Welcome to my character portrait gallery

For anyone who is wondering, Wednesday became 'black Wednesday' for me because I cannot draw mid-week!
In fact I'm sure the rainforests mourn Wednesday too by the amount of paper I tear through in frustration... so this is a blog for all who know what like it is to regularly shout at their pencils
Oh yes it's also all about fictional characters plus interviews with them, yeah, that too :)


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Zachary Ayre (and Peon)



Concept credits to Luke Wooding ^_^



At a sprightly 21 years of age and standing 5ft 5in tall Zachary Ayre belongs to a species of fae known as the ven-faer. This species for those who might be unaware, typically possess fair hair, skin and eyes and are always wingless. The only physical attributes that mark out this species from ords or indeed elves such as the similarly pale skinned and fair-haired draern, are their average height and diminutive pointed ears. That and the fact they are stereotypically considered as money-grabbing executives with little interest in anything but themselves.

Now whilst stereotypes don’t always ring true and we at first question how this child of the ven-faer wound up in our studios, we soon realise that alongside being an impulsive person who loves to explore, Zachary was clearly drawn to the interview by an over-sized paycheque. Money that we might add he and his already wealthy family need about as much as we require toes stitched onto our backsides.

Zak himself is somewhat impatient and rather condescending but polite. He immediately tells us he dislikes being called Zachary and pointedly corrects us that his name is ‘Zak,’ every time we erroneously use the full version. He has a touch of a fiery temper that appears as though it may be easily lost, a temperament that we decide not to test. This decision is in part also made for us because Zak tends to talk a lot and struggles to commit to even his own random chasing of ideas. He tells us he loves his freedom and that he avoids people and social situations but that his natural charm always draws others to him which he finds, ‘most irritating.’

He expresses that he too is drawn to other ‘beautiful’ people and judging by the look on his face as he strolled down the corridor past previous portraits, he is apparently envious of those he thinks display more talent or beauty than he does.
He doesn’t bat an eyelid either in telling us that sexually he might swing both ways but that he has never met a beautiful enough ‘male creature.’ His usual preference of partner, he informs us, is women and he seems proud to admit with a seductive little wink that he is not the womanising type. We cannot decide if this admission is charming or creepy but he swiftly changes the subject to a passionate rant about how much he hates vampires and then tears up as he reveals his most precious memories of his late girlfriend who was apparently murdered by some vagabond vampires whilst they were travelling.

We’d like to be sympathetic but the pace of his conversation doesn’t really allow us time to absorb his story, it ceases almost abruptly as it began with the words, ‘well now that’s over with,’ at which point he switches on the infamous twinkling ven-faer charm. He chooses this moment to show us the small back pack he is carrying and the contents therein starting with a sketchpad and paintbrush he tells us he simply, ‘cannot be without.’ Being very artistic, Zak flaunts the fact that he was top in his class and that his college teacher gifted him the items as a special thank you for all his hard work at helping his peers improve. We are sceptical of the tale, yet once again, he rapidly moves on too quickly for us to have enough time to properly question his words, switching subjects instead to tell us he is also quite adept at fencing.

With fencing, Zak takes a more humble route and admits that whilst he could probably disarm someone he is not a fighter, his preference then would be to utilise illusion over hand-to-hand combat of any kind. Zak’s speciality in illusion is thankfully of the lower ranked variety, ‘simple legerdemain.’ Simple if you know how we suppose at least compared to most illusionary skills. Far too vain to want to learn how to alter his physical appearance or make us see things that are not there we are grateful he stopped learning once he’d figured out how to be an excellent thief. Perhaps we are being presumptuous in citing that his want to learn slight-of-hand was out of a desire to steal things, but as he displays to us, he truly is a master at the talent and clearly doesn’t work in show business.
 
Whilst Zak claims to like the outdoor life what he truly enjoys are the luxury of home comforts. Therefore, in amongst the art oddities of his satchel are practical ‘Tek’ implements. Or should we say, expensive and rare tools that make camping out more like ‘a mansion in a box.’ Instead of a flat pack tent one shakes out into shape, he has a rolled up orb that shakes out into something that resembles a small fancy villa. Sure, this building might be as fragile as a tent and void of appliances but guess what? Yes, all those home comforts are neatly secured into similar flat pack versions, that easily unfold et voila. The mind boggles as to how exactly this technology works but also makes us seethe with jealousy as the temporary dwelling stored in his back pack provides a better living standard than all of the employee accommodations here at Black Wednesday’s. In fact, if even one of us here were anywhere near as good at legerdemain as Zak is then he would undoubtedly be leaving our studio with a much lighter satchel.


We are surprised to learn that flighty Zak Ayre owns an art shop. Less surprised however to hear that his rather wealthy parents purchased the shop in his name in order to try to keep him grounded in one place. Being the entrepreneur, Zak immediately sourced a few hapless employees and put them in charge of the store thus gleaning all of the profit and none of the ties. Except that is the type of tie one wears which Zak has been known to don on more than one occasion, yet rarely on instances that might require a tie, such as this interview, we note. His clothes in general are tailored and expensive, definitely clean and acquired from his very own clothing line. He wears sharp yet practical boots for ‘rambling in the countryside’ but overall has the appearance of a walking advertisement for his own products. His clothing line, if you hadn’t already spotted the ‘A/C,’ embroidered on his shirt, is called, ‘Accentuated Clothing,’ and comes with the alliteratively condescending tag line of ‘accentuated clothing for an accelerated culture.’



At first we assume that Zak hasn’t brought along his ever-faithful companion, the one he has just finished telling us how much he despises because after rescuing the little critter it refused to leave him alone. Then in the next glimmer of an instant, ‘Peon,’ appears, albeit only for a few seconds, then it disappears. Now this dragon called Peon is of a species known as myna dragons named after the black mina birds because they are small and capable of replicating speech. These animals tend to look much like cute yellow canaries, tucking their limbs in when they sit so it appears they have only two legs rather than four. Whilst we agree, chatty little dragons are most irritating Zak doesn’t hesitate to explain that Peon is a special case because he has learnt to replicate or may have been born with the illusionary skill to become invisible. It is unclear whether the animal is of a higher sentience or not and Zak doesn’t seem to care because Peon spends most of his time playing tricks on the fae, throwing rocks and just generally pestering the poor man. At first, we assume that this might be just Zak’s opinion as he is largely impatient with everyone and everything and of course impulsive to boot, that is until Peon gets into the lighting and air vents of our studio and starts wrecking our carefully strung wiring. We realise then why Zak must be thankful for wireless technology and why he probably wants to shoot the vindictive little monster on regular occasion.


In fact, we shall end this interview with a small sketch, our interpretation of the ratty little Peon because Zak continued to talk well past his interview time and we point-blank refused to make any more notes.

ACEO 'Peon'

Ok we admit it Peon is actually quite cute, in a ‘puppy ate my kitten,’ kind of way.