In late January 2021, Ignatz, a friend and fan, reached out to me via email, and said that he’d been listening to my podcast, LnB’s Audio Diary, and heard me mention that I could really use an artist for a particular project. He sent me samples of his pencil and ink work, and, to say that it was impressive would be an understatement. The project I had in mind at the time was called The Ballad of the Pirate Princess, a children's novel in verse that I'd written many years before.
I replied to Ignatz with surprised gratitude, and shared the novel with him for consideration. It represented a big commitment, and I inwardly wondered he'd still be interested, after seeing what it entailed.
Fri, Feb 5, 2021 at 6:28 PM
Of course, if this doesn't seem appealing to you, that's perfectly okay. Would doing Stardrifter illustrations for the role-playing game be of any interest? Your line work is fantastic!
His reply, unexpected in length and scope, nonetheless confirmed my doubts, while yet opening a whole new avenue of creative possibilities.
Mon, Feb 8, 2021 at 6:36 AM
I'm thinking that the Pirate Princess represents a far larger project than I had imagined and I can't, in all good conscience, sign up to that amount of work, most especially since such a project would need the same 'look' all the way through. If I found that it was too much or had to stop for some other reason, then the next person would almost need to start all over again. Too, the project couldn't really move forward until finished and I would experience that as a 'hanging deadline' above my head which I would best avoid.
I'm thinking that offering you some work for Stardrifter would be a bit more sedate. The game is already up and running (or so I hear in your audio ramblings) and so the illustrations are a bit of 'icing on the cake' without the same feeling of 'pressure'.
I don't know exactly what you have in mind for the game illustrations, but considering what I know about the Sci-Fi world, outer space and so on (been hooked on Sci-Fi literature since I was young) I'm thinking that the task would lend itself to the 3D world, mixed in with drawn artwork as required. I suggest this for a few reasons.
The first is that much of what I'm envisioning in the Stardrifter world would lend itself to be 'constructed' in a 3D environment. Such items as starships, scoots, space stations, and so forth. All basically geometric, conglomerations of shapes and forms, so easily done in a 3D program and often a pain to render as cleanly on paper.
Secondly, once an object ('asset') has been created it can be reused ad infinitum. There is a definite time suck in creating the object in the first place, but the payback after that can be massive. You need a shot of space ship from the front. Great. Need it from the rear? Just point the camera at the tail and render another image. You get the idea.
Third is the fact that the 3D assets, once created, can be shared out and used by other artists/illustrators. No need for each one to reinvent the wheel.
Another idea that suggests itself to me when I think of 3D creation is the option to meld the 3D images with photos of people to create one's own photo comics approach. Especially interesting if some of your other fans are into cosplay.
Just some loose thoughts here, David.
I could commit to giving this a 'try' and see how it works out.
And that's how it began...