ART – 17.09.2021
One of our most extensive artworks to date is by Nozomi Matsuoka. It shows the content of one of Heggit's dreams. Learn more about the creation of the image.
An exceedingly nauseating taste of burning wood and searing heat settled on Heggit's tongue. Distant screams and the crackling of blazing flames reached his ears. Astonished, he opened his eyes and found himself on a hill. In front of his nose, gray flakes danced through the air and gradually settled on his golden armor, where they disintegrated as if they were made of dust. [...] He directed his gaze upward. Ominous black clouds covered the entire sky and smothered all sunlight. Someone bumped his shoulder. Startled, he turned around and noticed a soldier holding out a standard to him. Heggit turned his head some more. It wasn't just this one soldier, there were thousands gathered behind him. They filled the entire hill and were armed differently depending on the division. Different colors and banners rounded out the variety. He was at the forefront and all eyes were on him. But something else caught Heggit's attention. Behind the warrior hordes, just a few hundred paces away, lay a large city. A horrible picture presented itself to him. The whole city was ablaze. Buildings literally collapsed under the heat and raging flames swirled through the streets like little fire devils. Corpses hung by ropes from an archway and were consumed by the lambent flames in no time. Occasionally, terrible screams wafted over from the city. Again something touched his shoulder. It was still the soldier, who now pointed with the standard to a spot in front of them and then held it out for him to grab again. Heggit saw what the soldier had pointed at and could not believe his eyes.
This is an excerpt from our book "Daemonion". The text passage describes Heggit's dream, which comes to him suddenly and unexpectedly in the smoke clouds of Weiler's charcoal kilns. What Heggit sees there is quite vivid and difficult to portray. But who would we be if we didn't at least try.
The idea for the picture came up a few months ago while communicating with one of our patrons. This patron, Holger, had been following the story of Dystopia for some time, knew the book and all the other public content. During the exchange about it, we then offered Holger to participate in one of the next illustrations. Of course, Holger didn't have to be told twice. He immediately suggested three different motifs from the book that he would like to see illustrated. We agreed on Heggit's dream in Weiler. Now we had to find the right illustrator for it. We knew from Nozomi that on the one hand she was very precise in implementing the customer's wishes, and on the other hand she had already drawn several pictures with many soldiers. So we asked her. But Nozomi was unfortunately - as usual - fully booked, which required Holger and us almost 2 months of patience, before it could go to work.
Almost seven weeks later, we finally got started. Since the image was going to be so large and complex, we started working in stages, paralleling the steps with Nozomi. After we agreed on a rough image layout, Nozomi began creating initial thumbs with concepts. We meanwhile planned the architecture and layout of the city in the background. Many ideas were exchanged and a first one-hour phone call was made to Holger. Meanwhile Nozomi already gave us the first rough concepts:
We quickly agreed that A was the right image composition. Meanwhile, we had agreed on the background and some details about the two people in the foreground and sent Nozomi all the information with a request for a first sketch. So Nozomi got to work while we talked to Holger again on the phone and agreed on the details of the soldiers. Armor was forged, spears sharpened and banners sewn. But Nozomi had already overtaken us again and delivered the promised sketch, which still contained placeholders for the soldiers:
We already really liked a lot of the sketch. The city fit perfectly and also the scene in the foreground showed well what Heggit does with the offered standard in his dream. So we handed over the information about the armor and other details. Holger didn't miss the chance to give the standard bearer (right man in the foreground) the face of his best friend to give the picture a little easter egg. We also asked Nozomi to collapse another building in the city and to bring some disorder into the ranks of the fighters. After all, these men were in an environment that couldn't leave even the most hardened and battle-hardened soldiers cold. The next day we already got the update:
Click to enlarge.
We were pretty gobsmacked. It was already very close to what Holger and we had imagined. So we gave more hints about colors, light, effects (like the sparks in the air) as well as the mood we would have liked to express. For Nozomi, the busy part now began. It took a few days for the next updates to arrive, but they just needed some fine-tuning. Small details were adjusted, a few new elements were added (e.g. the glowing stones in the foreground). But then it was done. The finished picture was handed over and not only Holger was thrilled. Everyone in the team was on fire as well. But enough word games, here the finished picture (click for large view):
Click to enlarge.
We hope you like the picture. If you want to know more about the background of this scene, we recommend our book.
We sincerely thank Holger for his commitment and support in the preparation of this image. Holger helped us with a lot of love for details to illustrate this complex work. Also, of course, we would like to thank Nozomi, who, like the last few times, again gave her all with great diligence, zeal, artistry and perfectionism to fulfill all our wishes! There are good reasons why she is constantly booked out.
Nozomi Matsuoka is an artist from Japan. She is the youngest member of a large family of twelve, in which almost everyone is artistically active in one way or another. Nozomi has nevertheless taught herself most of her skills, whether through online tutorials, books, or with YouTube. She has been working as a fantasy illustrator for almost four years now, specializing in creating characters. Apart from art, Nozomi is also interested in computer games and fantasy stories.