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Cultivating Magical Creatures: Okro’s Fantasy Art

Updated: Jun 6, 2022


Okro is a mixed media artist who’s spent her time creating fantastical beasts and characters over the past few years.



An artist of over ten years, Okro didn’t choose to be an artist, rather the artist life chose her.

Made to attend art classes by her parents Okro didn’t initially have much interest in art, preferring to spend her time in class socializing with her peers:


“That’s how I spent those carefree days surrounded by easels and plaster heads until one day we had a new teacher. She was a graphic artist and, using the “classical” technique of copper carving, made some impressive engravings.”


It was this instructor who sparked a new interest in painting for Okro, who discovered a love of creating intricate and detailed pieces after watching her work.


“She made it look as something extraordinary, mystical and thrilling. It seemed like magic, the way she drew sketches, cut out copper sheets, and made imprints of those sheets. Looking at her I decided that I want to be something of a wizard too!”



 

The Earth Dragon:


Did you know that falling stars grew into astras? Don’t recommend picking them up though, their roots are kinda unfriendly.



She continued her studies by attending university for design but found that she was instead often drawn to sketching instead. It became a habit and stress reliever for her during this time:


“Whenever something BAD happened I just picked up that BAD and put it in a paper ‘jail’. And when I felt happy, that happiness burst into universes under my pen.”


Unfortunately, the bad still crept in as after graduation Okro was diagnosed with depression and lost her motivation to create. However, she had one commission left to fill at the time, a piece of concept art for a tabletop game project. Pushing through to complete the work, and not disappoint her client, Okro discovered what she had once forgotten, the joy that drawing brought her. For the first time since being diagnosed she felt happy. This was the moment she realized that she wanted to pursue art as a career.

“It’s cool, it makes me feel alive. With the improvements in my mental health came the need to pursue my career. I collected all the knowledge gathered from art school, University and other studies, and here I am starting as a rookie. Again. But now I feel satisfied with my life.”



 

Cat Loving Druid:


This cat loving Druid stands by their loyal companions: a long cat-thingy and the cat-shrooms she animates through magic.



Like art, tabletop games have been part of Okro’s life since childhood. Growing up in a household without a computer in the 90s Okro and her friends would play a variety of ttrpgs or make them up themselves.


When in university she took a further interest in tabletop gaming development.


“I went to see the exam works of the illustration faculty students. They were displaying their own tabletop game concepts which they made from scratch. The rules, the artworks, the story, all by themselves! I was fascinated, they literally created whole worlds, the whole worlds squeezed in small box! This legitimately looked like magic. Like, it didn't just look like magic, it WAS magic.”



 

The Mushroom Dragon:


The Mushroom dragon holds his post as the mystical guardian of the hundred-year-old mushroom forest.



Okro finds inspiration everywhere she goes. She believes our world is already full of fantasy, you just need to know where to look. She loves looking through wildlife and microbial atlases and reimagine what she finds.


“I look through them and think ‘what if...’ Medieval people drew animals they hadn’t seen up close as fantasy beings. I try to think of the world around me the same way. Yeah, I know the scientific explanation, but what if I didn’t? How could I describe it, what can I turn this concept into? That’s how those fantasies are born.”



 

A Collection of Weird Plants:


Be aware that if you don’t tend to your garden, you’ll have to feed the weeds that grow.



Okro works with a wide variety of materials, primarily a mix of watercolours, pencil, and liners. She starts with a simple sketch and builds up the colours with a watercolour base and pencil shading before finishing it off with linework.


Although this is her preferred method Okro is no stranger to other art techniques and mediums:


“The path of art is carved by the blood and tons of wasted paper, which I’m not fine with. I prefer to diverge from the traditional path as it is less time-consuming and stressful to clean the sketch via editor, print it and transfer to my canvas via light table”


Okro hopes to one day combine her art into a fantasy world or game of her own creation. She believes that tabletop gaming affords the unique opportunity to live more lives and go on more adventures than might have been afforded to us in our normal lives, and we here at the Silver Dice Society couldn’t agree more.


“I wish that one day the world I create will make the same impression on others as others’ games impressed upon me. I've made a lot of creatures and places so one day I hope to breathe life into that world so that people might live through it.”



 

The Dragon Calendula:


Some calendulas bloom so bright. It looks like they are on fire… Look at one, you might notice it. It’s said to be a blessing from the root dragon itself.


 


To explore more of the magical creatures Okro creates you can find her on:







Drop by and let her know that the Silver Dice Society sent you!



 

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