December is my favorite month of the year. It's full of joy, inspiration, creativity, happiness and hope... but then January comes. 

 

What do you think when you see January on your calendar?

 

If you're like me... you dread it! But  January doesn't have to be such a scary monster!

 

So... starting 2018 I decided to create #dreamuary and turn my January into a month full of art of magical creatures and imaginary worlds - not where dreams come true but made of dreams. I will challenge myself to daily showcase my characters and fantasy worlds according to the daily prompts.

 

Dreamuary will return in January 2019. Join me in sharing your characters and worlds.

 

 

Facebook Group: Dreamuary here

Instagram: @vanessabettencourtart 

 

Here is 2018

 

Welcome to my Dreamuary where you'll find new worlds and creatures to discover.

   
1 #Friends 
Meet Aion and Valia. They have every reason to be enemies, but their friendship makes them the best team.
He's NOT an ant. She's a  who wants to BE a beetle warrior - not any beetle warrior, but the bravest one!
Together they are epic warriors in an epic battle against the evil army of spiders. 
Their goal: to save the kidnapped friends and take back the Home Tree to restore peace to the tribes and villagers. 
They might be small and very young, but their bravery goes beyond… imagined. 

 

🌟💫 🐉 🍃

 

2 #My favorite_______. 


My favorite... legendary creatures are dragons. 
They have beautiful colors and sometimes they connect with the elements in nature. I love blue and silver dragons the most. 


Some of my original characters are dragons, but that's spoilers for another time. 

 

 

 

      
3 #Wish upon a star for...  
Since I was very young, I always wished for a magic door to another world, like in so many stories I love to read. 
The only way I found to travel to these imaginary worlds was to read, enjoy art or create my own.  
Maybe that explains why Polly's superpower is to open the door of our imagination and visit so many different worlds. 
#dreamuary is my gift to you, an open door into my imagination.

 

 

 

Sometimes Eilenar dreams. 
Most of the times he remembers, but sometimes he doesn't even know he's dreaming. 
When he dreams he visits the realm of fantastic creatures. When he wakes up and tells people about these creatures... no one believes he but one boy. This boy doesn't have Eilenar's gift to see and talk to invisible beasts, but he strongly believes Eilenar can see and understand them and he will help Eilenar with all his heart to succeed in his quest. 
(Original characters from one of my upcoming epic fantasy novel: The Silver Star Challenge)

   

5 #Family  #dreamuary2018
Meet Gregor! He's a beetle and a General among his people. A great sword master and... Valia's older brother. 
Yes, she is a spider and he is a beetle, but family doesn't have to be always connected by blood.
They have every reason to be enemies, but their friendship makes them the best team. Valia looks up to her brother and she wants to become the best beetle warrior... a legendary beetle warrior. At least, better than him... if possible.
Their goal: to save the kidnapped friends and take back the Home Tree to restore peace to the tribes and villagers. 

 

6 #Tell me something about yourself... (But that means I have to know myself!)  #dreamuary2018

 

I was born in Lisbon, Portugal, but I live with my husband in the Washington D.C. area now. I love to create new words and creatures. In my daily routine, I pretend to be in action and fantasy scenarios while I do my chores. Going shopping becomes a quest for an epic item. Also, ordinary items become new shapes and creatures. I love to dream and I wish to share and hope you can visit my imaginary worlds too.

 

I also love to teach. So here is today's quick sketch that inspired the final image.

 

      
7 # Books.. (Where to start... I need 56.000 more words!) 

 

This is me holding a book with my main character on the cover. Eilenar is holding another book with the main character Polly from my graphic novel Polly and the Black Ink Book and She's in holding a copy of Beyond the Cliff  & Courage - the project I am finishing these next months.)
 
Books that were, books that are... and books to be...
... when I moved to the USA I was able to bring a small carry-on-bag filled with books. I had to leave my private collections and series behind, but I brought those that made my life in a very special way.
Also, I asked my friends and family to give me a copy of their favorite book, so I could bring it with me and remember them forever.

 

8 # Holy Pony! We must appreciate the little things... (Little like.. ants?)    #dreamuary2018
"The smallest flame can make a difference in the world, can change a life, warm a heart or light the darkest path." Eilenar

 

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9 # How do you sleep? (Well... with my eyes closed)     
Like a baby fairy, and my mind is filled with dreams that turn into new projects and goals. This is a new addition to my collection of pencil drawings Dreams and Nightmares.

 

   
10 # My favorite piece of clothing is...  #dreamuary2018
Meet Tulerul and his cousins. Tulerul is the round pigeon on the right. His favorite piece of cloth is his little beret. Tulerul is a messenger apprentice and very polite. He has a story to tell... something horrible happened to his village and it starts with: "The spiders came at night..."
Original character from Beyond the Cliff and Courage, coming soon.

 

 #dreamuary #beyondthecliffandcourage

 

    

11 # Flowers... (Beware! Sneezes attached)    #dreamuary2018
Flowers belong to their roots in the earth, that's the only place that they make sense to me, or... they make really nice hats or beds.
"I was certain that I'd been talking to flowers all that time when I saw this little fairy creature among the leaves. That's it. That's the same expression she made. She was amazed that I could see her too." Eilenar said.
(Original Character)

 

      

 

12 # Games... (From the past or the future?)    #dreamuary2018
Games are fun to play and I always think of this one in particular when I think of my childhood.
I know how to play it, but I can't remember the exact time I was taught how to play it. It makes me think because it's a very hard game to teach if you are holding the string. How did my aunt tell me which part of the string to stretch and which to pull while holding it and with no internet to show me videos or thousands of tutorials? And what patience she had.
Life without free videos and tutorials... 

 

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14 # My favorite duality is...  (...peanut butter and jelly?) #dreamuary2018
The sun and the moon. Light and darkness. It's a common theme in my art and writing. Good fighting evil. Light finding darkness within and darkness lingering for light. As long as I can keep the balance inside of me.

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15 #Colors  (What if I'm color blind?)     #dreamuary2018

 

I never liked colors.

 

I liked to draw characters and object in black and white from a flat piece of paper and show it to no one. I would not go to fancy stores to get my supplies. There were no such stores where I lived. I used the coal from the fireplace or my grandmother's morning coffee to paint.

I created only for myself.

 

Years later I became a teacher for the first time. Only then, I learned the value of colors. I accepted the challenge this time armed with colors, art and hope. Hope to be amazed by the promise of greatness that some already showed, and to be able to fight horrible secrets that were already there to unveil in some of the children...

 

Always with the understanding that good work had to be done besides teaching: I am, You are, He is... 

 

Titcher "how do you say banana in English?" 

 

I dedicate Polly and the Black Ink to all my students.

 

 

#fightingdepression #forabetterworld

 

16 # My favorite childhood song...

My first Vinyl was small with only one song a lot of frogs on the cover. It was my first musical treasure also started my love for animation.

 

 Day 17 When I was a child I thought...


When I was a child, my mom said: "Get your coat, we're going to Boca do Inferno (Hell's Mouth)" ...And that's what I pictured in my head. 


It's actually: "The Boca do Inferno is an interesting cliff formation close to Cascais, which has been given an overly dramatic name of Hell’s Mouth. The ceaseless pounding of the Atlantic Ocean on the cliffs chiseled out a small cave, which subsequently collapsed forming a small bay and natural arch." Thank you, Google.

 

14 # Jewels and Treasure...  (My precious...) #dreamuary2018

There used to be ancient stones... magical artifacts that can grant any wish. Now... the only one remaining belongs to the human race and they don't quite know what treasure they hold.
From my upcoming epic novel series The Silver Stone Challenge.
"Why do I have to ask a stone for what I can conquer with my will and strength?" Eilenar shrugged among the young and quite shocked cadets. "What?"
 #dreamuary

   

Day 19 Old family recipe...  (Ingredient number 1 Chocolate... number two... CHOCOLATE) #dreamuary2018

All the pigeons from Tulerul's village are extremely stubborn or extraordinarily distracted. Especially the ghosts. Meet Pheepie the village baker. She used to bake the best pies in her time... She's still around trying to catch the best berries for her new recipe.
 #dreamuary #beyondthecliffandcourage

 

 

🍃⭐🍄🐞
20# Three (Trio or Trinity)
"Did you do it?" The first whispered.
"I didn't do it..."
"Yeah... he did it... Here we go again..." the third one sighed.

 

 #dreamuary 

 

🌿🍃🍄🐜🐞 

 

#beyondthecliffandcourage 

 

Day 21 #Villains 

My villains are spiders. Meet General Lya and her black widow sisters.

Valia (original character from my upcoming project Beyond the Cliff & Courage)

Day 22 #Rebellion ... Rebellion is her middle name.

 

 

 

Day 23 #Sword

 

"... and the only thing standing after the battle were the bloodied swords..." Eilenar said.

 

From my upcoming epic fantasy novel.

 

   Day 24

Today's entry is GATE so I got carried away and went full color painting this. From my upcoming epic fantasy novel. 

 

I love painting clouds and fantasy landscapes. This print will be available at the artist alleys.

 

 

 

       Day 25 MAGIC

 

Magic with elements, magic with drawing, magic with world building...

 

...and fire fairies.

DAY 26 FABLE
Watercolor and Digital Painting of Henry the Hesitant Elk spread 6 of my upcoming picture book. I will leave this precious sneak peek with you.

 

 

Day 27 MYTH 🧚‍♀️🧚‍♂️🧝‍♂️🧙‍♂️🍃

 

"It's fine. Come out of there. These humans are silly. They think we don't exist..." he said.
"Are you sure?" the other one whispered. "The boy with the golden hair is staring at us... right now."

- The Silver Star Challenge Series

From my upcoming projects.

 

         

 

Day 28 Fantasy Races 

 

I love to create new races, give them legends, write their History, come up with legendary heroes, describe their wars, their achievements and adventures.

 

 

    

 

Day 29 Muse ... Inspiration

 

I hear many times that people believe PAIN to be the muse of many artists.

 

What do you think?

 

 

 

 

 

 

What's your favorite painter?

 

Since the dawn of times... painters who devote themselves to paint fantasy worlds, creatures, myths, legends.