Fantasy bestiary Meet the dragon-slaying creature that won a competition judged by Terryl Whitlatch
Helpful Bear Productions has been on the hunt for new art talent. The studio specialising in creature and character design recently held a contest to find the best in beastly creations. Illustrator Terryl Whitlatch helped judge the competition.
The overall winner is concept artist and illustrator Katie Pfeilschiefter, for her take on the Ichneumon – a mythological medieval predator of dragons.
“My main inspiration was the Egyptian mongoose,” Katie says, “and I extrapolated from there, coating its fur with quills, giving it a venomous bite and inferring an exaggerated patagium between its front and forelegs for surviving long falls.”
Katie wins a host of prizes – including a one-on-one critique with Terryl, who liked the way she rendered the fabled creature with a naturalist’s eye: “Beautiful at every level: texture, anatomy, environment, lighting and character. Katie’s love and observation of real animals brings this creature to life.”
The second-prize winner is the elegant Gray Beast by San Francisco-based Jan Vidra, with third spot going to Aleksandar Petrikanovic’s design, the Amphibious Giant.
To find out more about Helpful Bear Productions go to www.helpfulbear.com, and see more of Katie’s art over at
Jan Vidra’s Gray Beast was the worthy runner-up in Helpful Bear’s creature design contest. Her depiction of
an Ichneumon, a medieval slayer of dragons, secured Katie Pfeilschiefter first
place in the contest.
This hefty looking Amphibious Giant bagged the third place berth in the creature contest for artist Aleksandar Petrikanovic.