Last week, the Know Direction Network teamed up with the talented Alan Cooper for a character art contest. Our fans were invited to describe their characters on social media, and Al agreed to read over the descriptions and pick his three favourites (based on his own criteria) to illustrate.
Once Al made his picks, our staff was invited to look through the remaining characters and were welcome to draw them as well.
I was very happy with the results. We got a nice selection of entries, Al turned over three pieces that were each great for different reasons, and even the staff art was fun (note the difference between great and fun).
Here are the winning characters, along with the original Alan Cooper art they inspired!
Paladin of Tiamat
Description: I’d love to see a Paladin of Tiamat (not Arkhan ) human that wears full darkened armor with a full helmet. 5 curved blades raise from the top of the face plate of the helmet. Sword and Board type. He was a noble warrior who many liked, but lost his love in a tragic attack that many assumed he did not survive. He pledged to Tiamat to ash the world and prepare the way for her return.
Winner: Baron Billy Carr
Description: Shoodleroodle Shoodlenoodleboodle is a Tabaxi Paladin whose dream is to be a folk hero. To his great annoyance, he is often mistaken for an enchanted house cat, as he is of diminutive stature and his fur bears striking resemblance to that of the average long-haired orange tabby. He wears a shiny mithtril chestplate, as well as chain mail on his torso and arms. Althought he wears pants, his tail is kept loose, and he walks bare footed. His helm is specially crafted so that his ears may stand upright and not be flattened to his skull. He yields a mithril dagger (which in his paws looks like a sword) and a shield bearing the bound-hands symbol of the god of endurance, Ilmater (who he claims to follow due to cats having nine lives… but it’s truly because the symbol of the church looks like hands playing with red yarn.)
Winner: Chaz Gabrielle
Big Duck Desperado
Description: Antonio Banderas from Desperado, but make him a goblin. Big, toothy grin, fancy acoustic guitar, shiny black boots. A bard with big d*** energy.
Winner: Joshua Lee
Artist’s Note: I haven’t seen Desperado, so I’m not sure what big ducks have to do with it, but the client is the boss.
Al may not have picked these characters, but they’re winners in our book!
Artist: Randal Meyer
Description: Elspeth is a human paladin of Iomedae, and a red dragon disciple. She is faithful to her god, but must struggle to control the destructive impulses that come from her red dragon nature. She has red hair, green eyes and pale skin, but she is well along the path of her draconic transformation. She already has her wings, and she appears to have freckles which, on close inspection, turn out to be fine scales. She wears plate mail, and fights with a longsword and a shield emblazoned with Iomedae’s emblem
Runner-Up: Simon Brisson
Artist: Ryan Costello
Description: Altmodisch Sanduhr is many things. An elf. A wizard. A man who really could have a chosen a better career path. Born to a family of Kyonin beuracrats, Altmodisch took to Divinatory Wizardry like a fish to water, if the fish were constantly looking for seemingly random connections to predict certain phenomena. After a chance encounter with the Eldest Shyka, who saved his life by stitching together a few of his alternate timelines, Altmodisch became entangled in the Eldest’s designs, seemingly hoping to become one of the many who make up the enigmatic demigod. Now, Altmodisch has traveled far and wide, dying and being reincarnated across the multiverse, aiding in whatever world-ending battle he just happens to fall into day to day. His most common appearance is that of a tall elf with long white hair pulled back into a waist-length braid, sharp features, and golden eyes. He wears a wide-brimmed hat that always obscures the right side of his face in shadows, and even below that his right eye is covered in a blue eyepatch bearing a single gear in gold stitching. He wears comfortable but flowing grey and blue robes, with a long open sleeve on the right, and the left sleeve cut short, revealing that his entire body underneath is wrapped in bandages. Upon his left arm is a mithril bracer bearing Shyka’s Holy Symbol of a broken hourglass embedded into it. His pants are also loose and open, allowing for ease of mobility, and he carried a multitude of wands upon his belt.
Artist: Alexander Augunas
Description: Experiment KA-68-WZ (Also known as “Blaze” to his companions) is a Solarion Skittermander with no memory of his past. His fur is a riot of colors because when he was discovered on an abandoned research station in Near Space, his fur was pure white. But once he came in contact with civiliasation and started to learn about his people, he became fixated upon being the most helpful of Skittermanders and wanted to be like ALL of them. So he regularly mixes up a batch of fur color dyes and jumps in. Being a Solarion means he has a mote of pure star energy orbting him, but when he dives into battle to help his friends, it becomes a pair of golden gauntlets. He can often be seen in the front lines, grappling enemies and pummeling them (or hugging them) into submission. He wears a basic set of Kasathan Microcord with gold trim and carries a signed photo of the famous Skittermanders from the “Helping Hand” with him at all times.
Artist: Vanessa Hoskins
Description: Mina Shaana is a female damaya lashunta with pink (formerly white) hair and emerald green eyes. The daughter of a successful corporate executive on Castrovel, Mina learned the ways of diplomacy and social relations from an early age. To her parents’ disappointment, Mina chose not to follow her father’s career, and instead traveled to Absalom Station to join the Starfinder Society. An unexpected turn of events led Mina to join with a group of other Starfinder Society initiates. During their adventures, Mina’s social skills and charismatic presence have proven quite valuable, both in and out of combat. Although she still retains the grace and social manners of her upbringing, Mina’s experiences have added a “polite roughness” to her appearance and mannerisms — most notably the pink hair, a black leather jacket with the Strawberry Machine Cake logo on the back, and an imposing Bombast Handcannon strapped to her right hip.
Dark Lord Wes
Artist: Loren Sieg
Description: The Dark Lord Wes was killed by a heroic knight centuries ago but has been able to will himself back to life. He’s a huge man, big and broad shouldered, standing at 6’3″ or so. He’s completely bald, his face roughly average in width and length. He has piercing blue eyes and a vicious scar running from below his left eye, down his mouth, and ending at his jaw, along with a brutal acid burn that partially melted part of his jaw, both after-effects of the battle which finally felled him. He wears heavy, full plate armor of a dark grey with purple accents, a purple cloak, and a heavy broadsword across his back, the blade of which is jet black. He carries himself with great power and purpose, the hallmarks of a man who has defeated death and fears nothing, except to be completely forgotten by time itself.
Congratulations and Thanks
Congratulations to our winners and thanks to all our participants. If you submit a character and it wasn’t illustrated yet, keep an eye on the Know Direction Facebook and Discord. We might revisit the character descriptions from time to time and get our art on.
Alan Cooper generously donated his time and talent for this contest. If you like his work and have art needs -RPG or otherwise- I encourage you to contact him about a commission. His rates are $25/hr, and he will give you a quote based on the complexity of your request.