I love artists. I love working with them. I love seeing what they do in their own fields and being blown away by talents that are so different from my own. In fact, I’m often jealous of artists–especially so in the visual arts. With a writer, it might take hours of reading to know if they’re deeply skilled, much less gifted. With visual arts, it’s instant. No fair! But something I’d not considered before I started my own journey was how my work might inspire art.
Below is a list of ten (only ten?! how do I choose?) pieces of Lightbringer art I’ve particularly loved over the past ten years.
With great difficulty, I narrowed down my list to 27. Oops. So then I sought advice, and gave bonus points for things like work in a different medium, or a unique perspective. (There were enough awesome tattoos alone that I could have crowded this top ten with those!)
Artists, thank you for what you do. Everyone else? Enjoy!
Idris Elba-inspired Ironfist, created by Tim Hoffman for the Nine Kings Card Giveaway. This was one of the few I saw with Ironfist in his ghotra. I love the intensity Tim captured here.
Kip, by @avacairen in 2016. I always wanted Kip to be a visually striking figure. He’s a multi-ethnic kid who feels like an outsider, but by belonging to no particular satrapy, he somehow can belong to all of them. Here I see a Kip who’s finally–finally–coming into his own and becoming a force to be reckoned with.
Andross the Red Nine Kings card by Shea Britton. I love the style of this one–and also love seeing young Andross. Look at that nice young man! He’s just got a world of possibilities before him.
Kip v Kylar tattoo by Rob Zeinog, on Evan Ennis. Here, Evan and Rob edged out some other wonderful tattoos by having both Kip AND Kylar. Hey, play to the judge, right? Great work.
Cruxer & Ben-Hadad by Oliver Elm, @flyboy_elm on Twitter. One of the joys of writing Lightbringer was getting to spend time with the Mighty. Watching them crack heads, crack jokes, and bust each others’… limitations was a joy. Love the attention to detail in this one, too.
Nine Kings card by Elly, @elly_mii on Instagram. A deceptively simple style here, capturing the essential lines of the character while hinting at Orea Pullawr’s gravitas. Orea sees what you’re trying to get away with. It’s not going to work.
Found on the Brent Weeks fan page on Instagram, @kylarguile; Mist Walker by @aryencyph. Given how Teia’s magic works and what it does to one’s eyes, it’s not easy to portray Teia using her power as being anything other than spooky. Aryencpyh captures a sensitivity–even a woundedness–here. Plus the art style is really different. Love it!
Janus Borig by Cyndy, @reiyeka on Instagram. Cyndy has consistently done some of my favorite Lightbringer Art. I posted this one because Janus Borig is one of those characters that walked onto the page and stole my heart. I wish we could’ve spent more time together, but then I… ahem, well. Not ME. But, you know, someone did that thing that made it so she couldn’t.
Possibly the oldest entry, this is Gavin by Xoujji and was posted in 2015. There are a lot of ways you could depict Gavin Guile. This captures some of the happy arrogance of the man early in the series. Ah, Gavin, you have such beautiful self-confidence. Be a shame if anything happened to it.
This is the first of the 14-page character sheet for playing a Drafter in D&D 5e. Dylan Rainville put this together by building upon a previous iteration in 2017.
I’m not certain if all the art is original–because there’s a LOT here, and it’s all really good–or if some of it is repurposed, but the adaptation that handily earned this one its place on the list is the incredible amount of work Dylan put in to translate a drafter into a playable D&D class. I haven’t play tested it myself, but this looks totally legit. Very, very impressive.
You can also check out another version of the Drafter character class (not as thorough as Dylan’s, but still interesting), posted to the D&D Wiki HERE.
Artists, you’re amazing. You bring me and others joy by creating such beautiful, winsome, quirky, and original work. Keep bringing your visions to the rest of us. We need you.
Oh, and I’ll do my best to bring you new cool things to imagine in the next ten years.
Patrick Heffernan (of Mysterious Galaxy infamy) made this striking board and vinyl case that perfectly holds all five Lightbringer hardcover books.
Not much else to say about this one, except well done, Patrick! He gave this one-of-a-kind case to Brent during his book tour stop in San Diego last year.
Ahhh, I remember book tour events… And bookstores… Book signings… Book festivals… Author speaking engagements… Browsing library stacks… Eyeballing tchotchkes and board games and socks at Powell’s… Lurking among the packed and crooked shelves that made the too-narrow aisles in my favorite used bookstore, petting the shop cat while I chatted with the staff, the smell of old paper lingering on my shirt after I left.
Sorry, I wandered off there.
Any way, hold fast and stay the course, friends. We’re all doing this quarantine thing for each other.
Y’all sent us some stunning fan art! I know earlier I promised a mega-post with everyone’s entries, but there were just too many to put in one place. So I’m sharing some of our favorites here. Because I can.
Please note: SPOILERS abound for all Lightbringer books!
“New Ferrilux” by Nicole Wiekierak
“The Ex-Priest” by Jennifer Johnson
“Heresy” by Megan Steadman
“Turtle Bear” by Jessica Dugan
“Black Luxin” by Alli Ryan
“Hellstone Dagger” by Melissa Wallis
“Mist Walker” by Jan Pasik
“The Guile” by Thomas Bernfeld
“Samila Sayeh” by Wilma Jacobs
“Turtle Bear” by Andrew Pulis
“Multicolored Spectacles” by Jerris Heaton
It was an absolute joy to see each submission we received (including all the ones not featured here). Thank you to everyone who participated. It’s obvious that you all worked hard and put your hearts into your work. You each did a magnificent job!