Kristina Elyse Butke
"Son of the Siren" Character Aesthetics
Aesthetics are a trend that I've seen from writers primarily on Twitter, and they are collages that evoke the sense of a book or a character. I've done these before. I made aesthetics (although I called them moodboards) for Son of the Siren for the entire book as well as one for Elythia, the wandering forest that's home to the fae and other creatures, which you can see here.
Today's post is going to feature aesthetics for the three main characters in the novel. I've focused on aspects of their appearance and/or general moods surrounding their characters, and I'll include a little bit of description, too.
Lirien is the half-human, half-siren son of the King of Ardeth. He's just turned twenty at the start of the novel when his mother the siren appears to sing King Neven into the sea.
He's a more quiet, thoughtful young man who loves his family very much. He also likes to read as well as sing. He lives a reclusive life, mostly staying in his room in his tower in the castle.
I focused on key aspects of Lirien's appearance -- he's got bluish whitish skin, orange eyes, and multi-facted bluish-black hair. I chose mermaid aesthetics to show his siren side, ocean aesthetics to show where he lives on the sea, and a crown made of water to show he is a prince but also of siren heritage. I chose the silhouette of the singer at the mic to show that Lirien, like all sirens of the sea, sings beautifully and that it's a major part of who he is. Although the images are of women they very much represent Lirien but also the parts of him he got from his mother.
Antagonist: Queen Aurinda
Aurinda is the Queen of Ardeth and Lirien's stepmother. She is a complicated woman who is a doting mother and wife to her own family, but cold to Lirien for being the evidence of her husband's affair with a sea siren. Though she holds no warmth for Lirien, she has always quietly endured her husband's support of his son. Everything changes the night Lirien sings the siren song -- then Aurinda becomes obsessed with him and will stop at nothing to pursue him.
In the center is a model who closely represents how I picture Aurinda in my head -- she has pale white-blonde hair, icy blue eyes, pale skin. The pictures of the royal couple represent King Neven and Queen Aurinda during happier times in their marriage; the crown, jewelry, and fashion to represent Aurinda as Queen, and the sea and castle to show Castle Ardeth, where the royals live.
Her aesthetic was the most difficult to make.
Love Interest: Kitra
Kitra is a fae fox, a faery who can shapeshift into a giant fox. She is nineteen years old, although time in Elythia flows differently inside of it than outside, so it is possible she is older than what she seems.
Kitra's faery appearance is that of a foxgirl -- a human with fox ears, fox eyes, and a tail. This aesthetic focuses on her fox appearance as well as how I picture her human appearance to be -- a headful of wild, wavy red hair for starters! I also picked some images to evoke the clothing she likes to wear. She wears a men's doublet and pants closer to leggings, with black leather gloves and thigh-high black leather boots. The other images show the magic she can do plus her home environment in Elythia.
Kitra likes to speak in riddles and rhyme from time to time, and her favorite thing to do is blow out balls of fox fire (kitsunebi or will o'the wisp) to confuse travelers and lead them away from where they want to go.
So, I really wanted to make aesthetics for Brandegil, my eighteen-year-old mountain elf, a collage for Lirien's three siblings, and another one for the fae rulers Lord Iesin and Lady Ariana. But I couldn't find enough images or the right kind of images to work. I'd rather use stock photos I have permission to use than do a Google image search to steal pictures, so that's why I've stopped making more aesthetics after doing my three main characters. I'm quite pleased with what I have.
I hope you found this interesting and are inspired to make your own aesthetics, whether for your own books or the characters in them!