Trumpets, banners, applause, and cheers! Our Issue 036 is out now and contains thirteen stories by women-identifying authors on the theme of crones! We could not be more excited to share this issue with you all. Please, do go check it out — available both on-line and in print. When you see it, you’ll first notice the amazing cover art by Eran Fowler. We had the opportunity to chat with them recently about art and crones and creatures. Here’s what they had to say.
LSQ: Let’s talk about the cover for Issue 036: “Witch of the White Wood.” Does this character have a story behind her? Our Issue 036 is our first ever themed issue, the theme being “crones.” The overall consensus of the staff here at LSQ is that older women don’t get the recognition they deserve in literature. What are your thoughts about the portrayal of older women in literature, art, and other media?
Eran: I didn’t have a full story in mind when I painted “Witch of the White Wood”, but I wanted to depict her as a person with humanity, someone whose alienation from society didn’t mean she was alien. Independent women have historically been resented and feared by society, and “witches” were usually women who existed outside the narrow circles of influence allowed to them, particularly those without families. In many ways, this is still true: women are expected primarily to be desirable to men, and then to create and maintain a family. Women who exist outside these expectations are alienated or poorly represented.
LSQ: How is creating work for a dynamic medium like gaming different from creating a static image? Do you have a preference?
Eran: I’m a 2D artist, so any assets I create are still flat. The difference comes in making sure my assets function with any animated movement. That can mean painting a background with different lighting versions, or it can mean painting separate pieces that move independently, or it can mean planning an image so that the seams of different pieces are hidden, etc. Animation involves a lot of problem-solving so that your paintings continue to function under a variety of conditions. Still, paintings have fewer technical limitations, but they’re also limited to a single moment in time. I’m a single-image painter before anything else, but I love working with animation and the possibilities offered by it.
LSQ: You have so many wonderful creatures and environments featured in your work. Where do you get your inspiration for your pieces? How do you recharge your creativity?
Eran: No ideas exist in a vacuum, and I find that it’s important to regularly seek out and immerse myself in new things. I read a great deal, and I maintain a large collection of artwork and photo references that inspire me. I find a lot of inspiration in current events, history, and mythology.
LSQ: Since you started freelancing, have you seen your skills change? If so, in what ways?
Eran: Freelancing is often an exercise in efficiency, and it has taught me how to use my time and painting technique for the best results I can manage in the shortest time. But it’s important not to get too miserly with time if it compromises quality; sometimes, good work takes however long it takes.
LSQ: Where would you like to see yourself and your business in 5 years?
Eran: I’ve oscillated between in-studio and freelancing since I first began working, and I enjoy both of those worlds; they offer very different challenges and opportunities which have helped me grow as an artist. For as long as I’m able to do so, I think I’d like to continue doing both.
LSQ: Do you have a personal favorite of the projects you’ve worked on? Or one that was memorable due to its challenges? If so, can you tell us a bit about it?
Eran: It would be difficult to choose an all-time favorite, but one of my favorite recent projects is “Safe Passage.” I’m continually trying to evolve the way I paint, and I think a lot of different aspects gelled really well in that painting. I’m having a lot of fun finding new ways to play with unexpected lighting conditions and color palettes.