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Pascal Blanche is building a stunning sci-fi universe

"I just wanted to create worlds of my own."

By day, Pascal Blanche is a senior art director at Ubisoft Montreal, a massive game studio where blockbusters like Assassin's Creed and Watch Dogs are made. But by night, he's an artist dreaming up captivating sci-fi worlds that harken back to greats like Chris Foss and Ralph McQuarrie. "I think it all started with Star Wars," he says of his fascination with space and science fiction.

Unsurprisingly, the work of Foss, McQuarrie, and their ilk helped inspire Blanche to get into art in the first place. While Star Wars was the jumping off point, Blanche rattles off a list of some of the biggest names in science fiction and fantasy as his influences: Frank Frazetta, Mœbius, and books like Dune and pretty much everything by Isaac Asimov. "All of the classics," he says. His personal site even includes a large list of his inspirations.

His initial goal was to work in animation, but when he discovered computers, and their potential to "help me create whatever I wanted," he decided video games might be a better place for his talents. Prior to working at Ubisoft he freelanced for the likes of Magic the Gathering creator Wizards of the Coast, but video games let him "create more living worlds," he explains.

Outside of his day job, Blanche is currently working on a personal project called "Stardust." He calls it something he "had in the back of my mind" for ages, but what it is isn't exactly clear. Right now "Stardust" is a Tumblr filled with beautiful art: colorful illustrations of ships flying through a hazy space, and towering, Death Star-like structures floating among the stars. Though there's no descriptions for the different pieces, they all feel connected through color and style. It's clear they're part of the same universe — hopefully one we'll be seeing more of in the future.

"I never really wanted to be an artist," Blanche says. "I just wanted to create worlds of my own."

You can find more of his work at his site.