Be in­spired by the Cthulhu Mythos

Alix Bran­wyn ex­plains her tra­di­tional and dig­i­tal process for cre­at­ing a dark and moody Love­craftian il­lus­tra­tion, fea­tur­ing a priest­ess of Dagon

ImagineFX - - Contents -

Alix Bran­wyn mixes Love­craft with Cal­i­for­nia.

When you’re an artist, you’ll hit that mo­ment when look­ing at some­thing seem­ingly in­nocu­ous trig­gers a spark of in­spi­ra­tion. It hap­pens so of­ten I’ve taken to keep­ing a run­ning email chain sent to my­self when­ever an idea strikes.

A re­cent trip to the Cal­i­for­nia coast, watch­ing waves crash on the jagged dark rocks ris­ing like teeth from the ocean, served as my in­spi­ra­tion for this piece. The hyp­notic and lulling crash of the waves, an al­lur­ing yet creepy fig­ure beck­on­ing, and the ter­ri­fy­ing un­known of the ocean seemed like a good com­bi­na­tion for an im­age based on the Es­o­teric Or­der of Dagon, a cult who wor­shiped a fish god, from the works of HP Love­craft.

I start out with a check­list, cob­bled to­gether from ad­vice gleaned over the years, that I put to­gether for my­self as an ex­er­cise in be­ing more mind­ful when cre­at­ing a piece. It cov­ers a lot of points, but pri­mar­ily: cre­ate a clear fo­cal point, a story to tell, and a bal­anced com­po­si­tion that will hold the viewer’s at­ten­tion.

While I typ­i­cally start with a clear im­age in my head when work­ing from in­spi­ra­tion rather than a de­sign brief, I of­ten find that when I re­visit el­e­ments on my check­list, I need to re­view as­pects of my de­sign. Like nearly ev­ery artist, I know from the start that the end re­sult won’t quite be the im­age I had in my head, but I feel the el­e­ments that emerge dif­fer­ently and change are half of the fun.

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