World-Building, Week Two - Landmarks

paigecarpenter_thumbs_sheet2 A few thumbnail sketches for the Bifrost, the Rainbow Bridge from Asgard to the realms below, and Idunn's Grove.

I originally had the gate to the Bifrost built underneath the lighthouse, but I decided that design wasn't working.  The gate wasn't big enough to support the massive lighthouse, which is supposed to be the tallest tower in Asgard.  So I split the two apart.


Here's a more finished concept.  I haven't done much design involving architecture until now, but I'm discovering that I really enjoy it.  I really like this piece and I'm planning to paint it at some point.

A few notes from Sean Murray's lecture on designing landmarks:

-Well-known landmarks in our own world often have very recognizable silhouettes (i.e., Eiffel Tower, Giza Pyramids, World Trade Center).  Play around with simple shapes and silhouettes-- both pleasing and disturbing.

-How does the environment (ocean, mountains, swamp) affect the design of the landmark?

-Sometimes landmarks are built around the remains of older landmarks, bits of walls or columns from earlier civilizations.

World-Building, Week One - Maps

Maps were the focus during the first week of Sean Murray's World-Building Class. I've always loved maps. Behold the first map I ever created, probably around the age of seven:


This was a map of the imaginary neighborhood my friend and I invented. It's very well-preserved because I stuck it to a piece of cardboard and laminated with scotch tape.

Since we lived about half an hour away from each other, we couldn't get together in person as often as we would have liked. So we "played" for hours over the telephone, narrating the adventures of our characters, Sara and Little Calf.

Little Calf was a calf. Sara was a horse. And they had various adventures that involved wasting fevers and haircuts because I had read too many Victorian children's novels.

My map-making skills have improved since then:


This map is for a book project based on Norse mythology. At the moment, the book has no title, so I'm temporarily calling it "Norseness," or "The Norseness."

World-Building Class 2013

I've registered for Sean Murray's World-Building Class.  World-building is something I've always loved.  I grew up with Narnia, Middle-Earth, and Dinotopia.  There's something especially magical when words and images come together to create a world. During the course I'll be working on developing a new version of the Golden Realm for the Norse book project I'm in the process of writing.

Here's the prologue assignment - a brief verbal description of the world I'll be designing:

Once they called Asgard the realm of endless summer, where the trees grew so high they were burned by the sun, the stars sang at night, and the Rainbow Bridge spanned the sea between heaven and earth.
But ever since Odin Oath-keeper broke all his oaths and died, everything has gone wrong.  Fields that had never known frost are buried under snow.  Odin's bright halls in Gladsheim are dark.  The Rainbow Bridge is fading.  Odin's son, Thor, rules in Gladsheim, struggling to bind his fractured realm together before the final winter comes and the last fire goes out.