[Art Post] Environmental Chimeras

Last October I hosted a series of livestreams where I inked a set of illustrations on camera. Some of the recordings are even up on YouTube. My subjects were the Environmental Chimeras, which I sometimes spelled Kimaerhas because I was feeling Artistic like that.

Anyway, the results were six brush pen pieces, each one illustrating a different creature. I started with my personal character, Rhondi the Volcano Kimaerha…

A little background.

Kimaerhas are derived from the classical Chimera of Greek Mythology, being a combination of various mammals, avians, and reptiles. They are differentiated from the classic Chimera by having only one head, and as a rule they do not breathe fire.

Kimaerhas vary depending on the environment they live in. Generally, a kimaerha will exhibit traits of the animals native to that environment. They usually have a mixed mammalian “base”, including horns or antlers, with serpentine tails, and occasionally wings and or bird feet.

Kimaerhas are not sexually dimorphic, and may display exclusively male or female characteristics regardless of their gender. (E.g., Rhondi, the Volcano Chimera, has a male lion’s mane and ram’s horns, despite being female.)

Rhondi herself is only the latest form of my Elrond Drakendíl “mountain chimera” which I’ve been playing around with for the last few years. When I moved from the Sierra Nevada to the Cascades, however, I felt a change was in order.

This particular design has been made into a temporary tattoo, which you can purchase via my online shop. The original is not for sale.

I had fun coming up with the names for these guys. I set a few ground rules, and went from there. Kimaerhic names are defined by the presence of “rh” somewhere in them. Names cover a broad variety of phenotypes. Feminine names end in “i”, masculine names end in “a”, names ending in “ia” and “ai” denote a feminine male and masculine female respectively. Names ending in “e” are genderfluid, names ending in “o” are trans-feminine, names ending in “u” are trans-masculine. Names ending in consonants can be any variety of non-binary, intersex, or otherwise nether masculine or feminine.

Therefore, Borhosa is male. He’s the Arctic Kimaerha, displaying dominant traits of polar bear and arctic fox. He also has reindeer antlers. The original sold at World Fantasy last year.Kirhi is the Desert Kimaerha, and one who I conceptualized a couple years ago—along with Borhosa. Kirhi is a combination of caracal, gemsbok, and horned viper. Though her components are native to the deserts of Africa, she is present in hot deserts all over the globe. Spritely and playful, she nevertheless takes her protective duties seriously, and is always near to hand with an encouraging word or quick smile.

Original was sponsored, and therefore given, to a private party.

Parhim is the Pampas Kimaerha, and one of my favorites to design. Parhim is a bit of a goof but is very earnest in the performance of their duties as protector of prairielands the world over. A combination of Maned Wolf, Geoffroy’s cat, pampas deer, and yellow anaconda, their kindness makes their awkwardness charming.

Original sold at the World Fantasy art show.

Ah, Rheef. The Forest Kimaerha. Rheef is a very staid, sober character. They have to be, considering their range of authority covers a vast, vital and vulnerable section of our planet. Their task is to protect and care for the forests of the world. But despite their outwardly calm, serene appearance, Rheef is filled with grief and rage and woe to any disrespectful visitor who harms their forest.

They are a combination of boar, moose, wolverine and copperhead. Not someone you want to cross.

Original sold at the Further Confusion art show.

Tamarhún (tama-roon) is only one of many variants of the chimeras who patrol the world’s jungles and rainforests. Sleek and silent, their poise belies an inner viciousness when dealing with trespassers. A formidable combination of guar, melanistic jaguar, sun bear, and pangolin.

Original sold at the World Fantasy art show last year.

Finally, we have Arhazé, the Alpine Kimaerha. Arhazé (arr-ha-ZAY) is the precocious protector of high mountain meadows, peaks and valleys. They make up for their small size with boundless energy and spirit. Unusual for a chimera, they incorporate avian characteristics—namely that of the Steller’s Jay. They also have elements of hoary marmot and mountain goat.

Arhazé is presently available via Red Bubble on shirts, mugs, and traditional prints, and as a holographic sticker via my online store. It’s also the only remaining kimaerha who’s original is still for sale. It’ll be going to my next art show (probably BLFC or AnthroCon), unless someone makes me an offer I can’t refuse.

All of these were done with a pentel pocket brush pen, my new weapon of choice! Follow my twitter for more WIPs and announcements, or consider backing me on Patreon for exclusive sketches, short stories, first dibs on originals, and more!

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