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Ashana Lian's Fantasy Lab

Fantasy and Fantasy Writing from every angle: fantasy and sci-fi novels, films, artwork, superhero cartoons, children's and YA books, manga, anime, video games and comics. Put the microscope on 'Geek Culture'.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Art: Diversifying Fantasy Archetypes (including Afro Fantasy)


Hello! This time next week, I assume we will all be engaging in the joyous, tragic, stressful, gluttonous excitement that is Christmas Day. So before we go any further, Merry Christmas.


Now, not so good news. For the first time I can remember in years, I was terribly sick last week. I was coughing like mad, shivering, shaking; some said I had the flu, some said I had a temperature, some said I had a virus, some said they were all the same thing; I didn't go to my GP so nobody really knew. Then the agonising cramps started. And I felt so guilty, because with me being so stressed about finding a new job, I'd let my health slip. After spending the whole week in bed, I feel exhausted all the time like I used to feel before I took iron supplements.

The whole ordeal reminded me how susceptible to illness people can be during the winter. So, please remember to take care of yourself this time of year, it takes very little to turn this joyous time into a nightmare. Stay well. <3


For those who don't know, I'm making a conscious effort to drastically improve my illustration skills! (Yay!) because I wanted to have a go at depicting Karalan in artwork. Also, my blog is hideously ugly and needs to change. That made me think about fantasy artwork depicting black women, or women of colour in general, and I realised I'd seen little of this so I went on a virtual wild goose chase. Luckily, I did catch a few geese. My headache from staring at the screen too long was not in vain.

Today I wanted to make a list of classical fantasy archetypes, then give those characters a new vision that will hopefully help to diversify these archetypes. Here we go!


The Chosen One? -

Priestess? -

Fairy? -

Exotic Butterfly by Cellesria

Sprite? -

Superhero? - 

Virtue from The Movement, found on Tumblr

Bounty Hunter? -

Shoanti Female by Nemanja-S

Guardian Of The Peace / Fantasy Police? -

August 5, 2014 SpeedPaint by DjDontTouchTheTrim

Priest? -

Necromancess? -

Rat Queens 7 by johnnyrocwell

Nymph? -

Advisor to the Emperor? -

The Empress's Wife at

Lord Protector? -

Commission: Ilwan by Selenada

Centaur? -

Desert by KimDingwall

Dryad? -

Willow's Song by Rozen-Clowd

The Queen Regent? -

Cotton Candy Afro on

Empress Of The Realm? -

Sketch XXIII by Charlie-Bowater

Soldier Mage? -

Mali by lorraine-schleter

The Warrior? -

Mwangi Female by Nemanja-S

The Oracle? -

Oasis of Kemet by Mystic-Oracle

Pirate-Captain(-Mage)? -

Spellcaster, uploaded by Mick North on pinterest

Pirate King? -

Ocean Hero by Craig J Spearing for Applibot.

Princess? -

Opera Costume - Agrippine by FionaCreates

Nomad? -

Sailor Soldier/Sailor Guardian? -

Moko as Sailor Moon on

Assassin? -

Game Illustration by Leejeeh

The Villainess/Overlady? -

Curse of the Swines by namesjames

Guardian Of Time? -

Afro Futurism on Tumblr.

Powerpuff Girl? -

Powerpuff Girl from Tumblr.

For more images - the Diverse Fantasy Art board on Pinterest

Click to see more Fantasy Artwork posts
Click to find out about my fantasy novel

As for upcoming posts - there's a whole bunch of reviews from this year I need to get out of the way, plus I wanted to share some reading and writing goals for 2015.

Did you like this post? Let me know in the comment, and don't forget to leave a comment for the artists too. c:

Ashana Lian .


  1. Oh my gosh The Power Puff Girl XD
    The Centaur looks brilliant - I could stare at that all day (in a non-creepy way, that is). Actually when I think about it I think the centaur will be doing most of the creeping (she looks soooo scary!). Another one that I love is The Necromancess (what an awesome name). I have many, many characters that can fill that occupation! :D

    1. I know. She has the universe in her hair :3 So adorable.
      The centaur does look creepy - I just realised, I don't think the bottom half is a horse. For one, that is NOT horse's tail! I'm glad you liked them, thanks for commenting!

  2. The Advisor to the Emperor one is so beautiful! I really like you're blog and how interesting it is. So fantastical haha. Wanna follow each other?

    -Sylvia Grey

    1. Hi Sylvia! That's one of my favourites too. Too many favourites! I'm glad you like my blog, sure we can follow each other.

  3. Aww, the Powerpuff Girl was ridiculously cute! Empress of the realm was beautiful and the Lord Protector was yummy, lol. Guardian of Time was epic. The artists are so talented. I envy them, lol. Lovely post!

    1. ME TOO!! I envy the artists sooo much. They made we want to start drawing again. =P I don't practise as much as I should!

  4. Now that I think about it, my favorite is the Priest (after Powerpuff Girl, of course!) haha.

    1. My favourite one changes every five minutes!!! rotflhehehe :3

  5. Wait wait waaaait, you do illustrations?! Am I just silly and haven't noticed it before or or or CAN YOU SHOW US SOME OF YOUR ART?!! I'M SO CURIOUS NOW!!
    These are wonderful pictures. XD I love most of them!
    Ugh, being sick is awful. Honest any time I try and do something a little bit out of the norm, I get wildly and weirdly sick. >.> I need to handle my stress better for sure, ;-)

    1. I stopped drawing for yeeeears and years but then lately I was been thinking hard about how I'm gonna make a living (university does not prepare you for this e_e ) after my degree, and I thought about fantasy illustrations so I've picked up my pencil again. Don't worry you will see them soon! January 1st, precisely, when the new design of this blog goes live. =D

      Hey, that's a good point. I thought maybe I was ill because I'd been neglecting my health from the stress - maybe it was the stress itself that made me ill. WHO CAN TELL ? ._. Thanks for commenting!

  6. Reading your above comment and have to say that I am so excited for the new design and seeing some of your illustrations! Your online hunt was definitely not in vain because you always manage to find some of the most beautiful illustrations!

    I'm sorry you've been sick, I'm really hoping you're feeling better now because it always sucks to be ill over the Christmas holidays. Urgh, I know what you mean though. We've had our budget cut at work and almost all of us will be losing our job, the stress of that has made me so ill. It sucks >.<

    1. Y A Y ! *dancing* Oh me too! It can be a bit frustrating but I'm sure I'll get it right. I'm so glad you liked them. Sometimes when I hunt for new art I'm soo mesmerised by all of the talent out there, and some days that fact just depresses me. But not today c: Thanks Charnell, I am actually a lot better now! I do have a very annoying cough, mainly when I'm at work when I have to talk a lot. It's okay when I'm at home and staying quiet.

      That's so awful!! I can't believe that. At my workplace we had our budget cut a few months ago. One of the older staff members decided to accept voluntary redundancy. You work at a library, right? I feel so sad that libraries have to cut back so much... I think I heard somewhere that the gov barely have any money to keep them open. =/ I really hope that whatever the outcome, you're able to get back on your feet soon. <3


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