Pirates and Paintbrushes – Oh My!


EVE can be a scary place.

When stories of high profile scammers, expensive ship losses and hostile gankers reach the outside world, they paint a sobering picture of the personalities that inhabit the dark corners of our pocket universe. Words like ‘harsh’, ‘brutal’ and ‘toxic’ appear as common descriptors of the social structure alongside frightening adjectives like ‘ruthless’ and ‘unforgiving’ to portray the game experience itself. For every Magic Schoolbus, Broadcast 4 Reps or Care4Kids, there are countless shady operators who will happily take you for everything you’re worth and quench their thirst with your tears – the saltier the better.

So when I set out to share my artistic efforts with the EVE community last year, needless to say, I was prepared for the worst.

EVE, and particularly EVE lore, is something I’m personally very passionate about

I’ve spent much of my adult life as a professional artist and have developed a pretty thick skin when it comes to criticism. Coming from the realm of TV, movies and comic books, I’m used to being part of a team; sharing our success and failures together in equal measure. But this was different. EVE, and particularly EVE lore, is something I’m personally very passionate about. And unlike many EVE notables, I wasn’t identifying myself with my in-game character. I was preparing to stand up in the middle of class, raise my hand and ask for everyone’s attention as a real person with feelings and everything.

To my great relief, the community response couldn’t have been nicer. When my first painting, Bloody Omir, was released into the wild, the reaction was thankfully very positive. Then I received word that someone had posted my work on r/EVE and my hands really began to sweat. Reddit was the haven for the most toxic of toxic shit-posters, right? Surely they were going to tear me apart and send me and my paintbrush back to highsec to lick my wounds and decide whether it would be easier on my sanity to just pack it in now.

Happily, the sweeter side of Reddit shone upon my efforts. Reading through line after line of kind, supportive comments really energized me to continue. Things quickly began to snowball and I found myself in the odd position of being recognized in the community for what I was doing outside the game in my own time. I had developed new friendships and with those friendships came opportunities.

And with that in mind, I’m very proud to announce my new position as artist-in-residence at Crossing Zebras. Going forward, you’ll be able to see my new EVE art exclusively here at CZ well before it appears anywhere else. This will mostly take shape in the form of custom headline art (hopefully) at least once per month. I also plan to continue my pirate portrait series with new entries emerging from the tall grasses here at Crossing Zebras.

here’s the first look at Silphy, Champion of the People

Well, as they say, there’s no time like the present. So here’s the first look at Silphy, Champion of the People. I hope you all enjoy it and I’m looking forward to sharing much more in the time to come.

Special thanks to Niden for his ongoing support and all the fine folks across New Eden. Thanks for making EVE a slightly less scary place for one humble wanderer.


(Click the image to enlarge)

Silphy en Diabel, youngest daughter of Dorn en Diabel, governor of the Poitot station in the blossoming Intaki Syndicate, was a troubled youth. After years of struggle and family in-fighting, the decision was made to send Silphy away – off to the Sisters of EVE. This move was clearly intended as punishment for the fiery young girl, but Silphy quickly embraced the change. She befriended Santimona Sarpadi, a rising star among the ranks of the SOE and sister of notorious Serpentis kingpin, V. Salvador Sarpadi.

But just as Silphy seemed poised for greatness among the Servant Sisters, she heeded the call of her embattled family and abruptly returned to Poitot station. Silphy’s father, Dorn, perished in a freak accident and her eldest brother, Gare, had assumed control of the local Syndicate operations. Hostile forces were gathering however, marshalling an army to wrest control of the organization from the decades long rule of the en Diabel family.

Silphy knew her siblings’ weakness would not be able to withstand a hostile takeover. She quickly seized the initiative and changed the laws to support lifetime appointments of Syndicate governors and secretly ordered attacks on inbound supply shipments to the station, effectively starving the populace. The people blamed the interim governor for the disastrous state of affairs and when tensions were at their boiling point, Silphy used her Sisters of EVE connections to arrange emergency food shipments to be brought into Poitot station on clearly marked en Diabel ships. Thus, Silphy made herself a champion of the people. She was soon ushered into power and eventually rose to the position of Lead Governess of the entire Intaki Syndicate.

When the Sisters of EVE learned of Silphy’s use of Serpentis assets in her bid for black market domination, her relationship with Santimona Sarpati and SOE was publicly shattered. Despite this apparent break, Silphy rules the Intaki Syndicate to this day. Her lawless dominion on the fringes of empire space are safe havens for anyone who has something to be bought or sold.   


(You can check out more of Gabriel’s work here)

Tags: artwork, EVE Online art, Gabriel Cassata, Silphy en Diabel

About the author

Gabriel Cassata

Gabriel Cassata is a freelance artist and illustrator from the United States. His work can be seen regularly in a variety of film, television, print and comic book projects. In EVE, Gabriel flies with the space hippies of Signal Cartel, a neutral, non-aligned service organization providing up to date Thera wormhole connection info and support for explorers across New Eden.