14 April 2012

Spontaneous art project!

Hi everyone...

I decided to make a special icon for this website. The thought occurred to me yesterday when I was turning in my next twenty + pages of the novel to my mentor.

As I've mentioned a lot of times before, I'm really behind on the novel. It's due in full September 27, 2012 and I'm only just now beginning to tie up the loose ends to close the first third of the book. (!!!)

I need to keep motivated, and I want to share my progress, so... I decided to make a special icon for whenever I talk about my book. Here it is:

Faux book cover or book icon?  (cc) by KEB
Of course, when I use it, it'll be much smaller in size and it will sit at the upper left-hand corner of each post.

So I guess your next question would be...What the heck is going on in that picture? It's a funky little representation of the two main characters in my novel.

Even though I've got awesome Manga Studio software and a Wacom tablet, nice tools do not an artist make. (And language good does not Yoda speak.) After wasting about two hours failing miserably at drawing the lead characters of the novel, I deleted the whole file and started from scratch.

This project actually helped me because I'd been trying to work through my mind more details on Andresh's shadow magic. If you read my super-popular Sacred Space post (going on 500+ views now, yay!), I pretty much had the concept together...but I still wasn't 100% certain what happens to Andresh's body when he's in different stages of the magic.

Sometimes, in order to visualize things clearly for your readers, you just have to sit down and draw the thing out. My book icon became a preliminary rendering of Andresh "going Shadow." The upper left-hand corner is Andresh's hand (err, technically my hand) when he invokes Shadow; and since the magic in the book is based on alchemy, Andresh is sublimating.

The bottom right-hand corner is Andresh's hand further into the sublimation process. Since alchemy emphasizes breaking down and purification, I decided to go a bit literal. Hence the color draining from Andresh's skin. And the blackness on the tips of his fingers...that's to represent Nigredo in alchemy (the blackening...aka the confrontation of the Shadow self). The blackness looks a little runny (ooh, gross!) because that's...his corrupted blood.

I'm capturing the moment when Andresh has Gone Shadow one time too many...and the Beast (the guardian of the Black Gate, aka nigredo gate) takes advantage of Andresh's vulnerability to take over his body. His fingers are bleeding because in about a half-second, his new claws are gonna completely break through his skin.  But Andresh's transformation into the Beast is not instantaneous. It's a very slow and painful process...so for most of the novel, Andresh is a shell of himself--the demon literally takes Andresh apart piece by piece.  Ohhh, I'm so messed up!

The second part of the image is a literal rendition of Lily's name. LILY ROSE. A lily and a rose. +1 for originality! Actually...I tried to draw Lily's hands, too, to do a visual parallel with Andresh, but her magic is FIRE, not SHADOW. What made me give up was trying to draw flames coming out of her hand. But hey! To look on the bright side, you now have a brand-new clue to the plot of the novel--Lily can Call fire.

Ok. Seeing as how it's almost 1am I'm hopping off of here. And sometime tomorrow I'll do my quick one-paragraph Book Update post using my brand-spanking-new custom icon. Hooray!