9 months ago - Hippy - Direct link
The mighty Friday is upon us, but before we all ride our Sparrows out into the sunset (or weekend, weekend works too), we have another nifty Community Focus to enjoy. This incredible artist has continuously brightened the Destiny 2 community with her beautiful takes on a universe filled with space magic, epic tales of victory and defeat, and those sweet, sweet emotes that really know how to steal the show. Whatever the topic, if it’s Destiny-related, she’s put her own spin on it.  
Meet Leyla Fida.  
Morning, Leyla! First off, let's dive right in with telling the community a little bit about yourself and your start in the Destiny community!  
I'm feeling heckin’ aweso—okay, okay, I'm calm, I swear! Ah! I am just so excited and honored to have this opportunity to talk art with you all! Hello everyone! My name is Leyla, but most people call me Lilly. I’m a 2D artist from the country that is most known for its cheese, tulips, bicycles, and a particular green plant (wink) called the Netherlands!  

There is a bit of a story to how I found out about Destiny and joined the community! When I was a 20-year old college kid, my dad came up to me while I was getting ready to head out for school to show me an article about a company that had spent millions of dollars on a game. That sparked my curiosity, to say the least. I called my grandparents to ask for an early allowance so I could immediately run out and grab a copy of Destiny. When I got home, I booted it up and immediately felt myself drawn to creating a Warlock (because it reminded me of Star-Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy).  

Everything was fine until I entered that dreaded (at least if you scare easily, like me) mission on Earth. You know, the one where the hallway goes dark, and a bunch of Thralls run your way all fast-like? Yeah, I turned the game off and didn't touch it for two whole weeks after that. I needed to build up to it. My only thought at that time was, “Please don't tell me I spent 42 Euros on a horror game disguised as a horror adventure.” Eventually, though, I was able to work up the courage to give Destiny a second chance. Eight years later, here we are!  

I knew I wanted to be part of the community when I first started seeing a ton of hilarious Crucible montages. At the time, I felt I wasn't funny enough to create memes, and I couldn't edit videos, so I decided the only way I could contribute was to share my artistic takes over on Instagram! As my page grew and I made new friends in the Destiny community, I got my first ever "oh my god” moment after Bungie retweeted my art for the first time on the game’s socials. Every Wednesday, I would be stuck to my phone, hoping for my name to pop up! Those were the good ‘ol days, though now I’m finding I’m glued to my phone on Tuesdays for the most important question, “Where TWAB?” 

That’s amazing, [laughs]. Well, some of your art is hilarious, so I’m going to go ahead and disagree with the “I’m not funny enough” portion of that history, but it’s amazing to see you now thriving and sharing your love so openly with the community! What about the Destiny franchise pulled you in so fast after that second chance?  
Gosh, where do I even start? I’d say the environment, first and foremost. Back in 2014, Destiny was one of the most beautiful games I’d ever seen. I remember waking up to Dinklebot yelling in my face and getting my first-ever look at in-game Earth. It was jarring in the best way and when paired with the ominous-yet-beautiful soundtrack, that environment combined a rusty, abandoned feeling that somehow still felt calm. Between that feeling of immersion and the gameplay, it was a pretty quick transition into becoming a dedicated Guardian. 

Destiny was something new to me, I had never played a game like this before, so it didn’t take long before I was all-in. I will also never forget the feeling of getting my first Exotic! Archon Priest strike, plan C. It was such a strange feeling, the challenge and the rewarding feeling after had me hooked.  

Another thing that has kept me firmly in this world are the friends that I made and our raid nights. It’s never a dull moment when we all raid together, which is what made the King’s Fall return this Season feel extra special. The original was the raid that really made our bond stronger than ever, especially when looking back at the ogre and blight mechanics in the Oryx encounter. Let me tell you, nothing brings a group of people closer than a glitching raid or a raid that is just really, really challenging.  

King’s Fall is definitely one of the most loved raids, among good company! A lot of new Guardians who are just now finding themselves in Destiny get to experience a piece of Destiny history for the first time. It really is exciting!  
OK, shifting gears for a second because I really want to talk about your art! Art of the Week winner, winner of our hearts! You’re killing it! Can you take us through your journey as an artist a little bit? How did that evolve into the impressive portfolio you have today?  
It’s an honor to receive such a compliment, thank you very much! My journey as an artist began in 2012 shortly after I found my love for anime! May seem typical to some (I know, I know), but anime like Naruto made me want to put creative content out there and  really helped push me to continue and improve.  
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Lilly🌸 (@leylafida)

The second I joined the Destiny community, I knew Destiny art would naturally come next. What I didn’t know was how much it would take over my life (in a good way), and now I try my best to create as much art for Destiny as I can!  

Has your style of art changed through the years as you take in new experiences, or have you found that perfect niche that matches exactly what your heart wants to create?  
Actually, I have to thank Bungie for helping me change up my style and improve! It was because of Destiny that I learned how to draw my own backgrounds. I had never done that myself and would always either ask my friends for help or take an in-game screenshot and just use that. I learned how to add proper lighting and shading thanks to those same wonderful friends, the ones that want to see you succeed but you trust enough to give you that valuable and critical feedback. Ultimately, they are the ones that help me make every new drawing of mine better.  

The friends that provide that sort of feedback are the best and typically a good sign that they genuinely want to see you succeed. Love that you have so many good people around you!  
Just like your personal art, the Destiny experience has also continued to evolve and challenge what it means to be a Guardian. With that fluid state in mind, what do you hope to see from the future of Destiny? Whatever your heart desires too, hit us with it!  
More Drifter. That’s it.  

Oh, you think I’m joking? Oh no, more Drifter, people!  

It doesn’t take much to make me happy, just saying.  

[laughs] Fair enough! Going to go ahead and guess that you’re loving this new Season then with Drifter getting some more time to shine!  
Drifter-love aside, if you could craft your dream Destiny experience, especially after seeing what Lightfall will have in store, what would that look like? Dream subclass, perhaps?  
I would love to explore a dark subclass. Mind, not a Darkness subclass like what we had with Stasis (and eventually Strand), but like a pure darkness-infected subclass; think a giant blob, if that helps. Just this dark mass of corruption and power, fluid in how it can evolve around the player. Mastering something like that would feel like a massive accomplishment, especially since we’ve already started dabbling in the “dark side.”  

I’d also love to explore beyond our solar system, see what other enemies and allies we can find. Most importantly, however, is I would love to see SIVA come back one day. I have never enjoyed an enemy race as much as I did when the SIVA infection was introduced! 

We could go to Andromeda! That would be fun, and it’s interesting to see where the mind takes us when thinking about the possibilities in gaming. Plus, aliens. And hopefully, more Drifter.  
Gotta ask: You said you started out as a Warlock, have you stayed loyal, switched sides, or run all three? What’s your favorite and how do I convince you to go chonk-Titan with me?  
I main the beautiful, elegant, and intelligent class that Destiny has blessed us with: Warlock. Sorry! Though, I must admit... lately I’ve been leaning more towards Hunter because of their playstyle. The fast, chaotic way of moving through this world fits me more than the careful healer that is my space wizard. The one class I barely play as (don’t hate me) is Titan. They’re just too chonk for me! I can’t even fly two seconds before I crash down and plummet to my death! Nope, I’m going to just stick with my Warlock, thank you very much.  

If you listen closely, you can hear my heart actually breaking. Thanks, Leyla, thanks...  Kidding, but before we let you go create more breathtaking art: If you could say one thing to the entire Destiny 2 community, what would that be?  
Sometimes things happen within the community that can cause (what feels like) a massive rift. We can’t have that happen, we can’t let that happen. We have to stick together and help one another because whether we wanted it or not, we’ve stepped into a war with the Cabal on Ma—oh, sorry. Force of habit.  

Love it, you’re a gem! Any last-minute advice for aspiring artists out there? Also, let’s keep that inspiration going and go ahead and shoutout anyone you’d love to shine a special spotlight on and tell people where they can find you!  
Hm, for artists. To all the sweet Destiny community: please don’t let yourself fall into a deep hole that you can’t climb out of. Please don’t think your skills are tied to being featured in a TWAB. I know I might not be the right person to say this given that I have been featured, but I remember when I used to get upset or feel hurt whenever I wouldn’t get featured or I felt like my art didn’t get noticed. It had actually reached a point, back then, where I would get jealous of my own friends. I would think, “Why did they get featured and not me? That’s not fair.” It was a period I’m not proud of, jealousy isn’t me and it doesn’t help anything. I want to support my friends; I don’t want to compete against them.  

It wasn’t until I saw how this mindset affected others when I had that happen to me and it was an epiphany. I am glad that I had friends to be there to pull me out of that hole and remind me why I create art: because I love it. That’s the only reason you need. Please learn from my mistakes, don’t create to get featured, or famous. Just do it for you. Let what will happen happen, and simply enjoy the act of creating.  

For shoutouts, I must give big ups to my clan: No Know Survivors! And to my friends and loved ones that continue to support me and make me a better person; for challenging me. To my amazing friends over in our Chef’s Kiss group chat, thank you for making my Destiny experience so much better than it already was. Thank you for also just dealing with my chaotic mind, you’re the best.  

To Art Deck for creating amazing Destiny-related 3D art and statues, and the lovely Brighan Art who constantly inspires me. And lastly, my lovely team over at D2 Art Events, you make the world a better place.  

You can find me on Twitter and Instagram! Thank you so much again for this opportunity, this has been a dream come true!  

And that’s a wrap! Another phenomenal community member to feature in the books! A huge thank you to Leyla for taking the time to chat and I hope you all enjoyed learning more about her journey just as much as we did! If you’re interested in even more Community Focus goodness, check out our most recent spotlight with the stunningly talented Owlcath!  
For any artists out there that may be reading this, I hope you take what Leyla said about creating for you seriously. We get thousands, sometimes millions of submissions, and it’s nearly impossible to choose. We see and treasure so many jaw-dropping creations, but sometimes can’t feature them all. That’s not a reflection of you, your talent, or your worth. Create for you and good things will come. 
In the meantime, I’m prepping to get my mediocre butt into gear for another weekend of Trials. In the meantime, be sure to be drinking your water (hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!), taking care of your heart and soul, and always put your kindest foot forward. We’ll see you next time! 
"I should go," <3 Hippy

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