by niccillustrates

Arc One - Creator's Review

Since finishing Arc One, I’ve had the urge to write up my thoughts on how it went (Thanks College, for hammering that habit in.) Since this is my first story I’ve ever written, I figure it can only help! Let’s break this down into The Bad and The Good (again, because, Thanks College.)

The Bad

I find myself wishing I hadn’t posted this when I did – it was barely out of rough-draft phase, and it shows. My writing is wobbly, my plotting is inconsistent, and my narrative is vague and confusing. Honestly, I’m not sure if I managed to convey anything of substance – my writing is my weakest point. A thorough plotting and polishing would have improved a lot. I should have given it more time to brew.

I started this project knowing that my art style would change throughout, but the dissonance between the first and last chapters of Arc One is...yikes. Same problem as my writing, actually – should have polished it more before posting. My style is wildly inconsistent, my paneling is shaky, and my visual tone jumps around. Again, I wish I studied up on comics and nailed the tone I wanted to set instead of diving in blind.

The Good

Considering this is the first story I’ve written, it’s not the worst. Mistakes and learning are part of the game! I did hit some story beats, I did plant some plot threads, and writing it at all is a victory for me. The lessons I’ve learned through this can/are being put into bettering my work and other projects. The urge to rewrite everything is there, but I'm going to keep going moving on and polish the future chapters.

I’ve also learned a lot about comic-making, and worked out a ton of kinks in my art overall. I feel these later chapters are going in a good direction – my paneling is improving, my layouts are stronger, and the tone is finally keeping up. There are some early visual choices I regret, but I'm very proud of my artist improvements so far.

The Conclusion

While I’m not too fond of Arc One - I’d love to just take it all back and redo everything, honestly - I’ve promised myself to finish Illusory before I reboot (again). I’ll be taking these revelations forwards and work on making the rest of the Arcs better. Illusory may not be the best I could hope for, but it’s here and I’m not giving up!

All that said - I'm always open to tips and constructive crit. This is a lot of firsts for me, so writing help and comic emxaples are life-savers!

by niccillustrates

Chapter Covers Preview

I mentioned before how the chapter covers give context to where the chapter takes place, so maybe some have guessed about the spirits on them, too. If not, these sketches will set it straight!

Chapter Cover Thumbnail Sketches

Boy oh boy, do I love even numbers and mirrored poses (cue laughtrack.) 

by niccillustrates

Tumblr Extras

I'm not sure if all my readers know about my art blog, but here's a gentle reminder that I post a lot of extras for Illusory there. Sketches, Concept art, sneak peeks, etc!

Stop by to look at my art or ask questions (or for commission info *winkwink*)! Illusory extras are tagged #illusory.

by niccillustrates

Spirits and Power

(Thanks to ashtoledo for asking!)

There's no set rules or real authority figure among spirits (unless you ask the spirit of those aspects.) They opperate on an honors system. If a spirit gets negative attention from the others, though, there can be consequences.

Hierarchy of Spirits: Places are generally more powerful than Concepts, except for a few like “Love” and “Destiny”. Lots of people consistently believe in Places, but belief in Concepts fluctuates and changes. Belief is power (The Spirit of Belief is crazy powerful!)
Greater spirits = lots of belief, lesser spirits = little belief (they’re usually obscure spirits like Worn Paths) Spirits can’t die, but they can fade until they’re barely tied to the world at all.
If a greater doesn’t like what a lesser is doing, the lesser is in for a bad time! If the spirits are somewhat equal in power, it’s either settled by a truce or it’s not. Ever. 
Since a spirit’s power depends on belief, and belief can change, any spirit can change their spot in the hierarchy if they gain/lose enough belief. It really pays for spirits to interact with people...
by niccillustrates

Appearances of Spirits

Appearance of Spirits

"Spirits of Nature/Places tend to tie themselves down to one place. It's easy for them. All the people who believe - for it's easy to believe in what's right in front of you - begin to associate the spirit with the palce.

Spirits of Concepts/Emotions are tougher to discribe. So many people believe so many different things, some the same region-wide. These spirits travel near constantly, only settling enought in one place to drink the rewards of a strong belief.

For these reasons, cultures (especially the Four Eternals) have uniform pictures of nature spirits and varying depictions of other types of spirits. No once can quite settle on one iconic form for them."

"Spirits are largely incorporeal beings that are mostly known through stories. It's said in the early days that spirits and humans frequented eachother's company. As the ages went by and humans began to focus upon their budding empires, contact dwindled. Few see spirits now, but stories about them still spread.

While they still had contact, though, spirits and humans held influence over eachother. Many believe spirits alone influence humanity, but some spirits have developed entirely too human traits. When a spirit starts to act outside of their domain, are they truly a spirit anymore?"