In July of 2017, I received an email from 'Creature Features' about contributing to their 'Art of the Buffyverse: A 20th Anniversary Group Tribute', which was to open in November at the Burbank location. Having been a long fan of Joss Whedon's 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer', I was more than happy to participate, and they were welcoming multiple submissions. I already had one piece dedicated to the character of 'Dawn', 'Buffy's' pesky younger sibling, and was in the process of creating a piece dedicated to the title character herself. While I was initially planning on creating a piece for 'Buffy', 'Angel', 'Faith', and possibly 'Willow', I ran out of time and was only able to complete the following piece.
In order to keep the two pieces somewhat consistent, I wanted the new work to also portray a similar narrative about the character origins. In this case, for 'Buffy', I was tasked with portraying the main character, her struggles with her own identity, and that of the mantle of 'Slayer'. I knew from the get go, that I wanted to shape the piece in the form a stake, and used the format of 'Mr. Pointy', in order to refer to not only the role of a 'Slayer', but also to pay homage to the character of 'Kendra'. I had to adjust the shape a bit, in order to illustrated the profile of 'Buffy's' face. Luckily the stake had enough ridges, where the transition wasn't too drastic. In terms of the character and her role as 'The Slayer', I had to incorporate elements that would fit within the designed shape, but also (hopefully), make sense in a linear fashion.
At the bottom of the illustration I placed the 'Scythe' that 'Buffy' acquires late in the 7th season of the television series, which worked well due to the narrow space. To fill in the surrounding space, I created ribbons of smoke, that spiral up to manifest the form of the 'Shadow Demon', the source of the 'Slayers' power. To continue the transition of the images, I placed the characters of 'Sineya' (the first Slayer), and the 'Shadow Men' performing the ritual that would bind the demon to her. Above the scene, I placed the lovelorn 'Angel' ('Buffy's' vampiric true love) to the left, and the 'Seal of Danzalthar' (the entrance to the 'Hellmouth') to the right, which resides below 'Sunnydale High School' (seen above). No 'Buffy' tribute piece, of course, would be complete without references made to the two characters that most influenced the Slayer's life, 'Giles' her watcher, and 'Joyce' her mother.
Originally I wanted the piece to be more realistic, and less graphic, but once I started it, I was happy the direction it took (plus I've been reading the graphic novels, so that may have influenced the appearance).
The piece is entirely digital, with most of the design work done in Illustrator, adjustments made in Photoshop, and colorization done in Painter.
The image was originally on display exclusively at 'Creature Features' in Burbank from Saturday November 11th, to Sunday November 26th.
Prints are currently available now on my Esty store.