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Visual Development of WYRDHEIM

Visual Development of WYRDHEIM

Regin Wellander
by ReginWellander on 30 May 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

I've always had a passion for the fantastical and it is that pure joy I feel when I see great a monster and character design that has been the fuel for my artistic life. My goal is to help others convey that same excitement for creatures to their audience through my designs.

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Below are a few of the pieces that I've done for my personal project "Wyrdheim". My goal is to design the traditional creatures and beings och swedish folklore and mythology in a way that hasn't been seen before. Most of these creatures have had varying degrees of relevance in history. Therefore the story of Wyrdheim takes place in multiple parts of history as well as the present.

Hope you enjoy!


The process I use for most of my creature designs in Wyrdheim begins by gathering references from multiple differnet sources. This can range from animals to old tales in books and after that I try to combine them in new and interesting ways, going with the principle of "form follows function". 

I often try to break down what it is that makes a creature unique and then I see in what ways I can convey that in the design.

When doing the inital exploration sketches for the dragons "g├Ądraal" I wanted to lean into an area of animals that don't often get to take flight in typical fantasy. Therefore I chose to take inspiration from a northern pike, a type of fish that is quite common in swedish waters.

Even though these monsters are supposed to be scary, I think that the truly terrifying part in monsters is the humanity that some of them show. With werewolves "marulvar" there's the aspect of a human being forcefully turned into a wolf hybrid. So I tried to add in some human teeth, ears and eyes. Things that shows signs of the underlying person. 

When it comes to the individual pieces my process is constantly changing. As a result they can sometimes have slightly different finishes. The reason why I try to keep things fresh is because I don't want repeat the same mistakes and get stuck in my progress.

A character design for the version of the story that takes place in the viking age. 

Doing the concepts for the myling was quite challenging since I had to find a way to convey sadness and youth in the form of an undead child. 

"Treasure hunters using a magpie hybrid  "sketaj" to seek valuables. The Fehu-Seekers, as they are called, wears the skulls and feathers of the sketaj children that grow to big since they can't control them when they grow up."

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