Levity Print Set Artist Statement

Hi! It’s Echo.

I wanted to share with you my official artists statement about the Levity Prints.  Since I can’t finish the prints before the Kickstarter ends (since I have so many of your awesome faces to illustrate into them to make them better!), I would like to give you a descriptive journey through my vision behind them to where I plan them to go color-wise, etc – so that you can know all about these Kickstarter only pieces, before the Kickstarter ends.

Here we go:

Picture this: it’s dark, you are working your way through the stacks. You see a beautiful old book, and pull it out. It’s a story, on old crumbling paper. Every thirty pages or so, you flip past a delightful, bright, lighthearted and lovingly crafted illustration of the characters in the story. The very images of Levity and laughter brighten the dark stacks around you and make you smile. The paper is so delicate between your fingers, threatening to crumble then and there, taking the joyous moment with it, into oblivion.

That’s what these are. Snippets of happy moments in Kvothes story, illuminated and frozen forever in that moment. There are only so many of these precious collections of time. The Levity print sets are illustrations of scenes from a book – scenes that tell stories, as opposed to being paintings.

For the first piece, “Jackass, Jackass!” Kvothe plays his controversial song, somewhat covertly, while Wil and Sim try to stifle their laughter. He is young (remember, at this point in the books, he is a tender sixteen – barely). For this moment in time, his laughter eclipses his drawn face, his scars and troubles. He is a carefree boy, enjoying time with his friends. He is being obnoxious in his best in a way that only carefree boys with the world ahead of them can be. A joyous healthy glow surrounds him from his music. You are seeing how Kvothe feels – young, happy, and not alone.

The viewer is on this side of the wall, while Kvothe is astride it – perched tauntingly on the very boundary separating us from the antagonist. Wil and Sim are shielded by the wall, safe from Ambrose’s temper. As are we, the viewers. Sims laugh is infections. Wils is restrained, and a bit appalled that Kvothe is singing this. It’s controversial but oh so funny. Kvothe himself is carefree, leaning back a bit toward danger. The maple tree is simply that – but for those who have read the second book, it also serves as foreshadowing of a much more ominous sort of tree.

At the Eolian is a little more straightforward. Kvothe and his friends sit at a table in the foreground with you, the viewer. Again, the viewer is interacting with the scene. Kvothe looks backwards to see Denna, accompanied by someone, who locks eyes with him.  A snippet of a moment when he catches her, before she disappears again.

The newly unveiled Under the Open Sky is a moment in time with the Edema Ruh.  Everything is perfect, as a memory should be.  Kvothe, in this one, is very young, just a babe. His father tosses him in the air, while his mother watches. The rest of the family practice their talents around the fire – not for an audience, just for each other.  A waystone towers over them.  Symbolism wise – The family is connected through the piece – from the pine trees down through the fire, through the waystone.  Except for Kvothe, who is tossed into the night sky – away from his family for a brief moment. This is foreshadowing of the future, where he will be separated once they are all killed, and tossed into the dark.  Not all is lost, however. The storyteller in the foreground tells an epic and grand tale to a group of Ruh children, keeping a verbal memory of the world.  He gestures upwards – towards Arliden, and the lute. Arlidens arms go upward to the moon and Kvothe. This visual hierarchy sweep is symbolic of the tales that will develop about Kvothe, and be passed down and told around campfires.

Colors – Each one will have a unique palette.  Jackass! Jackass! takes place at the university in the fall, and the colors are autumn. Maple leaves, summer sun.  Eolian will have drapery and gold cords around the frame – giving it an “inside in winter” feel. The third piece takes place in the perfect evening in the summer, full of greens and the gold glow of fire, the Ruh being in their customary greens and grays. I will be adding fireflies, a necessary staple for summer.

In my illustrations, I like to commit fully to the flavor of the scene. These pieces are glimpses of a happy time. Please enjoy them, they are so very rare.

Thank you for helping make these pieces a reality, and I look forward to painting so many of you!!!!!

Echo Chernik

Please excuse the roughness of the sketches – I like to keep my sketches loose until I shoot my reference, and then I add all the magnificent polishing that you are used to. It’s part of my work flow.

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