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Monday, September 5, 2011

Character Visuals (Artwork by Margo Perrie)

Several weeks ago, my friend David Davis asked me to describe Janni, the main character in my WIP, SIGN OF THE STAR. He said it was for a surprise, and I, not thinking much of it, rattled off some details and put it out of my mind. Between dealing with dirty laundry and struggling with rewrites, I've been a bit busy.

But then, about a week and a half ago, on the day Don Rocko and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary (at PAX, no less!), I received this lovely piece in my e-mail, drawn by Margo Perrie of the webcomic Witch and Cat:

I was floored. David (author/artist of the webcomic Cosmic Dash) has been one of my beta readers for SIGN OF THE STAR since it was very different from how it is now, so big thanks to him for making this happen. And fantastic artwork, Margo!

My amusing anecdote, aside from the awesome surprise that this was (and the silly fact that because I wasn't paying attention, there are a few niggly little details that are off which is totally *my* fault), is this:

When I received the piece, after the initial surprise, I frowned. There was something wrong with it that I could not place. Which sounds awful, because the artwork itself is amazing. It's a beautiful depiction of Janni, both when she's traveling on the road and when she gets a chance to dress up. It looks just like her, and it's even inspired me with some of her description. So what was bothering me about it?

Then I realized the problem: she's smiling.

Which is not a comment on the artwork. It's a sad fact about Janni. But then, given that she's spent most of her life in hiding from an uncle who tried to kill her and a destiny she wants no part of, she hasn't had much reason to smile.

All is not lost, however. She'll find reasons. And when she looks at her love interest, I realize that this is *exactly* what she looks like when she's smiling unguarded at him. ♥

Have you ever had the chance to have your character drawn by an artist? Has it helped the story, or given you new insight about a character?


  1. Love this! I'm such a visual writer, I think having someone draw my mc would be really helpful.

    Janni's beautiful when she smiles...

  2. Oh wow! What a wonderful gift.. Love the art work..It's beautiful!

  3. Thanks, Lora! I agree, she does look gorgeous here.

    There are many webcomic artists, Margo included, who are happy to do commisisons for character art. It's really worth it if you can find someone whose style matches the image in your head.

    Laura - Definitely!