my very first Hideo Kojima game, so I had no idea what to expect.

I made the mistake in the past of trying to figure out the game through the trailer alone. Upon playing, the universe started making sense to me despite its extremely intricate themes at times. I particularly enjoyed the science behind it, how things logically worked with the BT’s and BB pods, which brings me to how I eventually discovered my favorite character.

Do you have a favourite character to illustrate from DEATH STRANDING? (And what makes them so special to draw?)

I took my sweet time with DEATH STRANDING, not making it to chapter 8 until about 70 hours in. That’s where the character Heartman was introduced. I have a historic habit of latching onto very specific characters that I feel speaks to me, and this one had an incredibly potent presence. So it’s no UCA government secret that Heartman is my favorite. His hyper-logical approach to the Death Stranding and theories behind how things work really spoke to me, along with his comically tragic personality. The voice actor for the English version, Darren YeJacobs, really cemented the character’s personality for me in a unique way that made me both laugh and cry within the same scene. As someone who is also a two-time survivor of open heart surgery, Heartman’s weakened heart was a little cherry on top for me as well that I could somewhat relate to even if his condition is mostly fictional. I wanted to explore the character as deeply as possible, not only through art but also dabbling in some cosplay at home.

Can you give us a bit of an insight into how you go about creating your illustrations?

In a day I can knock out anywhere from 1-10 doodles, sometimes more. First I try to find out their defining facial traits. I had a lot of fun deconstructing Heartman’s face down to linework in the simplest form, mixing and matching proportions through art to see when it starts looking like how the character makes me feel when I view him. Sometimes it’s a strenuous process since I struggle with a lot of motor coordination in my everyday life, which makes my passions harder to fully satiate, but I’m also stubborn so I refuse to quit.

My favorite subject to draw when it comes to Heartman, is “downtime” often sprinkled with humor and interactions with other characters from Bridges. I’d love to watch Heartman attempt to mow a lawn or make dinner before his scheduled demise. When it comes to pure exploration of the shapes of the character, I enjoy drawing him from the side-angles mostly. Drawing him made me discover Heartman’s model, Nicolas Winding Refn, who was unknown to me previously. Heartman is more or less a collaboration of different people to create one character through various performances, being voice acting and motion capture. Upon researching Nicolas, I’m pretty sure they managed to sneak his essence into the character here and there through specific ways only fans from each side are able to recognize, like discovering a jar of candy hidden away in the back of your shelf.

How influential has social media been in getting your work noticed by the community?

I reside mostly on Twitter nowadays where connecting with anyone is relatively easier then other platforms as of right now. It’s always exciting for me to randomly check my phone to see someone who I admire having noticed my art in any way. Makes me just as exhilarated, every single time. I hope it’ll remain easy for people to connect with others like this in the future as well. It’s no secret that social media has had an impact on artists like me. I’m glad the people behind DEATH STRANDING take such good care of their fans & community.

Do you have any advice for new Porters about to play DEATH STRANDING DIRECTOR’S CUT for the first time?

If you’re curious about playing DEATH STRANDING for the first time, I’d absolutely go for the DEATH STRANDING DIRECTOR’S CUT version. It’s a unique experience that’ll challenge you in various ways, be it gameplay style or the lore of the universe itself. It’ll rattle your brain if you let it do its thing. This game took me on an intensely emotional journey that will stick with me for a very long time.

Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us. Keep on keeping on!