The winner of this year’s Darkzel Scholarship is Emily Vitori, who received a $600 payment thanks to the fundraising at IndieGoGo’s Generosity Platform and money raised over the last year from legacy sales of Zel’s art and those of previous winners.
Emily is a keen and enthusiastic member of the gaming community, known and loved by many. She’s also a brilliant artist with an Art Nouveau quality to much of her work, mostly accomplished via traditional media and techniques.
Inspired by gaming and mythology since I first overheard my brother play Dungeons & Dragons as a child, I’ve been drawing fantastical characters and creatures to help others bring their creations to life and for my own personal art therapy for many years now. I received an Art Education degree in college and did my best to instill that same joy in others through teaching art to young children for five years in Ohio, but unfortunately had to give that career up in order to help support my husband who has since become disabled. Now I work in the insurance industry but I still haven’t given up on the joy that art brings to me and others as I do freelance illustration and fantasy portraiture by commission.
And I do suggest you give this lovely lady some commissions. I’m loathe to put her contact details up here, but if you contact me privately I can pass them on so that you can commission from her.
Emily also – very generously – offered seven pieces of art for sale as stock art and these will be going on on RPGNOW over the next few days. All art sold from the Zelart section goes on to support the scholarship in the future.
Scholarship Report for 2016/17
Weirdly, running the scholarship seems to get harder every year. I’ve stepped up publicity as much as I can, my social reach has increased (thanks to Youtube and maxing out followership on Facebook) but in spite of this and expanding publicity to directly emailing the art and design departments of every university and every college in the UK it has still proven very hard to get entries.
If anyone would like to volunteer to help publicise in the future, that would be greatly appreciated.
I also received a lot of promises of support from various people that never materialised. Only Ben Rodriguez who promised a piece of donation art to help support the scholarship delivered. If you are a fantasy artist who wants to donate work to support the scholarship, you can donate at any time. Not just when we’re fundraising. Just let me know.
We’ve also suffered, again, from attempted sabotage. Because my name is attached to the project and because of my stances on free expression, along with various other issues, some people have taken it upon themselves to ‘warn’ people not to get involved or not to support. While I hope plugging away and continuing to confound the scuttlebutt will disarm these attempts it does cause damage and interferes with fundraising and getting entries. Why someone would seek to prevent hard-up artists getting aid in this way… I don’t know, but it happens.
Whatever the case, running the scholarship has become increasingly stressful and difficult and I think I will need to recruit help next year if I am to keep running it.
Watch this space.