I’m inspired to use insects in my sci-fi art. What’s my next step?
Nigel Fellnar, Canada
Whether it’s the Reapers from Mass Effect, Invid from Robotech or the aptly named Starbug from Red Dwarf, insects (and pretty much every type of animal with an exoskeleton) have been inspiring science fiction spaceships since the genre took off. The complex designs ofNature are deeper and more thoughtful than most of us could hope to create on our best day, so it’s a good starting point for all kinds of stuff.
As with anything you create, the first thing you need to do is figure out what questions need to be asked. Whose spacecraft is this? Are they human-sized? What’s the general demeanour of their race, and what sort of mission are they on? Or are they lost? Friendly or hostile? Is this their ship or did they steal it? The more of these kinds of questions you can answer, the more streamlined and focused your design will become. Just picking your favourite bits from a series of strange bugs can have an eccentric charm of its own, but only when you design with a strong narrative in mind will the message come across clearly.
Consider adding elements to your scene that will display more aspects of the design, such as scale
and any special features the vehicle