Six Answers from Johnathan Darkly
To say that Johnathan Darkly is an enigma would be something of an understatement. No one in our organization has ever met him in person, and his website has suffered immense stretches of time without updates, including the entire year of 2009.
More than once, we have been tempted to write Mr. Darkly off for dead, yet — when he delivers — his fascinating forays into fantasy character creation and animation are almost invariably worth the wait.
What was one of your earliest fantasy experiences
We’re all born to fantasy. From the stories we tell kids, to the myths we take as gospel, every one of us has a deeply cherished belief that’s plainly wrong. We need fantasy to survive.
How did you become a professional artist?
Trial and error. Print sales were a waste of time and effort, but Erotinomicon.com is a good excuse to keep on playing with figures.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
The female form where it starts and ends, but Patrick Nagel’s minimalistic expression of it, and Masamune Shirow’s playful distortions of it were important sparks. Reinterpretations of mythology, especially animal and technological fusions are always a great source too.
Is there a single message that you find yourself most drawn to?
With an open mind, beauty is in the strangest combinations of features and attributes. There is no one perfect beauty, only infinite flawed expressions of it.
What has been your most challenging project?
One job a few years back involved modifications to an existing female model. The requests were very specific, very anatomical, and got creepier and creepier.
What are you working on now?
Still trying to find the best way to show the “sculptures” from as many angles as possible. Moving away from a dying 3D application over to Blender. It’s improving quickly, and trying to create better animation loops of creepy bug-eyed fairies seems like a simple way to learn how to make it work.
Jon’s fantasy character stylings reside at Luminous Shadows
Written by Jeff in June of 2011. Last edited September 2014.