Prismatic Art: Call for Artists

Sarah Darkmagic - Posted on 05 March 2012

A few weeks ago, Daniel Solis and I mentioned that we are working on a new Kickstarter project. We aren't quite ready to release all the details yet, but since it's an art project, we wanted to put out a call for artists now so we could have a list for the announcement. So, without further ado, here are the main details of the project.

Prismatic Art Collection is a free library of art representing heroes of all backgrounds.

In geek culture, there are plenty of Lukes, but not enough Landos or Leias. We want to change that. We'll be raising funds to hire female and ethnically diverse artists to create fantasy art depicting heroes of all backgrounds. Together, we want to make it easier for underrepresented artists to find work and for everyone to find more varied depictions of heroes. We want to pay the artists reasonable rates and release the art to the Creative Commons under the Attribution Share-Alike license.

All submissions will depict women, people of color, or differently abled people in fantasy heroic roles. No cheesecake, ethnic sidekicks, or caricatures, please. Just straight-up fantasy heroes in settings full of swords, dragons, dungeons, wizards, and the like.

If you're a female or ethnically diverse artist and are interested in this project, we want to hear from you. Please contact us at We're open to all styles of art, but we want professional-grade quality stuff. In all cases, accepted submissions will be released to the Creative Commons under an Attribution Share-Alike license.

If you're interested in supporting the project, keep an eye out for the upcoming Kickstarter. We have a twitter account for this project, @PrismaticArt

Edit: Follow-up on the reasons why we singled out particular groups in this early call. We're not restricting the artists, but we are seeking a diverse artist pool.

I love this! I'm a programmer not an artist, so I can't directly add to the pool but I would be super pumped to have something like this as a resource. Go go go!

As a white male geek I can only say, YES! FINALLY. It's high time someone injected a little diversity into this stale geek culture. I hope your project takes off and produces a bold new wave of fantasy art(ists) that redefines what it means to be a geek.

All in! :D

I absolutely want to echo my support. If any of the pending full-time job prospects come through, I'll kick money to the project, even if it's after the close of Kickstart (and will then contact you directly about it).

What a fantastic idea.

There is little choice of art, unless specifically commissioned, available which depicts female & Ethnic subjects in a fantasy setting.

It's very generous to plan to release it all as CC, but I counter-propose that if you offered a commercial option you'd be able to reinvest the proceeds to fund yet more submissions. Perhaps low-res for CC, and charge for hi-res. I certainly wouldn't mind paying a modest amount for hi-res output - the artists will still be credited, as always.

I hope this proceeds quickly! I certainly have need for Ethnic pieces soon for a publication due out this Summer, and I could also use some pieces featuring Females in May (but that is too short a deadline).

I assume, as it's not mentioned, that there isn't a list of topics potential consumers can suggest as subject matter. That's a shame, as it's unlikely that RPG Authors/Publishers will get anything usable - apart from by luck. So this is my 2nd suggestion. It would be up to the artists whether they paid attention to the suggestions lists or not, but if they did they'd know there would be a much higher chance of seeing their works published.

Alas I'm not a fan of your exclusivity however, I don't see why you wouldn't welcome submissions that meet your criteria from male artists.

Regardless of that slightly sour note, I wish you all the best in this worthy endeavour!

Actually, I think a hybrid of these proposals could be favorable. If the pieces were released as creative commons, but perhaps a book could be sold with a CD of the high-res images to those who wanted to contribute money for the cause (and possibly a 2nd volume). I personally love holding a bound book in my hands instead of scrolling through a gallery. It could even serve as an interesting portfolio piece for artists who have contributed.

In a slightly more direct reply to Castelain: I'm sure the creators don't mean to insult the plethora of male artists who are willing and able to contribute to the project, but the "girls by girls" aspect of it is one of the selling points. It's meant to draw attention to the fact that girls like games, play games, and know how to draw badass characters. If it were a collection from many artists, the "shock factor" of it being a ladies-only publication could be reduced to a "hey, we're here too, see--right here" instead.

I may be interpreting this incorrectly, but I've participated in similar projects and run into very much the same thing: women doing male-dominated thing encounter males of similar mindset who want to contribute. The point of the matter really lies in that it is a male-dominated industry (or it appears to be so), and the women have been shouting as individuals to get noticed. Some do, some don't. By getting a bunch of ladies together and having them shriek bloody murder, they're going to get more attention than a lone individual. They always appreciate the men who are on the inside, though, who point and say "they have a point, and you should listen". Perhaps future installments could encompass more contributors from different backgrounds (gender, nationality, etc), but you have to cry havoc before you can let slip the dogs of war.

Anyone, please let me know if I'm wildly off-mark. I sincerely apologize if I've read to far into this or if my comment is too lengthy--I'm just very, (i>very excited about this.

To be clear, this is a great project and it should go ahead regardless of any minor concerns about the restrictions in the process.

It's the output... quality output... that is the key here.

Very cool. Not only will this be a great resource, its very encouraging to see someone tackle this problem head on, showing the folks at much larger gaming companies how it's done.


Love the idea. Can't wait to see it show up on Kickstarter.

Cool project! I'll be backing this one.

I think this is an amazing project and I look forward to seeing it on Kickstarter. My wife is hugely enamored with this idea.

This is a really fantastic idea. Thank you for your efforts!

I would love to help out in any way that I can, but I get the feeling I may be a bit too late and I'm about as 'standard' a fantasy artist as there is. But if there's something I can do to help - let me know!

Thanks to Amy Houser for pointing you out to me.

If you can figure out how to depict a 1/8 Cherokee, 1/8 Creek, 1/8 black, 1/4 Israelite (northern kingdom; not Judah), 1/4 Tzigane, lame (left knee is all icky) near-sighted diabetic with Meniere's Disease - and make it all evident - then I'd pay good money to see that - and I'd consider the artist to be one of the more skilled artists in the world!

*jeep! & God Bless!
--Grandpa Chet

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