Hello everybody! Hope you are having a wonderful beginning of 2016.
Two years ago, Ed Greenwood - creator of the Forgotten Realms and acclaimed author of scores of novels - posted a call for artists on his website. Luckily, a client of mine, for whom I had just finished a painting of his tabletop RPG character, pointed me to Ed's website, and I immediately answered the call.
Ed wanted to know if illustrators would be willing to provide him with images he could use as inspiration to write stories. I sent him a couple of personal artwork without much hope. The illustrations were portraits of creatures I had done to practice the techniques of Dave Rapoza - who I admire immensely. Soon after I clicked the send button, Ed replied, asking me how many more I could produce...
55 portraits later, Ed's little project became a full-scale operation. He created an entire setting - HELLMAW - taking place in our modern-day world, where shape-shifting daemons with secret agendas live hidden among us. Ed wrote a novel - Your World is Doomed! - which is already on sale digitally, in audio format, in hardcover, and soon on trade paperback format.
Ed also invited his friends, well-known authors, as well as published and aspiring writers, to create stories in the world of HELLMAW, each of them centering his or her story on one portrait of their choice among my artwork.
It‘s hard for me at times to fully comprehend what’s happening. Usually, it's the other way around in the world of publishing: artists take art orders and illustrate already existing stories. Needless to say that being a “source of inspiration” for the creator of the Forgotten Realms is too big an honor, but it’s a great challenge for me and a thrilling experience.
Two more books in the HELLMAW universe have so far been released along with Your World is Doomed!: Dragon Dreams, by Chris A. Jackson, and Blind Justice, by Erik Scott de Bie. All books follow different characters and storylines. I read them all, and they really rock, each in a very different way.
Many more are being written as I speak. It’s mind-blowing.
So far, I can only show these 3 portraits, which were used as cover art for the first three books of HELLMAW. But more will come as other novels are released.
Thank you, and sorry for the long post ;)