Fantasy inspiration could also come from real life. It doesn’t have to be totally random.
We’re not rich. I drive a piece of crap car with tons of miles and a big ass dent that I never fixed. We live in an apartment barely bigger than a shoe box.
Every dollar I get, we spend on travel. And travel is where it’s at for fantasy inspiration.
Of course my models, Allie and Roxy, model for me in real life so I get their poses down. But then I turn them into femme fatales. I get that list from historical fiction since for my fantasy inspiration, I want to be somewhat historically accurate. Well, mythologically accurate. (Is that a real term?)
Traveling for fantasy inspiration
You don’t always have to go far. We had some really cool caves about an hour from our old condo. Of course, I took tons of pictures as I knew I’d end up drawing them.
But if you live in Europe, you’re blessed. You got all these buildings you can use for dark fantasy. Disney probably got half his ideas on a European vacation. I have no idea where Frank Frazetta got his ideas from though.
Romania has Dracula’s castle and it’s a great resource! Sure, it’s super touristy now. But you can take lots of pictures, then let those pictures inspire you when you get back home.
Pretty much every country in Europe has magnificent castles, cathedrals, and other architecture you could use for fantasy. I just picked Romania since we were just there.
Whereas Europe has the really old architecture, America has nature, and tons of it! The West Coast, the East Coast – tons of scenery. Montana has breathtaking mountains. Nevada and Utah have magical deserts for days.
Arizona’s got the Grand Canyon. So many states have magnificent forests you could use.
You already know I’m leaving out a lot and there’s no way I could make a comprehensive list of every awesome spot for fantasy inspiration in America.
Mexico has tons of cool spots. They had both the Aztecs and the Mayan civilizations who both built some pretty spectacular sites that you could still visit to this day. Same with Central America, although we haven’t been there yet.
For tropical fantasy, if you’re rich, there’s the South Pacific. If you’re not, there’s Hawaii. I’ve done a tropical mermaid before. I drew the background inspired by our trip to Maui. We haven’t been to the South Pacific yet.
You also already know I’m leaving out a lot of countries. We only got the travel bug recently so there’s so much more world we have to see.
And let’s not forget Alaska and Canada. Two places with endless unspoiled nature.
Some artists could draw human or humanoid subjects without a model. I’m definitely not one of them. I need Allie and Roxy for reference. I hired Jin n Tonic one time too. She’s super nice. But Allie and Roxy are local and we’re really close friends as well.
If you can afford it, you can always hire professional models to work with. If not, ask your friends. A lot more people want to be in paintings than you realize.
From there, I just draw the pose. Then later, I’ll get an inspiration and suddenly, Allie will be a witch or Roxy will be a mermaid. It just happens.
You might want to look into cosplay. You’ll find a lot of people are heavily into it, and will more than likely model for you. Cosplay would be great for fantasy. They already have the outfits! You just need to draw then paint them.
These are all just quick ideas. I’m sure you can come up with a lot more. I’ve intentionally left out a lot. It’s up to you to fill in the rest.