Sometimes when I’m all out of words and ideas, I cruise the internet looking for something that sparks my imagination. Photos like the castle in the mist above make me want to write fantasy set in a world where magic is very real.
Work that evokes a story can start my mind going in unexpected directions. An artist can evoke a mood, a feeling, but then I can spin off from that with a story they might never have dreamed of.
I can, of course, make my own art, but when I’m in a mood I prefer to dig into DeviantArt looking for something that makes me stop and stare at it. I mean, DA is full of weird and strange art. Some of which is inarguably not art. I highly recommend you leave the mature filters on, to begin with. Even then, know that you’re likely to get mature content because it’s up to the artist to label their art mature and not all do. I don’t mind, but I like to warn folks before they venture in. As a source of inspiration it’s nearly unparalleled and there are artists to discover that blow me away.
Much of the artwork that is stunning, I’ve discovered, is the work of artists generating graphics for games, which both makes me sad I don’t game ( I don’t have the coordination for it, guys, it’s not that I’m against gaming!) and happy that great artists have found a way to make it in the digital world.
Not all SFF art you’ll find online is digital, though. Artists using watercolor, as above, traditional oil media, and everything running the gamut from ink to pencil and beyond into the three dimensional.
Nor is all of the art dark and gloomy. Some of it is positively luminescent, and I enjoy the more ‘chibi’ work, although it rarely starts a story in my mind. Sometimes, though, the beautiful and the poignant meld into something special.
Digital art can have a very different feel, sometimes highly polished, sometimes loose and conceptual. I like both, for different reasons. I sometimes find the looser art, the speed paintings, give me more room for imagination.
These days with new tools and apps, digital is fast approaching the point where it’s indistinguishable from some traditional media, especially when we encounter the art here on our screens – and, by the way, if you haven’t already thought of it, this post will be best viewed on something larger than a phone screen! Some of these pieces are worth taking the time to really zoom in on.
If you want a springboard into exploring SFF art on DeviantArt, I have a collection of my favorites (not my own art!) I’ll link to here. You can then use that to find groups that curate art by specific artists, styles, and pretty much anything you can imagine. Explore until a story starts to unfold! Feed the eyes and the words will come.