It is the goal of many writers to create a visual image in their readers’ minds using the power of the written language. For me, I know I’m reading a good book when I no longer see the words on the page, but rather a movie created by my imagination plays before my eyes. For an excellent book, I also hear sounds.
But how do writers get the inspiration for these vivid scenes they write? How do they know if the scene they’re painting with words is the scene that is playing in their readers’ heads? Many of my fellow writers have notebooks filled with sketches that they were attempting to describe with words, but needed another medium to help them find the adjectives. Me… I can’t draw, not unless you want to consider technical drawing as drawing — which I suppose it technically is (pun intended), but not quite what I’m talking about here. A bunch of lines and curves with dimensions most of the time is boring to look at and not the inspiration that I seek as a writer.
Enter Andrei Kope, a Romanian digital artist who I have commissioned to do a few pieces for me, and I will commission him to do more in the future. My regular readers will have seen one of his previous works when I introduced to the world Melissa, a shape-shifter who frequently took the form of a black wolf. Today, I would like to share The Mark of Baeya.
When I commissioned the piece, I gave him a few short lines from my dark fantasy manuscript, Beacon of Hope.
She tapped a small engraved symbol on the side of the door frame. It was worn and hardly noticeable, but when she pointed to it, the mark glowed—a hooked line crossed with a sideways V.
I also added in the instruction, “I envision this as dark muted colours, with just her hand visible on the door frame, and the mark glowing.”
(For those of you interested, you can find more information on Beacon of Hope here.)
A few days later, Andrei responded with a concept drawing shown below. When I saw it, I knew that as a writer I had succeeded in painting the same image into a reader’s mind using simple words. With the exception of the colour of the glowing mark, all other aspects of the image were the same ones from my mind, including the particular hand that my character used to reached for the symbol.
Over the course of a few weeks, Andrei sent me little teaser images, mainly because he knew I would create a blog post about this particular piece of commissioned art. All the same, it was exciting for me to wake up to a new progress image and to see a simple passage from my manuscript come to life. The final image is so much more vivid than I could have possible hoped.
So why do I call this piece the Mark of Baeya? (No doubt, Andrei is wondering this too.) In Beacon of Hope, the mark of Baeya is the name given to the Master magician’s mark. It is a mark filled with protective magic and meant to symbolise to other magicians a place of refuge shielded from the Bleeder demons. The only way to destroy the mark and its protective nature is by using magic. A magician knows a true mark of Baeya by the fact that it glows when exposed to the magic in a magician’s blood.
I hope to make the artwork created by Andrei Kope into the cover for my book one day, assuming I can get one of those elusive things called a publishing contract.