One wonderful thing about being an independent author is that it gives you creative control. I like control. (Mayhaps a little too much) That control allows me to share what I love with people I love. I’ve mentioned a few times that Collin, the artist who did the cover art for all versions of The Journals of Bob Drifter, was my best friend in junior high. He’s still a dear friend to this day. My brother in law did the chapter icons for Bob.
That’s why the art I’m going to show you is particularly special to me. As and instructor, I see a lot of talent come and go through the course. Some want to be artists. Some want to make movies. Others even want to be writers, and I pride myself on looking for opportunities to help them.
Not too long ago, I met a young man who I thought well of. He’d been posting art on his social media page, and I knew I needed chapter icons, and I can only work my brother in law so hard. I could have asked Jessica, who did the chapter icons for Caught, but I want to share opportunities with people.
Matt Reynolds is a motivated young man, and a former student of mine, I was all too happy to talk about my idea with. He was happy for the challenge. I paid him the same fee I paid Jessica per image, and now I’m proud to present the chapter icon for Elele, the main character from Sojourn in Captivity.
I first approached Matt in March of this year. As I said, I noticed he’d been posting some sort of new art on his social media page every day. I gave him two source images to use as inspiration, and he went to work. Three versions (and a total of five drafts) later, I have the image above to accompany the beginning of each chapter featuring Elele.
Elele is a Seferam, an alien race of the planet Orolon. To a human eye, Seferam all look pretty similar (if not identical). They’re black-skinned, with course black hair and large oval eyes. The thing is Seferam eyes are attuned differently to the electromagnetic spectrum (the same way Deer eyes are). They can see ultraviolet light. I came up with the idea while looking at some cool images of butterflies shot under UV light. That gave me the idea to have these creatures see that part of the spectrum. It’s how they identify one another.
Each Seferam has a unique pattern, called a Faline, on the front and back of their torso. The outer-most pattern (in this case the four teardrops you see) identifies one’s pod (or family). The inner-most pattern is unique to each Seferam. In this case, Elele has a seven-pedaled flower. Older Seferam (parents and grandparents) have more patterns between their family pattern and their individual pattern. Elele is a daughter, and she has no children, so she only has the two patterns. These patterns are based on fractal patterns I searched for and found visually appealing. I won’t share them because I found them online and was inspired by them, but I don’t own them or know who holds the rights.
Matt took those images and ran with them. I honestly love this image. I can’t thank him enough for putting in the work to create this, and I’m glad to give him credit as a work-for-hire artist.
Sojourn is finished by the way. The deadline for the other authors in the Slush Brain Anthology is Jan. 1, 2018. So you can expect Elele’s story to be out pretty soon that year. Please tell Matt what you think of the image. Young artists are amazing, and sometimes they just need a bit of exposure to get them the recognition they deserve.
Thanks for reading,