This is the concept art for one of the major characters in my upcoming sci-fi fantasy novel. Everyone, meet Chielle!
Out of all the concept art I've drawn for my various characters, this is one of the ones I'm the most proud of. She looks pretty much exactly like I pictured her in my head, I love her fashion sense, and she's got such a distinctive look.
Her right hand is posed the way it is because I plan for her to be holding one of her inventions, when I figure out what said invention looks like.
So who is Chielle?
Chielle is a human scientist in a universe where Spinosauruses, spaceships, and immortal semideities can all be found on the same planet.
Her natural hair color is brownish black, but she's always been a big fan of stark, bold color contrasts, especially between light and dark. So when she started to develop vitiligo, she decided that if her favorite aesthetic was going to take over her face, she might as well run with it.
She lost her right arm in a shuttle crash when she was a child. When the rescue workers finally found her and pried her free from the wreckage, that moment when fear and despair suddenly turned into hope made a deep and lasting impression on her, as did the impact that getting her first prosthetic made on her quality of life.
For the rest of her childhood, she was torn between two dreams.
She became fascinated with prosthetics, and started studying them in hopes of someday inventing one that had the same range of motion and sensation as the original limb. She wanted to make life better for herself and her fellow amputees, just as the inventors who came before her had done for her.
But at the same time, part of her wanted to be a hero in a more direct and life-saving way, as those rescue workers had been to her. She wanted to be the reason someone's terror and despair turned to hope.
Even after she accepted a job in research and development, that part of her still hoped that if another shuttle crash happened, she'd be close enough to save the people inside.
Then, one day, she got her chance.
Chielle accepted an ambitious assignment in a classified lab on a remote planet, to seek a technological solution to a magical problem that had cost thousands of people their lives.
Her mission was to use her expertise in technology and neuroscience to invent machines that would block magic Wisps' control over their host, allowing people to wield the Wisps' magic without fear of getting possessed.
When the impact of a downed shuttle shook her lab, she didn't hesitate to race into the flames and drag the only surviving passenger to safety.
She had no way of knowing how this ragged, mysterious survivor would turn her world upside down.
Chielle now has an official character profile! You can see it here.
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Stephanie is the author of My Fugitive, Voice of a Silent Fugitive, Heroic Lies, and Catgirl Roommate, as well as the artist behind the Undertale webcomic Just Cause.