As a white male illustrator, I hate to admit this, but I often forget to push diverse images in fantasy. Often, I return time and time again to white male protagonists. Eurocentric imagery. And this is not only boring, it is a disservice to the viewers of my art, who are varied and global.
When this assignment came to me, it was a pretty standard descriptor of Viking imagery for 3 character concepts. But before I could get started, my client, Robert Walz, chimed in and said if I could change it up. He cited Maori and Aztec as my cultural touchstones for the 3 characters and that I had free reign to change weapons into sharktooth clubs from viking axes or what have you.
I was really thrilled to get this challenge! So the bearcloak became a manta ray cloak. I made the necromancer a thing of a dead sea. Chain or scale became made up of ivory shark teeth. These are the underpaintings. Done on gray toned paper, done in pencil, white color pencil, Pentel white color ink pen, and copic markers. Scanned in and given a bit of a sepia tone. I have not done the color versions, but will share those when I get them up.
This is work in progress: I will do the queen’s spear digitally, and I ran out of room on the paper on the Necro, so I will extend him a bit, so he is not truncated. (Getting sloppy in my old age and taking advantage of digital).
So, without further ado, 3 fantasy characters who I hope do not read as eurocentric characters.