paint, brush, splash

Artwork from Ishdaj and thoughts

Many thanks to Ishdaj for sending me this artwork for the characters in the Ammonite Galaxy series. I love it. It amazes me that the artist has managed to get the idea of some of the basic traits across with so few marks and simply by a change in the line of the mouth or eyes or eyebrows. I can see Diva feeling her privilege, Six being annoying and funny and sharp, and Grace struggling and just a little scared by everything that is happening.

Characters from the Ammonite Galaxy series by Gillian Andrews (Timeslice) Art by Ishdaj

It is very interesting to see how other people visualize the characters. I deliberately gave very few physical descriptions in the books, because I wanted them to be adaptable to the reader. I was hoping that everybody would get their own idea of what the characters looked like, because I always hate it when somebody I have pictured in my mind turns out to be nothing like that preformed notion. I like books which allow the reader some freedom.

Not that I think I have my own fixed idea of what they look like. I would recognize them anywhere, of course, but they are a series of wispy strands to me. A sort of amalgam of all their various good and bad parts. I ‘see’ them but don’t visualize them. Writing feels blind in one sense and hyper-acute in others.

Which made me think about artwork like this and writing. How you can depict people with just a few strokes of a brush. Suggesting, rather than making everything completely defined. And about how you can do the same in words. You don’t actually have to start with height, weight, shape of nose or color of eyes. You can start with just a few sharp lines where a character jumps into life through their dialogue if you are a writer and a few broad strokes for the same effect as an artist.

Well, I have no idea if I got that right with the Ammonite Galaxy series, but it was wonderful to be sent this artwork, and to see how those lines of print can filter into somebody else’s mind and translate into something visual and bright and so true to the characters.

thumbs up, gut, thumb

Thank you!