The World Fantasy Awards nominees were announced last night, and I’m so thrilled to see Zelda Devon nominated under the Best Artist category. Zelda did the fabulous cover art for The Bone Flower Throne, and I have loved her work with Kurt Huggins for years; they illustrated my Realms of Fantasy story “The Hearts of Men”, and they created the wonderful art for my website. Both Kurt and Zelda’s work speak to me on a personal level, so I’m really excited to see Zelda’s art getting the recognition it so richly deserves.
You can see more of Zelda’s work at her website. You can also see the process for the cover’s original watercolor here.
It’s Friday, so time for another round of featured artists. Today’s picks are cartoonists who present their Aztec-inspired content in new and interesting ways. Rather than focusing on the whole blood sacrifice bit, they focus on making their characters and message kid friendly and accessible.
Danielle Brown is a cartoonist from Orange County, California, and she’s living my childhood dream. I absolutely adore her work and have been following it for a several years on deviantART. She did the artwork for the game app Rocket Weasel and she currently works for Freeze Tag Games. I found her via a series of drawings of Aztec gods she posted here, here, and here, and I fell in love with the rest of her work. She keeps a blog here and a tumbler here.
Gina Chacón is an illustrator/graphic designer from Chihuahua, Mexico. She does a lot of anime-style work and all of her stuff is just beautiful. I particularly love this piece. When I first saw the above picture, I was immediately reminded of my own One World alternate history series, with the mix of traditional Aztec elements with futuristic technology. And I love the little axototl’s floating in the tank behind the girl. She keeps a Tumber here.
Angel Barba is from Guadalajara, Mexico and he writes and illustrates a Peanuts-style comic featuring the Aztec gods, meant to teach about Aztec culture, history, and mythology. I really enjoy the cuteness of his characters, particularly the ones that typically get a very dark treatment in art, like Tezcatlipoca or Lord Death. I could hug little Tezca in his adorable jaguar suit. Here you can see an animated video of Quetza telling the Axototl how he discovered corn (it’s in Spanish. I’m hopeful that eventually they will add English subtitles to their videos).
I spend a bit of time each day on deviantART, searching for artwork to add to my slide-show desktop, and let me tell you, there’s a ton of really good art out there. I’d like to share the best stuff I’ve found, along with new stuff as I find it. I like art a lot; I used to do some drawing and painting when I was younger, and once had starry-eyed dreams of being a Disney animator. I still dabble a bit (and you can see some examples of my recent art here), but I’m in awe of the sheer talent to be found on websites like deviantART. Mostly I look for Aztec or Mayan-inspired work, but sometimes I come across some really stellar fantasy and science fiction work. And who knows, maybe the cover artist for your next self-published title is over there waiting for you to find them. I’ll post three new artists every Friday, to start the weekend off. I want to respect owners’ copyrights and so will only post art that the artist has allowed deviantART to offer embedding code for. If there is no code available, I’ll still talk about the artist but will instead include links to their work on deviantART. Be sure to click on the pics to see their full galleries and prepare to be blown away.
Mauricio Herrera does a lot of really cool fantasy and science fiction art, and he’s quite prolific. I’ve been following his account on deviantART for a couple years now and he posts new work every few weeks or so. He also has some speed-painting videos available on YouTube, where you can see him work on a digital painting from start to finish; it’s quite remarkable to see, even with the increased video speed to fit it into a watchable video. Herrera has done a number of Aztec mythology paintings, including these ones of the Tzitzimime and Tezcatlipoca. I hope he does more in the future; would really love to see his take on Huitzilopochtli or an ahuitzotl. He’s a native of Chile and has done work on prominant video games like God of War.
Carolina Eades is another fantasy illustrator from Chile. I really enjoy the darkly whimsical quality of her work, and I imagine she could create really cool covers for weird western books, particularly my series starring Mextli, when I get around to writing those novels–or at least fixing the one I’ve already written. Maybe someday…. She does a lot of art for card games and RPGs, and her work is just fantastic. I think if Realms of Fantasy were still around, her artwork would have been right at home in there.
When I saw this one, I was just…wow! Seeing more of his work produces more of the same reaction. David Gaillet is a french illustrator from Toulouse, France, but beyond that, I don’t know much about him, other than that he’s wildly talented. Even the stuff that treads on familiar territory has its own provocativeness that makes you want to stare at the fine detail for a very long time. He has a facebook page where he occasionally posts work.
Have a good weekend, everyone, and next Friday I’ll showcase three more artists.
Death is her gift. Discovering the truth about her forgotten past sets Quetzalpetlatl—former Queen of Tollan and High Priestess of Quetzalcoatl—on a new journey, to rebuild her life from the ashes of the Feathered Serpent’s deception. Her top priority is to rescue her son from the underworld, but the Lord of the Dead will only […]