Monday, 30 December 2013

Genius Loci in Worldscapes Magazine

"I'll never understand how speakers can be so insanely curious. And laborious. An essay about Kmalian teapots? Gimme a break."
— Fesa, market trader 

Artist's notes
I attend a group on deviantArt focused on worldbuilding which has just resulted in issue #1 of the Worldscapes Magazine. I wrote this three-page article about Genius Loci, an introduction and the current theme binding the worlds together for this issue; you can read the full article in the mag: Worldscapes Issue #1

Thursday, 26 December 2013

The Blue forest

The Blue forest grows tall but fragile plants, wispy and thin, held up by infinitely fine leaves, gaseous bladders, or grass-like built. Most of the fauna flies or floats; even if the sunbathed ground is covered with nutritious plants, most animals stay in the air. The blue forest grows on sandy grounds, on steep cliffs and rocks, and is easy to travel since even tree-sized plants are light enough to be pushed aside. Most spectacular: the air is lighter, they say, and indeed flying is far easier here than anywhere else, and floating down cliffs is possible with simplest devices. It's quieter here than usually in forests, because most animals do not speak in a way audible to people.
"Sometimes the forest is called the blue hole - it seems people going in don't come out again. Once you've felt its calm, you'll understand why leaving the Blue Forest isn't tempting at all."
— Shiteng, blue forest guide
The inhabitants are quiet and meditative. Flying is a popular sport, and clothes reflect this; voluminous sleeves, short capes and baggy coveralls, especially in childrens' clothing, are used to travel quickly. The Blue forest's wealth comes from medicinal exports and building materials famous for their lightness, notably the wood for dustships. Like in the Yellow wood, people are interested in aesthetics, but keep things simple.
"Me love the Blue. Sand float, plants float, me float - I am part o' everythin'. Me feels very important there. Me likes."
— Mimiparo, bug fairy

Artists' notes
As so often, much of my inspiration comes from films. One of the most important here is the chase scene from Crouching Tiger, hidden Dragon in the bamboo forest, which has all the mood I want in the Blue forest. It has a very "asian" flair to it, with dreamy, quiet landscapes, serene dwellers, and calm movements. Must be quite a shock to be jumped on by a predator here.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Genius Loci Calendar 2014

Artist's notes
There is a wonderful, large calendar with all my favourite Genius Loci landscapes available via my deviantArt account:

Some of my favourite pictures, sadly, had a format that wouldn't fit and had to be left out, but the calendar includes a previously unpublished painting.
As for other publications, look out for the first actual texts in novel-fashion - albeit very short - to be published soon (probably on dA as well).

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Elementarians: Stone giants

Stone giants are the elementarians of earth and air. They are around eighteen meters high and seemingly made of stone, but change appearance all the time - so slowly it's barely noticeable while it happens. At least part of them is floatstone, and a cloud of rocks, sand, and dust floats around their feet. Their heads are stumpy cones with holes for eyes, and giants move with the seemingly slow pace of all enormous creatures. They are mostly found around Sawa's volcanoes and in inner Lozir, although some are said to roam the Singing Ryaq.

"It took us fifteen years to puzzle out what the giant meant by "the blue will help, but must first turn white". Spirits know where he knew them from. If you want advice, ask the voices, they're way clearer about things."
— Goffi Celinad, merchant

Stone giants are kind and friendly, but ignorant towards most things that last less than forever. They are sought out for philosophical advice, but have a habit of speaking in riddles, and are hard to get to assist. There seems to be some form of communication between all giants; they carve great drawings into the ground most appreciated by dust sailors.

"And the giant decided to topple the insolent spirit's mountain. When he came to the peak, it fell and buried him, and neither spirit nor giant were seen again."
— lozirian tale

Artists' notes
One of my early creations, I like the stone giants for their zen-like friendliness. Their ground drawings are nice inspiration for environmental paintings, and I have always liked the Nazca drawings, hill-sized chalk pictures in England and such.