TOTEH Artists: Eve Ventrue

January 6, 2012

Eve Ventrue

About two years ago, I received word of a young, budding talent in the art world and that I should attempt to secure her services if at all possible.

“She’s great!” the person said.

The name of the young artist in question is Eve Ventrue.

It seems like a long time ago that I first went into her website and marvelled at the gallery of amazing portraits on display. I sent her an email, and I wondered if she would reply–artists often-times don’t. But the next day I had an email sitting in my box written in halting English from Eve.

Since then Eve has been a steady force in the LoE universe, contributing many pics and has been instrumental in defining the look of several characters I’ve dreamed up. I still remember her as a shy young lady lacking only in confidence. Being a German, her English also wasn’t the best and I sometimes had to guess at what she was saying, but, since then Eve has become not only a trusted artist that I can rely on for creating stunning pieces of art, but a dear friend. I’ve watched her grow not only as an artist, but as a person as well (and her English has improved too).

I recently asked Eve a few questions about art and the artistic process.

What is your greatest influence? What artist(s) do you admire most??:

Eve: I admire lots of artists and I like modern digital art as well as the good old Classicism and traditional painters – therfore I would mention William Adolphe Bouguerau, Zdzisław Beksiński, Luis Royo and Kekai Kotaki.

Eve helped define the look of Kay, the Main Character in TOTEH

Eve has a great interest in gaming and gaming artwork–her gallery of portraits had “The Gaming Look” to them. I was hoping to tap into that energy. Eve’s amazing vision helped create the look of several LoE characters, most notably Kay, the main character of the Temple Trilogy. I described him to her as being “Handsome like his father and Beautiful like his mother.” Eve brought him to life as a handsome young man tinged with a beautiful fragility, like a flower.

How many hours a week do you devote to creating digital art?

Eve: Phew, this is difficult. As much as I can, which means about 40 hrs!

What obstacles do you frequently encounter and how do you overcome them?

Eve: The greatest obstacle is me and my self doubts and being short of time. Solving these problems is difficult, but I’ve learned to proceed no matter what, there is no other option, I guess.

This painting of Hannah-Ben Shurlamp is one of my favorite Eve works

There was always a note of shyness with Eve, a hint of tentativeness. I wanted to help bring her out of her shell by giving her challenging pieces of art to work on and allowing her the freedom to use her creativity in any way she chose. Soon there was a new Eve, a bold Eve painting with a madness to match my own.

In your daily life, where do you see inspiration??

Eve: Everywhere. It can be a tree, a rainy day, faces, a film, computer games or photos. Also music is a great inspiration for me!

Eve is a person on the move. She has written a fantasy book entitled The Venatore Legend that I hope she’ll let me translate into English for her some day.

Her amazing artwork was recently given top billing at Fantasy

Behind all the smoke and paint is a beautiful young woman of boundless talent

A Danish design studio has contracted Eve to do their artwork. Awesome, Eve–that’s my girl!!

To see more of Eve’s amazing artwork visit her website at:

And finally, the most important question of all:

If you were to describe Ren Garcia in one word, what would it be???

Eve: Lovely.

copyright 2012, Ren Garcia and Eve Ventrue

TOTEH Characters: Kay

February 1, 2011

"Kay" by Eve Ventrue

LORD KABYL OF BLANCHEFORT or “Kay” as he’s known, is the main character in the Temple of the Exploding Head trilogy. He’s the eldest son of Captain Davage and of Sygillis of Blanchefort (formerly of Metatron). He was named after Lord Kabyl of old, a feared Haitathe-slayer from a time gone by.

Slight as a child, green-eyed like his mother and sporting an odd head of purple hair, Kay was considered a flawed non-Vith by the lords and ladies who came to examine him. His younger sister, Lady Kilos, blue-eyed, blue-haired, was considered a perfect Vith, and Kay often felt humiliated by the scorn he received.

"Kay" by Bea Matarredona-Garcia

As Kay grew, he found he had difficulties with many things. His father, Captain Davage, was a legendary pilot, and it was hoped Kay would have inherited those skills as well. Unfortunately, such was not the case, Kay proved to have little piloting talents (his younger sister, Hathaline, from an early age, showed great promise as a pilot). Kay also had trouble with space in general, becoming violently ill every time his parents tried to “take him up”. Kay also was not nearly as large or as strong as his father, as illustrated by his inability to lift his father’s seventy-seven pound King CARG.

And, the most unkind blow of all–Kay didn’t seem to have the Gift of Sight. The Sight was a Blanchefort tradition going back thousands of years going back to a time when the old Blanchefort lords used it to sack villages and slay enemies, and Kay saw nothing beyond the mundane. The Stertors, a branch of the Sisterhood of Light, came to the House to proclaim his Gifts and pronounced him having two: the Gift of Waft and the Gift of Cloak.

No Sight. Thousands of years tradition lost.

"Kay Falling" by Carol Phillips

When he turned thirteen, Kay couldn’t take it anymore–all the disappointed faces, all the failure. He decided the House would be better off without him. He had a baby brother, Maser, who would inherit the House, and his sister Kilos could stand as regent until Maser came of age. He found a good balcony high atop Pendar Tower on the western face of Castle Blanchefort with a four thousand foot drop to the crags below. All he had to do was step off and his body would be washed away with the tide. No blood, no fuss, like he’d never existed at all.

That’s when he heard the Voice speak to him for the first time.

copyright 2011, Ren Garcia