Category: Art that Inspires

Images that inspire stories.

Epigenetics + AI = Exciting Sample Chapter

While the media steals the spotlight from groundbreaking inventions and incredible technologies, scientists continue to plow through new challenges with a vengeance.  What’s new?  Hmm.  What’s not new?  Groundbreaking research in epigenetics is opening the door to understanding latent or “junk”...

Ramin Djawadi – Master Composer

  Many modern authors write while listening to music soundtracks.  I’ve been doing that for a number of years now.  “Cornered” from Salt has pushed me to write faster paced scenes and nothing has deluged me with a sense of fantasy more than...

Chevsy Knight Dragon Fight

  Vuk Kostic (aka Chevsy on DeviantArt) has a very developed style – this is one of my personal favorites.  I don’t know if it is deliberately (albeit loosely) based upon the golden mean or if his sense of design is simply...

The Glory of Intelligence

The image is from an Ardella Cosplay   When I started kindergarten, my teachers (including an assistant) suggested to my mother that I be advanced to the third grade.  That was neither the first, nor the last time someone remarked about...

Interesting Alien

  What is it?  Bulldog face, humanoid alien eyes, reptilian neck and skin flaps, tattoo-esque markings, and no discernible ears.  I decided to post this as an inspirational work of art because it represents everything good about monster art.  It...

Winter Dragon

  Today’s inspiration comes from this overdone, classic knight versus dragon fight concept.  I think the ambiance and unique setting are what sets it apart from other pieces that often makes this concept so stale.  I’m curious what you think –...

Boss Half-Dragon

I’ve kept my eye out for the artist responsible for this half-dragon for a couple years now without any luck.  It deserves attention for a few reasons: It is a beautiful example of how to subtly use the golden mean....

Female Body Armor Done Right

I confess: I have almost zero knowledge about Skyrim.  I understand that it’s a video game, that it has a beast logo, and from screenshots, it appears to have some pretty legit graphics.  Beyond that, I know nothing.  I do...

Boss Fire Mage

A little inspiration today from either X-Men fan art, Chandra fan art, or someone who felt nostalgic about their old D&D fireball throwing mages.  I like this image compositionally and in concept.  It feels very engaging, it has a nice...

Hail Hydra

Today’s inspiration comes from Svetlin Velinov who envisions an omnivorous hydra (are those teeth really plant worthy? Perhaps omnivorous means something more nefariously cache…).  I found this piece inspiring because Velinov’s imagination pulled him far afield from the traditional dragon...

For Beginner Geeks: Tie-Fighter Down

I know, I know: Episode VII concept photos were leaked quite a while ago – but I still know people (*cringe*: I shouldn’t admit that but … I know people) who still haven’t seen any of the leaked pics so I...

Jane Grey Angel

What happens when you mix Jane Grey (the Phoenix in X-Men) with an angel, add a pinch of innocent baby face, and throw the mix into modern combat?  I’m guessing today’s  inspiration is the answer to that question. I’m uncertain why...

Barbarism & Challenging Your Own Paradigms

In a day when safety from political incorrectness and psychological trauma are nearly universally esteemed as inalienable rights, it is occasionally difficult to imagine a world where public executions and talionic (physical) punishments are the norm.  After all, we’re half way across...

Creative Mermaid Art

As soon as an idea inspires myriads of people, thousands of aspiring artists throw their hand at it until the very idea becomes trite or overdone.  Mermaids are like that.  A quick google search for mermaid images offers hundreds of unpolished...

Underwater Dragons in SFF

Lagiacrus, the flagship monster of Monster Hunter 3, deserves your attention – and not just because this picture is so boss!  For some reason we can all probably relate to, fire breathing dragons hog the press – and maybe that’s...

Boss Flying Gorilla

All too frequently, fantasy art falls a little flat and often worse … it gets downright cheesy.  Flying gorillas usually fall into that latter category – just google them and see for yourself.  **shudder**  “You Shouldn’t Be Here” by Ben Wootten...

Glorfindel & Balrog

You might’ve noticed: I love Eric Velhagen’s artwork – he doesn’t fail to offer plenty of action, movement, interesting poses, and often, an intuitive storyline.  I haven’t read the Silmarillion yet (yes, that is a shameful admission coming from an...

Boss Whips & Jason Chan

  Today’s inspiration comes from Jason Chan.  Featured on Magic the Gathering cards and several book covers, Jason Chan’s art work is gaining momentum – you can see more by clicking on the image above.  To be fair, “City of...

Old School Red Dragon

    Today’s daily inspiration: Earl Norem’s Dragon-slayer.  Best known for his Conan illustrations, Earl Norem gets my vote for best small sized red dragon.  While the style is noticeably outdated to the art critic, you have to give Norem...

Assassin Hunter

I just finished “Assassin Hunter”, a short story I wrote for the quarterly Writer’s Village competition so today’s inspiration comes Assassin’s Creed art by Chaoyuan Xu: A Leap of Faith.  While my story deals with transhumanist themes, including memory erasures, memory...

Red Head Samurai by Sakimi Chan

  Today’s inspiration comes from illustrator Sakimi Chan.  I know … it really doesn’t make any sense at all.  Why is an Irish girl becoming a Samurai and why is her facial shape so … un-Irish?  And why are there...

Epic Asian Plane Crash

  You can’t help but to love a cool picture that immediately inspires a story.  Today’s inspiration comes from an anonymous artist with a strong sense of irony.  I snooped around to see if I could find the illustrator but...

Monster Rap for Halloween

Years ago, my then favorite cousin introduced me to this fun song: the Monster Rap by Bobby Pickett.  It was a modern take on the Monster Mash but now, it’s sort of an undiscovered classic that ought to get loads...

Polyphonic Singing

  Singing harmony by yourself is admittedly an exotic talent but Anna Maria Hefele can make it both exotic and … beautiful.  Tuvan throat singing has been an Inuit (Mongolian) tradition for … who knows how long (not even Wikipedia knows).  Even...

Glaurung – Now the Coolest Dragon Ever

Often, depictions of fantasy dragons are a huge disappointment.  Words like “cheesy,” “trite,” “overdone,” and “disappointing” often come to mind when I look at dragon art (which is not all that uncommon).  That day may be over soon.  Enter: Eric...

River of Five Colors

  Looking for inspiration for an especially exotic destination?  I’ve frequently said that sci-fi/fantasy authors need look no further than our own beautiful planet to find inspiration for unbelievable locations custom fit for any work of fiction.  Take Cano Cristales...

Golden Axe Art – Hail Wesley Burt

Today’s featured artwork comes from Wesley Burt … at least, I think it does.  I’m not usually one to like barbarian art but this one caught my attention.  This “beast rider” image has a great sense of depth, an interesting...

All Hail Eric Velhagen!

    This post was originally posted a couple/few weeks ago – but my server decided to make my life miserable and to delete it and some other updates.  If you already saw this post on goodreads, there is nothing...

Unlikely Allies

  Finding pictures of unlikely animal friendships has become unfathomably trendy lately.  While I generally find these pictures of interest, this one particularly caught my eye.  How did the baby elephant end up on a broken log overhanging a river?...

Lost Heroism?

I have tons of dragon pictures.  I also have a number of friends who would be embarrassed on my behalf to learn that I admitted that in a public forum!  Among that large compilation of pictures, I find myself wondering...

Underwater Waterfalls

Mauritius Island boasts one of the very few and indisputably breathtaking underwater waterfalls in our world.  One glance is all it takes to see why. I’ve looked it up on a number of sights because they call the waterfall an...

African Red Mud Hair

One of my favorite roommates in college was a guy named George. As I recall, his mother was Irish and his father was Kenyan – an interesting mix for sure – and he was from Hawaii.  There are a few...

Well Borrowed is Well Composed

One of my lease favorite composers (Arnold Schoenberg) penned these words: “Well borrowed is well composed.” He is indisputably right.  Modern viewers almost undoubtedly prefer the Matrix to Plato’s Cave despite the fact that Plato came along much earlier than...

Universal Languages

Years ago, I toured China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Philippines with BYU’s Wind Symphony.  Unlikely enough, I was featured playing a solo on a tenor saxophone. While touring, my favorite part of each performance was when the rhythm section...

Crazy Trees

I often think that Asians are very lucky.  I spent a month in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Philippines several years ago.  It was the opportunity of a lifetime but it forever made me jealous of their land.  They...

Out of Africa Wildlife Park

I’ll never forget the fateful day I went to the Out of Africa Wildlife Park – twenty years ago. Between the inspirational stories, the albino baby tigers, the baby lion that wouldn’t stop biting the sore bottom of a surprisingly...

Pachyderm Darwin Awards

Hmmm… Is this a photoshop job or not? The headlines are flooding in: Thirsty Baby Elephant Drowns Self Elephant Banned From Beach After Failing to Keep Its Trunk  Up This Year’s Darwin Award Goes to …   The image comes...

Fallen Dragon

Although I don’t find the dragon armor or the dragon visage particularly inspiring, I thought I would share this image because it does a fabulous job of instantaneously conjuring up a story.  After all, what creatively inclined kid doesn’t dream...

Unified Weapons Master

I’m an avowed UFC fan.  Most of my friends find that revelation quite shocking but despite my very real fandom, I’ve been somewhat annoyed over some developments in the MMA community.  A growing number of fans are beginning to believe...

Red Angel

If you google angel art (or shortcut and go straight to DeviantArt.com), you’ll run across tons of angel artwork spanning from the bloody awful to the doldrumous ordinary to the exquisitely inspiring.  Today’s inspiration comes from a relatively new and...

Twinkle & Icingdeath Weaponry

There are lots of fantasy swords out there. Many of them are so over the top that it is difficult to find them very inspiring. Others are cool looking but upon closer inspection, you have to feel a little disappointed....

Steampunk

Author communities often ask questions like: where do you come up with cool names? cool world-building ideas? magic systems? and clothing? To the latter question, one must at least offer an honorable mention to steampunk. Looking for an interesting Alice...

Willy Claflin

I perform nearly every year at the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival in Orem, Utah. While everyone has their favorite teller for various reasons (comedic, historical, lovable, liar-able, etc.), I have yet to find a young child who didn’t love Willy Claflin...

Uber-Villain

Bad guys are a dime a dozen but something about this illustration whisks my imagination away to discover an uber-villain beyond comparison.  Noseless – perhaps only because the stench of Hades is so strong – this uber-villain doesn’t really need...

Blood Falls, Antartica

Any aspiring fantasy author ought to have one of those “Wonders of the World” type books to look to for inspirational settings for their stories – whether they take place on earth or some other place.  There are enough truly...

Shakespeare Slams

In modern film, we usually find very bland, direct slams and insults.  Occasionally, a marginally subtle and humorous attack is aimed towards a dense character who fails to understand the biting remark but rare are the times when ad hominem...

Refined & Beautiful Things

I’m obsessed with beautiful things. I’m currently listening to my “inspiring” playlist on itunes. I own a butterfly store. I collect beautiful images for my screensaver and I have beautiful sculptures, feathers, shells, and various forms of art all over...

Butterfly Display at Museum

I co-own thebutterflystore.com. My partner and I have been working like crazy to do a huge butterfly display for BYU’s Bean Museum. The image above is the morpho flight that we are doing – in progress. I’ll be adding a...

Art by Gameco

In my database of inspirational images, I have a fair number of creative merfolk.  While most artists use standard fish tails, several use tentacles and a very rare few use jellyfish motifs. However, I haven’t found a single other well...

Raistlin Majere

As a teenager, I was probably more drawn towards the Dragonlance series than any other work of fantasy – though the Shannara series may have been a close second for a season.  Something about Raistlin drew me in.  Despondent, cynical,...

James Wolf

It’s happened twice in my recent past: I’ve seen a picture and thought “Now I have to rewrite a scene to match that painting!” James Wolf’s picture above made me want to rewrite a scene in Moon 514 where a...

Go Smiley Game

I have a good friend (Jaime Buckley) who writes full time.  He doesn’t just write books – he authors games.  Normally, I’m not the type who really enjoys games (I make very few exceptions to the “I don’t play” much...

Sweet Talk

“You talk so sweet I bet you have to suck on salt for half and hour to get the taste of sugar out of your mouth.” In “Seventh Son,” there are several places where dialogue typical of the eighteenth/nineteenth century...

Andreas Rocha

Looking through my files of favorite images, I ran across this one.  It wasn’t my intent to feature Andreas Rocha again but this painting caught my eye because it so immediately guides the mind towards a story.  In fact, the...

Cool Mage

I wish I knew where this picture came from – if you know the illustrator, please let me know so I can drop him a link … and perhaps hire him someday. When I first saw this illustration, I immediately...

Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my...