• Heida Rafnsdottir

How fantasy can move you

About how the Avatar film moved me to action and change my career. Also a bit about my love of the fantasy genre and creatures of all kinds.


What sparks your interest and fuels your passion? What wakes you up and calls you to action and ideas? My sparks and fuels are creatures and worlds of fantasy and mystery.


For as long as I can remember, creatures, great and small have sparked my interest. Real life ones, fantastical ones, mythical ones, cute and horrible, I love observing and learning about them. Creatures are also a huge part of the fantasy genre and these two passions feed each other very well. I am a devourer of fantasy in any shape or form, books, movies, games, artwork. I turn to fantasy for inspiration as well as escape. I also love creating fantasy. While looking at the real world I often imagine a layer of fantastical mystery, or even better, fantastical humor, on top. My motivation is to get people to think and feel outside the norm. To wake up and think about how we could make the seemingly impossible possible.


I’ll could write a lot about my favorite fantasy genres, I'll save it for later though. I just want to write about one of my favorites, the Avatar franchise, and how seeing it woke me up. As soon as the film came out I went with my husband to see it, in 3D, and it was amazing of course. It also turned out to be a life changer. I had just had my second child and was on maternity leave from my work as a detective inspector. I liked working in the police service and I did well there (my first career was in the police). However I had completely stopped making art at the time, although it used to be a huge part of my life and identity (more about that here). Seeing and experiencing the film stirred up a lot of buried passions in the deep sediments of my "ocean of adulthood". Questions were prompted about why I wasn't doing art anymore. I remember distinctly asking myself this question while walking away from the cinema with my husband afterwards, "Why am I not working in this huge, creative industry and making stuff like this?" I did not have the answer. Simple questions are often the most hard to answer and also often very hard to ask. I started looking for answers. It took a long time to reconnect my original passions and artistic self. It also took time for it to be possible act upon this. I finally did and it took me to where I am today.

A sea blue and white seal like creature. It has long tentacles on its head, two pairs of forelimbs and a seal like tail. It is inspired by creatures in the Avater movie.
Turquoise Sweals

Inspired by the Avatar's fantasy world, I made this tribute to the wildlife there, about a year ago. I almost never dare to do fan art but I really wanted to try my hands on designing a creature that might fit onto that wonderful planet Pandora. I’d also been feeling excited about the coming movie sequels as well as the upcoming computer game (it's coming in 2022, see here).


The creature I created was inspired by seals and dolphins, because marine creatures are a bit of a favorite. The Turquoise Sweal has the main features of Pandora wildlife. It has an extra pair of limbs, a bioluminescent skin pattern and the tentacles for the "bond", or "tsaheylu" in Navi speak. I also created a short description of its habitat and lifestyle, as it would be displayed in an encyclopedia (still thinking about a scientific classification though). I had great fun creating it although it was a challenge and a bit intimidating. It is one of my favorite worlds after all and I really wanted to do it justice.


I am tremendously grateful to all the people who passionately work towards bringing us fantasy and adventure in any shape or form. Making the seemingly impossible seem possible ignites our imagination and awakens us from a dreamless sleep. It can prompt us to great action. This is what we need in the world right now, sparks to ignite new ideas! This sounds pretty dramatic, but it's true. Without all the fantastic and adventurous ideas that sparked individuals in the past to take action, we would still be wandering around naked in the dark, without a torch or even a piece of sharpened flint. Needless to say not all fantastic and adventurous ideas and actions have been good. Too many have been detrimental. However, individuals will carry on generating ideas and igniting new sparks that will change the world for the better. We´ll need even more fantasy for that!


Thank you for checking in and reading!


Until next time, be safe and carry on dreaming ❤

Heida




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