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August 9, 2013
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Fantasy Races: [2/4] Elves by Tyshea Fantasy Races: [2/4] Elves by Tyshea
WOW THIS TOOK LIKE TWO WEEKS? Well maybe more like 4 days overall, since I only worked on them over the weekends.

I'll probably be making more (as well as environments and creatures), but first I wanted to explore the races I had in mind for the world me and *Ai-Bee are building for this.
This project is currently unnamed, but it's something I've wanted to do ever since I was in middle school.

A lot of High Fantasy is very overdone and all the designs are inbred, so as a kid I wanted to see a fantasy world that was more diverse, but used a lot of familiar things from the genre.
I realize I'm taking a lot of liberties with the typical interpretations of High Fantasy...but it's fucking fantasy, dude.
What's fantasy without imagination? I always thought the "rules" some people ascribe to were bullshit anyway.
(sorry any Tolkien/D&D-die-hards, this project probably isn't for you)

I reference a lot of cultures and plan to mix them with more typical fantasy elements, but if anyone who belongs to the cultures that inspired me, by all means please let me know if I've done anything seriously wrong or offensive and I will look into it and fix it as best as I can. And yes, I know where the names I'm using came from.

No body shaming will be tolerated. (ʘ‿ʘ✿)

So without any further ado, here is some thought-vomit on each of the races and sub-races!


    Jotun: Famous for their mining, wrought iron, rich ore, and music, the Jotuns are a proud but crude people with hints of their Elven pompousness. Derogatorily known as the Dark Elves, the Jotun are on horrible terms with the Western High Elves, having never let go of a bad blood feud that split the two cultures apart just a century ago. The Jotuns were chased up north, where they developed a new capital city underground and developed surprisingly good relations with the native Ogres, who they currently coexist with peacefully. They have strong military prowess, led by a warrior king or queen who earns the throne through strategic superiority in battle.
    Inspirations and notes: Traditional Russian culture with influence from Medieval Gothic. Sleek and athletic, biggest elf race. North-to-Eastern European features.

    Naiads: Elegant, sophisticated, and snooty, the High Elves are a technologically advanced nation that hold a majority of the influence in the West. While they trade freely with the Myr and Gnomes, they view themselves as culturally superior. They’re known for their alchemy and automated armors, which are employed for all menial jobs in their society. The Goblins were once heavily employed by the Naiads for lower level work, but ever since the invention of their mobile armors, they’ve since freed them, though their menial employment is still apparent in the western sector of the world. Lavish and peaceful, Naiads hold intellectual, magical, and philosophical pursuits in high regard, and are led by a council of elected officials.
    Inspirations and notes: Art Deco era and Decopunk, American Roaring 20’s. Thin fashion-model bodies. White-American features.

    Dryads: The Wood Elves are a carefree people living in the upper branches of the Eastern forest-marshes, which are known to many as a tropical paradise. Good-humored and creative, they’re famous for their artistry in painting, calligraphy, pottery, and sculpting. Over-indulgent in the fine arts and simple pleasures, they’re an open and polyamorous culture that values fun and comfort, earning them the nickname “Nymphs”. While their laissez-faire attitude can come across as insanely irresponsible, their playful, youthful nature makes it hard to dislike them individually. Other than trading with the Garuda, the Dryads tend to keep to themselves. Their expertise in magic is rivaled only by the Fae.
    Inspirations and notes: Ancient Chinese culture, Qing Dyasty. Petite, skinny physiques. Central-to-East Asian features.

    Djinni: A gender-segregated but matriarchal society, the Djinni are a generally peaceful, scholarly culture. Djinn women are the spiritual leaders, politicians, and scientists, while Djinn men are kept to physical work, like smithing, dancing, and military. They believe the female mind is the greatest asset, promoting them to be physically modest; their men, on the other hand, are visually flamboyant and beautiful. Nationalistic and proud, they also greatly value families, and healthy births are celebrated for days on end. The Djinni live in harmony with the Giants, and are well-known traders throughout the world.
    Inspirations and notes: Ancient Persian and Arab culture, mainly Ottoman. Lithe but pronounced/curvy bodies. South Asian/Middle Eastern features.

The other races:

To see more of this world, please visit this gallery!
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MotherrofMayhem Featured By Owner Edited 1 day ago  Student General Artist
I found these images long ago and never got around to reading the description until now *V* might I say, fantastic work; you really pour a lot of love but healthy respect for the world around you into fantasy, which is a refreshing change as the only culture you really see is Caucasian within the fantasy world.

My ideas of culture is very similar to yours in my own project but I'm avoiding the high fantasy of green/blue/purple skinned people with tails and ears, but I absolutely adore your work so far <3 I just wanted to say, fantastic work but also I'd like to ask a question. As an outside voice and a fellow artist, how would one go about creating a unique and fascinating fantasy world and avoid the bland norms? I'm kinda stuck at a dead end atm ;;
1XLADEDAX1 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
hmm~ so far the Jotun and the Djinni are my favorites!~ :)
Tyshea Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Glad to hear it!
adam-ant2 Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2014
your elves give me a major Jak and Daxter vibe.
Bas-Serabas Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2014  Student General Artist
I love the look of all these different types of elves, I think the Djinn are my favourite :D
Tyshea Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you! Really happy to hear that :)
Bas-Serabas Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2014  Student General Artist
Your art and style have really helped me understand many different shapes and sizes, bodies can be. 

thank you for posting your art here :D
Tyshea Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
That's the best compliment I could ever get, thank you again!
Always loved the idea of jötunn as elves. (Pretty sure the Snow Elves in Skyrim are inspired by jötunn as well.) Glad to see there are more people who feel the same.
Tyshea Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Actually! I've heard the theory that the tall, noble elves used in high fantasy are more related to Nordic jotuns and Ljosalfar than the short spritely elves of central European folklore. So you've definitely itely got lots of reason to feel that way :D
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