It has been nearly fifteen years since I started my writing journey. Come October, I would have spent the majority of my life working on building this world, creating everything therein, from the characters, the locations, the terrains, the creatures, the languages, the mythology and lore but more importantly, constructing a complex and entertaining story which encapsulates Human emotions and as many different situations and scenarios as possible, both good, bad and everything in between on a huge and small scale. Looking back when I started, I had absolutely no idea how it would grow, what it would become and what the world would look like as time went by, I was new to this game but felt compelled to start at the very bottom and work my way up, just to see what would happen, glimpsing here and there into my imagination, struggling to build, all the time asking the question; Is this worth it? The answer to that question is, yes, absolutely YES! I worked off my own experiences and what I saw around me for inspiration and help to fill the gaps. I remember a time where I did not have this story, where I did not know the characters, but even then, found myself thinking of stories, continuing other people’s visions that finished, wondering what would happen afterwards, some call this brain training of a kind but I had no idea what I was training myself for, I just kept thinking about things which had ultimately no consequence, I kept escaping, kept creating things in the black space of my mind. My world was once a bleak and baron place, it was nothing but a void I could walk around quite freely in with nothing around me in all directions. All I had there was a candle which gave minimal light, but as I wrote, as I began to record my creations and nurture them, instead of letting them go and forgetting them, things started to happen, the ideas began to set. Every time I came back to this space, I’d find something new here and there, a plant growing in the distance, a tree perhaps, some ruins of a structure nearby, a strange creature would make an appearance every so often, one that I had sketched out and designed months ago. I’d begin to feel temperatures, I’d hear water running and the wind blowing. Unfortunately, I could not be in this place all the time or as much as I wanted to, life has a way of getting in the way of what I truly want to do. I’ve been through my fair share, getting sick, working in dead end jobs, failing relationships, travelling and so on. Sometimes I’d spend large amounts of time away from this place and it would be strange returning after a long absence, but do you know what? Every time I’d come back for a lengthy visit or just a brief one, the blackness would be ever so slightly faded, the landscape would be busier, there would be a little bit more each and every time. The colours were less black and white and more embodied with vibrance. Gradually, as the years ticked by, the world began to build itself without my presence, things would just fall into place and I’d no longer need a candle to light the way, for the sun would rise and fall, the stars would shine and the inhabitants were alive. I’d be able to visit the Cities as large if not larger than our own, I’d be able to see what was in the sky above the clouds, delve into the core of the earth, swim out to the oceans and walk on the sea bed among the reefs. This place is no longer dark, this place is real for me and it is only expanding. The black is still there I cannot deny, and still dwarfs that of which I’ve built so far. Standing on the edge of the black is scary, especially as it recedes like the tides. I still have no idea what it will unveil, what is out there yet to be discovered, but the more I write, the more I uncover, and it’s always exciting.
When I review this work, and believe me I review it often, I see things that may need changing, may need altering in some way, but some things have been in my thoughts for so long that they do not need adjusting anymore, one such scene is depicted here, in this Blogs display picture. My skills at drawing and Graphic Design have served me well, I’ve designed pretty much everything at this point, going to University was worth it, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. However, there are some things I will not be able to do unless a great amount of time is spent poured into the craft, time that I simply do not have. So I set out to find myself an artist who shared the same passion and love of creation as me. I put out a job opportunity online describing what I wanted, giving a very brief overview of the project and awaited a response. Within hours of putting out the job, dozens of artists from all over the world were interested, sending me some of their best works, selling themselves as best they could, I was flattered that so many were willing to help. Some, as talented as they were did not read the job description and were simply not what I was looking for so I passed them. Others were a little more on point but were more fantastical than what I was after, and again as awesome as some of the work presented to me was, the overall tone was off, I wanted a concept artist who could capture both a realistic and fantasy element, which contained the best of both worlds. After a lot of time searching through each and every artist even talking to a few of them in the early hours, I stumbled across one in particular who appeared on screen but hours later, disappeared from the list of those interested. Luckily, I remembered a link to his page on Deviant Art (I’ll leave the link below) and I went ahead and checked it out. Almost immediately, after viewing one of his first pieces, I knew that this was my guy, not only did he have the necessary skills, but he had that sense of tone, the element of fantasy mixing it well with realism within the artwork. It was just what I was looking for, so I dropped him a message. Turns out that he was indeed interested, a big project such as mine was what he was looking for, but due to an overloaded schedule, illness and while being in the process of perfecting his craft, he had to decline. Fair enough I thought, there must be someone else out there who could do what I was looking for, but after weeks of searching and vetting others, my list was running short.
I began to go off the idea, maybe it wasn’t the right time for this work to be depicted by another artist, maybe I should be focusing more on writing Episode Two. On a whim, I messaged the artist again, hoping his schedule had loosened, hoping he would re-consider. Not expecting a reply back, at least not for quite some time, I carried on as usual, going to work every day, writing bits and pieces as often as I could, filling notebooks, saving money and visiting the black now and then. Then, out the blue, an e-mail from the artist himself, not only had he agreed to illustrate the three concepts but he sent me a better sketch of what I had originally done. Overjoyed, we got right to work, I fed him my vision and he carefully illustrated, assembled and coloured it. The final version is what you see above in the picture, and I think it is masterfully done. This brings me back to the black, what you see here is part of my world, ironically it is a picture of destruction, not hopeful creation, but we can expect two more of these by the artist named Bojan, all the way from Serbia, and this is the first concept we’ve completed. It is called ‘The Ancestral Odyssey – Ruins of Imrondel.’ For those of you who have read Episode One – The Utopian Dream, which is available on Kindle soon to be on Paperback from Amazon, this illustration depicts the opening, Chapter One – And So It Ends and appears again in Chapter Fifty One – The Precipice. Bojan has done a remarkable job with the use of light, going from a beautiful sun set, a view of majesty and descends into darkness and chaos, giving the viewer and reader a sense of how the book unfolds. The character in the corner is one of two protagonists, I will not spoil anything for I hope you are curious enough by now to learn more, to find out what happens next.
As I said, this is the first of three illustrations/concepts to come, it IS important to the first book, a close representation of the very first scene you read. I’ve yet to talk to Bojan about the second piece which will likely portray the female protagonist (Isabelle, whose voice can be heard in the teaser trailers), standing before one of the mighty Celestials in another key moment in the story. I very much look forward to seeing how this next concept is handled. I hope you’ve enjoyed this article, I hope like the artwork because I most certainly do. When I settle down in one place I do plan to hang this on my wall in a fabulous frame. Please, please please visit Bojan’s page and drop him a kind message. The amount of time he puts into his work is phenomenal, one of the reasons I chose him over the rest was because of the fact he favours the worthiness of his craft over anything else, plus all creatives know that a kind word here and there, is more valuable than a bit of temporary weight in your wallet. Also, please consider a purchase of my book ‘The Ancestral Odyssey: The Utopian Dream.’ At the moment it is only available on Kindle devices but a Paperback will be release soon in July, August at the very latest. Check out Bojan’s and my pages, add me on Twitter, drop me an E-mail, all links can be found below. Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you very soon for an Alien: Covenant Review. Peace!
D.W.Gill’s Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01JMZ2BE6
Bojan Sucevic’s Deviant Art Page – http://sucevicbojan.deviantart.com/
E-Mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter – @MegasTeque
Promotional Trailers and Radio Clip – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-nc_VEmC27AIz6pP51UVkQ