Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Vampifan's Illustrations 02

Here is more of my vampire artwork that I did in the mid-1990's. At that time I was a member of a fan club for the Vampire: the Masquerade role-playing game, which was devoted to the seven "good" clans of the Camarilla. In alphabetical order, they were Brujah, Gangrel, Malkavian, Nosferatu, Toreador, Tremere and Ventrue.
The fan club offered two newsletters, one covering all seven clans and another, which concentrated solely on matters relating to whatever clan you belonged to.
Anyone who knows anything about the clans of V:tM will not be surprised to learn that my clan of choice was Clan Toreador. They had the greatest appreciation of the arts and many of their vampires were artists, dancers, musicians, poets and writers. As a graphic designer and art lover myself it was a no-brainer that I opted for Clan Toreador.
This hulking brute shown here belongs to Clan Brujah, the rebels and anarchs, although they also embrace philosophers and great thinkers. The logo on this vampire's T-shirt reads "Nightlife," which was the name of the Camarilla fan club newsletter. If I remember rightly it was published once a quarter.
Next up is a member of Clan Gangrel. The Gangrel are the most animalistic clan, with many of their kin possessing disturbing animal features and behaviour. They are a nomadic clan but because of the threat posed by the werewolves, most of them are forced to remain in urban areas where vampires proliferate.
This portrait would work equally well for a Brujah but the Brujah vampire that I drew could only be a member of that clan.
Note the ankh necklace he wears. The ankh symbol is a common motif found in the World of Darkness, as the setting for all of White Wolf's rpg's was known.
This illustration, the previous one and the next two, were used on the front cover of successive issues of "Nightlife" fanzine. I'm quite sure that it was precisely because of the work that I did for the Camarilla fanclub that I was offered the job to illustrate Valentina Nightingale's book, Darkling, I Listen. I did not get paid for any of the work that I did for the Camarilla; I did it purely for the pleasure. I don't think anyone who works for a fanzine does it for the money.

This Gothic-looking vampire is a member of Clan Malkavian. Every one of their members suffers from some sort of madness or lunacy. The previous two illustrations and the next one are based on photographs with a few modifications of my own so that they aren't direct copies. For this one, however, I had an actual model. Suzi Brooks was her name and we were very good friends at that time. She used to work in the same architects' office as my brother and it was he who introduced us. Suzi was unlike any Goth I had known as she was so full of life and was a great joker. We had such a lot in common and I was proud to call her a friend. When she learnt that I was an artist she was only too happy to pose for me. She did play V:tM, as well as numerous other rpg's. Call of the Cthulhu was her personal favourite. So, Suzi became my choice for a Malkavian vampire. We lost touch when she left the architect's firm that my brother worked for, but we did meet up again, quite by accident, when I attended the centenary celebrations of Bram Stoker's Dracula in Whitby in late 1997. She was engaged to a guy with the biggest mohican haircut I have ever seen. I often wonder what she's up to now? A lovely lass!
Finally, we come to my interpretation of a Clan Tremere vampire. The Tremere are the only clan to practice magic, or more specifically, blood magic. All of the vampire clans are secretive, but the Tremere are more secretive than others. Indeed, there are those who say the Tremere are not vampires at all, but human mages strifing for immortality.
In the UK, there is an insurance company called Scottish Widows and they have used a woman dressed in the hooded cape I've drawn for many years now to represent their company. I thought if she was a vampire she'd belong to Clan Tremere. I should stress that the person I've drawn never appeared in any advert or material to do with Scottish Widows but the idea most certainly is.
I've shown four of the seven clans, so what about the other three? Well, I have lots of illustrations for Clan Toreador and I'll show them in a separate post. Actually, all of my Clan Toreador illustrations feature one person in all of them - my player character, Pamela Andrews.
As for Clans Nosferatu and Ventrue, I never got round to drawing them. I did have plans for a Ventrue vampire. Clan Ventrue are the nominal leaders of the Camarilla, known as the blue bloods because they tend to embrace those from the ranks of the aristocracy or business leaders.
As for Clan Nosferatu, they were always going to be my last choice to illustrate. Every member of their clan is hideously disformed in some way. They are literally monsters. However, they are excellent spies and information brokers, so they have their uses. I admire beauty more than I admire ugliness so I deliberately put off coming up with a suitable illustration for a Nosferatu. It is a shame that I didn't get to illustrate all seven clans, but I eventually became very disillusioned with the way the fan club was being run and I never renewed my subscription.
This illustration was used as a poster to celebrate a vampire event being held in York. I can't remember what the event was called or who attended. I did not get to attend. I was given a brief of what to draw, which I followed to the letter.
I called this illustration "Helena Attacks." Helena is a Toreador of immense power, possibly the most powerful Toreador on the planet. She resided in Chicago, masquerading as a fledgling vampire. My client wanted a beautiful long-haired vampire for the illustration so for me, that meant Helena. Her male victim stands absolutely no chance of survival.
I've signed and dated this in 1995 and I'm pretty sure I drew it after my work for Darkling, I Listen. The other four illustrations that I've shown here were all drawn in 1994.


  1. Very nice VtG. My favourite this time has to be the Malkavian - the expression you have given her sums them up in a nutshell - IMO. The other illustrations are all good samples of the clans, although I think the Tremere should have had more clothing detail - perhaps the edge of the cape pushed back? but it does project the Tremere 'halo' of mystery and secrecy as it is.

    It's a real shame you never got to the Nosferatu. They were my favourite as a player, but the GMs I played with never seemed to get the political maneouvering side of the game going enough for them to excel. Oh well, maybe one day it'll work out ... I had to go with Tremere in the end and that was a blast! My character was called Renfield and it really tells you soemthing that none of the other players (or GM!) recognised the name :(

  2. Thanks, Colin. You have a strong feel for what these illustrations represent and I can see you're clearly familiar with the genre. My opinion of the Tremere is rather clouded by one of the players in my group, who chose to belong to their clan. He was a power gamer and just a pain in the arse until I killed his character. He thought Diablerie (the draining of another vampire's blood was cool because it made him more powerful. Well it did, until he met a Justicar far more powerful than him. End of story! I cannot believe anyone playing V:tM didn't get the Renfield reference! Oh, I weep for you, Colin!

  3. You're a talanted man Vampyfan. Those inked line drawings of yours are excellent.

  4. Quality illustrations but I don't remember meeting you ever but the gentlemen from Clan Brujah is the living image of myself (no joke but I never wear shorts) but have always tried to be like the guy from Gangrel.The clan Tremere is my favourite because all attention is focused on the face but they are very good, you have a talent my friend.

  5. @Dangerous Brian. Thank you. I appreciate your praise.

    @The Angry Lurker. It's true we've never met but how uncanny my Brujah vampire looks so like you. Pure coincidence! Again, thanks for your comments.

  6. So what we have learned today is to never, ever, piss of the Angry Lurker!

    Great stuff Bryan, and I like Suzi the best.

  7. That's a fair assessment, Willy.

    I think you'd have liked Suzi even more if you met her in real life. She just had that affect on folk!

  8. These are excellent, Bryan! Maybe the best representation of the World of Darkness clans I have ever seen. The Malkavian is incredible, I liked the story about the model, too. I've always guessed I would be a Malkavian, I even had the t-shirt with the guy in a straight jacket. 90's vamps were the best. You do some really nice work, Bryan.

  9. Hey these are nice mate good work, they feel very 'Lost boys' for some reason.

  10. @Roger. Wow, that's high praise indeed! Thank you so much. I should have guessed you'd choose to be a Malkavian. No disrespect meant, but it seems fitting for you. By the way, I love your current Hulk persona on Facebook!

    @The Extraodinarii. I can see a "Lost Boys" vibe with the Gangrel vamp, for sure.