On October 9, Whitehorse fantasy artist Kimberley Crawford launched her new project, Unspoken Gods. The project reflects her own creations and will focus on large visual-art pieces that tell stories. The new project is a big step for Crawford towards what she loves doing.
The launch comes from a review of her priorities. Crawford realized that she had too many projects on the go and needed to cut down. While trying to choose what she really wanted to do, it kept coming back to Unspoken Gods.
Crawford has been a regular participant at YuKomicon and at fantasy craft fairs in the territory, but she admits that the work has not always been her passion. At these events, she would often be doing fan art, which is fan-requested art pieces of an existing genre or brand. Unspoken Gods is a new direction towards doing what she really loves.
“It’s focusing on the stuff I really want to do, but haven’t done full-time,” Crawford said. “It’s brand building to move away from some of the stuff I don’t enjoy as much. Replicating others work, I don’t find as satisfying creatively.”
Unspoken Gods is a creative extension of Crawford’s love of mythology and legend from ancient civilizations. She has been working on her own universe since she was a teenager, and that creativity has spawned a lot of original work.
“I’m a real geek when it comes to myths and legends,” she explained. “I’m interested in making old lore more current.”
Her world is focused on a single mythological kingdom, in an attempt to explore the depth of the stories, as opposed to covering a lot of different ones. It revolves around Inferis, a kingdom of the underworlds. According to Crawford, Inferis isn’t attached to one particular culture but is a compilation of all the different underworlds that different cultural mythologies have depicted over the years. But it’s the new interactions, with those myths, where Crawford seeks to explore new ground.
“I’m not looking at full revamps of existing pantheons,” Crawford said. “I’m focusing on my original characters and their relationships with existing characters.
“The setting is across the scope of the timeline. Some characters and stories will be ancient; others will be more modern. You’re working with gods or mythological beings, so they’re immortal and can be in various times.”
This flexibility will provide Crawford with opportunities to explore her world in other mediums. She admits to having done some work on Unspoken Gods novels and short stories, but those will remain on the back burner while she establishes her brand and develops a fan base.
Crawford will need to prepare for more conventions, so her next steps will focus on developing a proper setup and building up her supply of art. She notes that, as great as online is for sales, the direct contact with your audience is the primary marketing tool in the fantasy-art business.
Unfortunately, for local fans, that means that Crawford will need to relocate east, next summer, to be closer to the many conventions and expos that are planned.
Crawford will be attending local events for Yukoners, to check out her creations, but in the end it’s creative satisfaction that drives her.
“I would like to have a sustainable business doing what I love,” she said. “I’m going to build the universe and see where it goes.”
You can find Crawford’s work and learn more about her new project, which will build on existing myths and legends, at www.UnspokenGods.com.