Inktober 2021 – Set 01

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October 12, 2021 by bck1402

It’s that time again, and there was some internal debate if I wanted to really do this again for this year. There were several factors that were against it, mentally, and while it may not show from day to day, there is that touch of depression due to current circumstances.

As much as i don’t really mind being alone or isolated – and as often as i can say it – going on more than a year without really getting out did grind down on me. I’ve spilt about it a couple of times (see previous posts) and ultimately… I figured… maybe… carrying on with Inktober for this year might help break out of the funk.

On top of which there was that night when the insomnia was really bad that I churned out a couple of plot pages for a possible new story/screenplay. It was attempt to just wear out the brain and maybe get to sleep… it barely worked.

So, with some plot points and a general (read: very very rough) story-line to ponder on, I figured I’d use this Inktober to churn out some keyart or artwork to flesh out this new story. maybe stick tot he daily prompts as best as possible – and honestly – at this point, it hasn’t quite worked. At least, not the last couple of days… which I’ll touch on next time when I put up Set 2.

For now, here are the first 8 days of artwork.

Day 01 – Crystal


Of course it was going to be Syndi-Jean showcasing the first element in the new story: a crystal sword / katana. Let’s keep the origins of that a little vague for now although I did hint at it in the Instagram post. The sword in the stick is a key factor, and it’s going to pop up again in the following artworks.

Day 2- Suit

I brought in who is supposed to be the main character in the story: Keiko. In the books, she is Syndi-Jean’s sparring partner and kendo teacher. Syndi-Jean is more of a secondary character… or at least the idea was more to have the story from Syndi-Jean’s perspective with Keiko as protagonist.

I also added the string that ties Syndi-Jean to the staff. The key image (look through my Instagram feed) was one where Syndi-Jean is in a ritual having the staff tied to her, making her Keiko’s ‘watcher’ or bodyguard

Day 3 – Vessel

There’s a point in the story where they go to this facility that has the remains of this creature on display. In Japanese mythologies, there are the “yokai”. These are often spirits or supernatural creatures, some are said to be real or have existed at some point, or not. In any case, there is the skeletal remains of one creature with a crystalline skeleton in the story.

That’s Keiko to the right with her bodyguard Senichi (who should be holding the staff, not Syndi-Jean)

Day 4 – Knot

Just a close-up of the red string that ties the staff to the handler.In this case, it’s a bond to a duty or service where the staff is concerned.

Day 5 – Raven

There has to be an antagonist within the story, and this is meant to be the watcher/bodyguard to Keiko’s mother. As the idea was to have her ‘shadowing’ the person she’s supposed to be protecting, watching over like a hawk, her code name became “Geki Tori” – a shadow bird… and I figured maybe using part of that for a name like Gekishi… now thinking maybe Gekijin (shadow person) instead?

Day 6 – Spirit

Despite the daily prompts, I wasn’t entirely sticking completely to them, and I didn’t quite have anything within the story to reflect the ‘spirit’ prompt for the day. At least, the story wasn’t entirely fleshed out to have that. Maybe it would but that’s all still in flux. So, I took the opportunity to do this illustration of Syndi-Jean with the intention of updating the profile pic on my FB Author Page. I did a similar thing last year

Day 7 – Fan

I knew there was going to be a showdown between Syndi-Jean and Gekishi. Since the setting for this was within a research facility embedded in a mountain, it made sense to have these giant ventilation fans to circulate air in these places. The daily prompt dictated the location in this case.

Also, given Syndi-Jean’s unique abilities, it wouldn’t hurt to raise the stakes by having a dangerous locale that could really do some harm.

Day 8 – Watch

Another key factor in the story is the condition of Keiko’s brother, Keitaro. What happened to him was told in The Syndi-Jean Journal: Year 3 (see below). I’m trying to keep this a stand-alone story which means there has to be some flashback and exposition to flesh out his circumstance, and how it relates to the events in this new story (and inadvertently promote the books too ⬇️). Have to do all that without retreading the same ground

It’s also why it’s Keiko’s story and Sydni-Jean is peripheral – yet key – to it all

And that’s it for now. Set 2 should be up some time after day 16 with another 8 pieces of artwork.


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