I draw my influence from a love of nature, the fantastical and a quiet fascination for the macabre. To reflect upon and explore the themes of death and corruption is to nurture gratitude for the fragile beauty of life. I seek to express this in my work.
Publications: (other than providing various website graphics to third parties over the years)
I was delighted to have the honour of being the subject of a feature article in the International Guild of Silk Painters journal in 2016 for my work shoing the darker side of silk...
'Dragonworld: Amazing Dragons, Advice and Inspiration from the Artists of Deviantart' published by Impact Books. Features a few of my pictures in various media, and an artist interview where I explain how awesome dragons are...
'A Necromancer's Grimoire: Marchen der Daemonwulf' by Necromancers of the Northwest, published by DriveThruRPG. Features my Werewolf ACEO card.
'Cut Throat Caverns - Deeper and Darker Expansion Pack 1' by Smirk and Dagger Games. Features 'Burn' as 'Ashtongue'.
'Cut Throat Caverns - Fresh Meat Expansion Pack 3' by Smirk and Dagger Games. Features 'Dire Wolf' as the dreaded 'Blink Dog' card.
'Faster Than Light' #1 published by Orang Utan Comics. Pencils and Inking for 'The Long Forgotten Enemy'
'Firebase' cover - Warseer's online fanzine. Discontinued now, sadly. Anyway I was commissioned to do that 'Unholy Terrors' picture as the cover for one of the issues.
I don't appear much these days on account of being a misanthrope. However once upon a time you might have seen me as a regular at the London MCM Expo, or as a trader at the LFCC (London Film & Comic Con), Dragon*con 2007 in Atlanta, the Stone Free festival at the O2 or sometimes just the Alt B&B at Tufnell Park. I may start turning up again, who knows. I do miss the face to face contact but I'm a lot more productive on my artwork when I don't have shows to worry about preparing for. Bit of a catch22 situation.
I've been asked to give a few interviews over the years for one cause or another.. Since I had them written up, might as well share here, eh?
- Give us a short introduction about you.
My name's Isabelle, though I've gone by 'Drakhenliche' (don't ask) online ever since I first met the Internet back in the mid-90's. My background's actually science-based: I studied Neuroscience at university (UCL) and work in the pharmaceutical industry but this is, for me, just to generate bread money. My real passion is in drawing: in particular dragons and anything to do with my 'Daemonslayers' project - check out my other website for a better explanation on that ;)
Other than that I enjoy rock and metal - both music and lifestyle.
- What aspect of yourself really stands out? Any peculiar habits or odd fascinations?
I guess a rather defining feature about me is my fascination/obssession with dragons. I first remember painting one in preschool (and I honestly have NO idea where I first heard of them to actually paint one) and from that moment effectively unleashed a monster. I've been drawing, painting, collecting and writing about dragons ever since. Monsters, animals and beasties in general sort of just happened to join in along the way.
Any long-time followers of my work will have noticed a steady increase of animal skulls creeping into the body of my work. I've always had a deep curiosity for the morbid but have never been that big a fan of typical skull art. Got nothing against it, it's just there's been no shortage of human skully art out there. And the anatomy aspects of my academic studies were pretty much entirely human-based. I'm so over that. Animal skulls are where it's at for me. And having come into possession of various quality replicas and a few (ethically sourced) remains in recent years I've started exploring the theme.
- What is that common every day thing that can really make your day?
It's quite easy to make my day - it helps that I am ridiculously easy to amuse and a black belt at taking pleasure in the little things. If a pin has to be put in something to answer this, it would be having the feeling that I've accomplished something, no matter how great or small. Or maybe seeing or better yet helping anyone I care about accomplish something. It's all good. Love and Gratitude, peeps.
- Is there a typical topic, story or concept that fuels your creations? Where does that fascination come from?
Yup. The majority of my work is related to my pet project 'The Daemonslayers' and the fantasy world it's based on, Tymaera. It's an idea I've had since I was a wee whippersnapper, though it has grown and changed a lot over the years.
Basically it follows the adventures of Blackjack - a rather washed-up and frustrated dragon trapped in an anthropoid pseudoform; Shade - an undead werewolf who's a nice guy when he's not a raging monster and Soul (originally a friend's creation) - another lycanthrope who's seeking to regain her soul which was stolen by a demon as they criss cross the land unintentionally causing more trouble than they put right.
- In a world of digital art, what's your opinion about traditional media? Is it an advantage to have experience with real pencils, paint or conventional camera?
I love traditional media! I forsook it for a time upon first discovering Photoshop and the joy of graphics tablets but I started to realise there was something lacking in computer coloured art. So although I continued to use the computer for some pieces, I started to expand my range of traditional media and I find it much more satisfying to work in. Plus I think learning to handle real media - understanding interactions of colours, shading, techniques etc etc has helped my work to improve greatly over the last few years.
More recently I've swung back to working almost fully in trad media. Partly due to tendonitis and carpal tunnel wrist issues that limit my computer-time but mostly because I like the interaction with physical media. I love the endless possibilities of digital but there's a screen between me and it. Then there's it's permanence. Unless you print a digital piece it's gone when the power's off.
- Have you been educated in what you do? Where did you study and how much do you profit from it?
Art-wise I'm largely self taught. I did art up to GCSE level at school but as mentioned above I chose a more scientific path for my further education. Although I learned some useful things at school I have developed much more after striking out on my own. I found books on drawing - such as Hogarth's dynamic figures one to be of great help. Also online tutorials on colour theory have been useful but the majority of my self-learning has been from trial and many errors.
Generally I draw for enjoyment (and my most enjoyed subject's a little specialised) but I make a reasonable bit on the side from private commissions and occasional licensing. Anything I make usually gets put straight back into purchasing more art materials, be it for traditional media or goes into my New Computer Fun!
- Which programs do you use and what do you use them for?
I use Photoshop CS and a Wacom Cintiq to colour any digital work I do, but I'm suffer from RSI and Carpal Tunnel so I am sometimes limited in what I can do. I also like to indulge in my love of traditional media since I can't use my computer too much: ink, acrylics, oils, watercolours, pencils, Tria markers... love them all!