There is so much going on right now. As newly weds we are having a bit of our downs with the relentless work ,and keeping time to be together. But lately, I’ve discovered something that always seems to get my week started right: Watercolors.
Here and there I’ve started to carry a new sketchbook with thick paper around (a gift from my wonderful husband) and making sketches when I can in between grabbing a bite to eat and sitting in at meetings. Vida came to my mind the other day; she is a grey ghost I wish to never rid myself of, and I made this as a sketch.
After finishing my shit a few hours ago, I cleaned my desk clean and started to paint. Now I’m sharing her with the rest of you lovely people. She is currently my Rorschach, my meditation that this is a beautiful story to be told.
Thank you for being a part of my week everyone! I hope this brings you cheer as it did me at the end of my week. (In the case of most of you, a great way to begin yours)
Back in College, I took my chances at studying religion. Running through different denominations of Christianity and Muslim, I came across two intriguing types of characters: one was the Jinn, a demon-like creature that was created out of fire, and the other were half-demons, the race of Goliath. We can debate over which religion is right or wrong, but the point is that these characters sound awesome! As an entertainer, I was more than willing to play with these concepts through fiction.
The story of half-demons came from the Book of Enoch, a book rarely found in regular Bibles. It’s an old book, written by the great grand-father of Noah, or as sources said, whom recorded the names of the fallen angels and their description. This Jewish text was written in Ga’az and Aramaic, and was “uncannonize-able” due to the fact that it was not a record about God, nor was it “God-breathed” or inspired. So because of the Godless matter, the book has been set aside as just another record of trivia – hardly noted by a majority of the Christian community, except by Ethiopia, which find half-man, half-demon giant savages a relevant thing to the religion.
Jinns on the other hand weren’t savages, ironically. At least, not all of them. These creatures were magical, who didn’t want to serve God, but they had powers that rivaled the Angels. I know them best as creatures of fire from the Quoran, who served Solomon, upon summoning. People know them as Genies. Yes, that blue guy from the Disney movie Aladdin, he is a Jinn. The funny thing about them is that they are actually free creatures, that are allowed to live as they like, but in stories, people seem to use them for battles and wish granting – like Pokemons! Some stories, like in 1001 Arabian Nights, a Sorcerer was turned into a Genie by another Sorcerer, to serve people for eternity, as a slave bound by a lamp. Most text mention that they don’t mind helping people, but of course, who could resist a good story?
I personally never liked the idea of savage giants, but what if someone was half-Jinn? Sorcerer-like men, unable to reach heaven, but had the power of angels? Now, I know it was risky to test this concept out, so I labeled the character as half-demon anyway, to give the understanding to the broad audience what kind of intent characters like Julius Kros and Joshua Ayala are all about. Too much explanation can deter a reader from interest, or a viewer from watching – so to relieve myself of being the next Chaucer, I’ve branded the concept for ease: half-demons, the cursed relatives of mankind.
Here is a rendition of a Jinn.
I thought I’d take a minute to introduce you to the lovely Illustrations that debut at Ninja-con 2014 for the badge artwork. Eugene and I wanted to freshen the characters for the new start. We couldn’t have been happier with the way that they turned out. After so long we get to see the characters in all of their different personalities and glory. I’m sure that you’ve seen some of these photos lurking about the site in various posts, I thought that I would stop teasing you and show them in all in one post.
So without further wait, here they are!
The lovely Angel of Stone in her human form. ( I personally love her freckles!) This is the first time that we’ve ever drawn her in her human form, and I’m so glad that we did! It really captures her sweet vibrant personality. Now imagine her nestled deep into Vida’s adolescent subconscious.
Here’s the Angel of Creed in his human form. For years I wrote him under the description of a strange young man that follows the characters from a distance in a business suit and a suitcase. I like the fresh young look that we gave him, and that Wiley hair makes him look slightly out of place. If you hadn’t noticed the trend, the Angel’s have tips on their hair. In their ethereal form we go with the color blue. This is because in various cultures the color blue is considered a sacred scerene color.
Finally! Dr. Olivia Gentry in all of her wonder. We wanted a woman worn with age, but strengthened with determination. I love that distant look on her face, it shows a secret story that she has to tell with her actions. Imagine the fantastic stories she could tell over a coffee meet up about all her immortal clients and her dances with death.
The handsome devious Julius Kros. It’s safe to say that out of all our characters, this was the one that has kept a timeless unaltered look. How could we not? His features are what gives us a face that can express so much! From that twisted smile to the knit eyebrows, devious is written all over our villain.
Now we have a good look of Sparrow (real alias Sylvia Bishop) the caretaker of Vida before reuniting with Josh. Page may be an endearing character, but be warned that she packs a punch! I can’t wait to write the beautiful scenes with her in it. Because she’s the voice of reason for the mortal aspect of the story.
Joshua Ayala(the Black Shade) with a beautiful distant look. I know he’s one if the more commonly drawn characters out of the cast, but this illustration draws out all of his features.
I put more research into this version of Vida. My struggle was keeping her youthful looks without something rosy and bubbly. It’s a bit cliche, but I almost gave her the features you would find described in a victorian classic female. She’s not as delicate, but she carries those piercing focused eyes that speak multitudes for the character. A big inspiration for her is Jane Eyre, for the very essence that she carries herself and the ones that she love. “Clever little Vida… You can get into trouble that way”
As a bonus, I wanted to show you Michel whom we used to represent the staff badges. Michel doesn’t show up in the story until after Project Italy. I used him for the staff as almost a ‘hidden character’. If I had to chose a favorite character Michel would have to be it. He’s saved by Angel of Stone and later becomes Vida’s scribe. I’ll save him for another post.
This concludes our current set of illustrations. We hope that you enjoy them! Thank you for your continual support,