Raz Farrell, also goes by Raz Chung-Swiatkowska. Bisexual, genderqueer, mixed race Polish-Chinese and proudly mentally ill. Studying illustration at Camberwell, UAL – interested in diverse fiction & fantasy, world-building, concept art and social justice.
I love character design, world-building, and the art of storytelling. I believe in its power and impact on society, and while I do want my art to be available as a method of escapism to those who enjoy it – as escapism helped me find small doses of happiness while I battled depression, anxiety, and psychosis – I do not believe my, or any artwork/media exists in a bubble.
I believe representation and social awareness are both key before you develop a narrative. Inclusion of minorities – non-white characters, female characters (and not just stereotypically ‘strong’ ones), gay and lesbian characters, transgender and gender-nonconforming characters, disabled characters – all must be represented, even in historical settings or fictional ones, if the media we create is to be for everyone.
Beyond that, though, inclusion is not enough – awareness of how the character’s attributes and identities are handled and presented in the narrative are of utmost importance, and sadly not something recognised in a vast majority of modern media. If we only see minorities cast and represented as villains, minor/undeveloped characters, or generally unsavory, undesirable people in the media we consume, this will affect our real-world view.
In order to move the world of fiction to a place that is accessible, enjoyable and representative of everyone, providing role models, escapism, imaginative fuel, inspiration and moral lessons, our art and ideas cannot be narrow-minded and whitewashed. A story dominated by white, straight, cisgender men makes for a boring one that alienates a great deal of its potential audience. My art aims to fight common conceptions of what fiction and concept art is today in the Western world.
INSPIRATIONS & INFLUENCES:
John Bauer, Karolina Koryl, Yoshitaka Amano, Hideaki Anno, Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, John William Waterhouse, Olivier de Sagazan, Karborn, Adam Brockbank, Valin Mattheis, Man Ray, Vivian Maier, Kay Tang, Jenny Holzer, Wenqing Yan, huke, FKA twigs, Florence Welch (The Odyssey), The National, Molly Nilsson, Dragon Age, Portal, Alice: Madness Returns, Pokémon, A Song of Ice and Fire, The Black Magician, seventypercentethanol @ tumblr, pheberoni @ tumblr, 3daysmarch @ tumblr.