Why Prismatic Art is Important

We invited our backers to tell us why this project is important to them. Here are some of the responses we've received.

  • I use stock art in nearly all of my projects.
    I enjoy supporting the artists who create it and having this art available for me and other small publishers to use.
  • I'm interested in the evolution of content and how/whether the internet can be used to make money from content you produce. That's the worky reason.
    The hobby reason; I want to support this cause. It's a good one.
  • As a resource for character art that would not otherwise be published and as a resistance to the tendency for characters to by default be "white" even in diverse settings.
  • I am a white male, and I have spent a long time trying to understand and promote equality between races, lifestyles, and the sexes. It is not easy for me to step in others shoes, but I really want to as I believe everyone should be treated and feel equal.
    In addition, my wife is hispanic, so my children will be biracial. I want to make sure my children and anyone elses don't feel out of place if or when they choose to enjoy role playing games or just art in general and don't feel represented.
    I had no idea how single sided art was until my friends on twitter showed me this year and I find it sad. I hope projects like this serve to move things to a more balanced place.
  • I'm a supporter of diversity in general, and I like having more options for images to use in my own games.
  • I think a more more diverse artwork will help make fantasy gaming more appealing and accessible to people who might not think it's for them, as well as better reflecting the world we live in today.
  • Art is key to roleplaying games as much as rules and gamers are. Without a diverse selection of art, you run into the Barbie problem - every fighter, wizard, cleric, or thief is expected to look a particular way. Having multiple options of race, equipment, and style to peruse will encourage diversity among gamers and show that we are not merely continuing the stereotypes.
  • I want more gamers at my table.
  • I run d20pfsrd.com and am always on the lookout for open-license artwork to use to decorate pages on the site. I also frequently work on other open-gaming projects and want to support expanding the library of available open-license artwork for such projects.
  • Generally speaking, a richer palette inspires creativity and makes games better.
    More personally, my child is a beautiful African-American girl and when i introduce her to gaming, i want her to see that there's a place for her here. Too many of the games I see have character choices that only fall into the archetypes of Caucasian humanoid, animal, or monster. If she wants to play one of those, that's great, but i want her to see other options too.
  • As a white male, my demographic is overrepresented in our culture. That means I'm missing significantly more than half the stories, and, to the same proportion, I'm insensitive to need. I need help seeing the world as it really is - even if that help comes in the guise of fantasy.
  • Because not only is it important to grow and expand artistically, but the lack of diversity is a problem I recognize in my consumed media and in my own artwork. I recognize that I have a comfort zone, and in recognizing it, I'd like to go beyond it- and the vast majority of stable, staid producers of media aren't gonna do it for me. It'd be cool if not only other fans got to identify with protagonist Leias, Landos, and other such wider-ranging heroes, but that it got to be that much easier for folks like me (white, middle class) to go along with it, simply by dint of there being precedent.
  • The project appeals to me on two levels.
    On the one hand, as a feminist, misrepresentation and under-representation of women and of all minorities is a very important issue for me.
    On the other hand, as a game designer-wannabe who has no talent for drawing, I can't help drooling at the idea of art that could be used in some of the games I want to make.
  • As a game designer who can't afford professional art, it is important to me that art in the public domain contains more than Old White Dude art (most public domain art is art whose copyright has expired, and being mostly dated before women were considered valued contributors to culture, it's mostly Old White Dude art).
  • I think you put it best with the "more Landos and Leias" line. I want to see more diverse heroes in fantasy art.
  • More variety and wider range of people being represented will hopefully encourage a wider participation in fantasy roleplaying.
  • I believe in the stated purpose. There is a lack of diversity in imagery for fantasy and scifi. I applaud any effort to correct that.
  • I am not in the industry, but would love to see more inclusive, less exploitive art -- both for my own preferences, as well as for my potential-future-gamers son and daughter.
  • A handy source of inspirational art for myself and my players.
  • Because I support free culture, such as works licensed under CC BY-SA.
  • Adding diversity to the imagery of fantasy and gaming, specifically, that appeals to audiences traditionally left out in the cold by the culture is worthy of so much more than I'm providing as a backer of this project.
  • Whitewashed, male-centric gaming art bores me. :) I want my kids to grow up in a hobby that looks like the world.
  • Because I'm tired of looking at the same style art in my fantasy board games: giant, ill-proportioned white guys and unreasonably naked ill-proportioned white females (seriously, bikini armor? I'm pretty sure enemies will notice the weakness).
    I have no problem with sex and sexuality but current fantasy art seems unbalanced and, at times, more ridiculous than fantasy.
  • The world, real or otherwise needs more diversity.
  • Diversity in fantasy settings is rare, and I'm very excited about the prospect of widening that field and seeing what you'll come up with.
  • To make my hobby more open and inclusive.
  • I wanted to support you and promote a diversity of artists.
  • I find it very difficult to find high-quality images for my games that aren't exclusively white.
  • As a publisher, I look for visually appealing elements. Diversity in characters creates visual and emotional interest and makes projects more appealing. As a fan of the fantasy genre, I look for diversity in art because I think the fantasy genre is mired in retrogade attitudes. I think, as fantasy, there is a place for wish fulfillment and romanticism, but the lack of balance with regard to women and minority characters makes fantasy a potentially guilty experience.
  • I don't actually do any (non-singleplayer, non-computer) gaming right now. That said, I think gaming (and, of course, geek culture) should be as inclusive as possible. Part of that is monetary: The more people involved, the more money being given to creators, the more things being created that are relevant to my interests. More importantly, we live in the 21st century. Unfortunately, it seems like mainstream USA is backsliding on gender & race, and geekdom isn't really doing much better. I want this to change, and this project seems like it can help.
  • More varied artwork supports more varied roleplaying for everyone. Seeing the same stereotypes over and over again leaves less room for player's imaginations. If that supports artists who get less recognition than they should, even better!
  • I like fantasy (rpgs, books, movies), I like creative commons, and I like diversity. I also support (and try to live) the idea(l)s of equality and fairness. The Prismatic Art Collection seems to fit in with these concepts quite well.
    Oh, and: because I like pictures, art etc, I think creators should be able to earn money for a living. So paying artists to create pictures that are free to use for everybody is just awesome. :)
  • To stay in your terminology: I'm one of the ewoks that fall dead in the back of the screen. This is a chance for me to make those ewoks seen.
  • My process in creating a D&D character does not start with a class, stats, or a race. It starts with a portrait. Around that portrait, I choose a miniature, build a life for my character, and finally get down to the nitty-gritties. The number of multi-ethnic portraits available are very limited, paring down my options. Not only would this project bring more options to the table, I believe it has the potential to open up conversations at the game table.
  • I am not in any way, shape, or form an artist. And as a player of D&D and Pathfinder I often like to find a picture to represent my character. And, perhaps self-centeredly, I often like my character to appear similar to myself. But being of Peruvian and Indian (not Native American) ethnicity this is difficult at best.
  • Getting more art from more artist is always a great thing.
  • I think it's important for traditional role-playing games to be more inclusive of the population that they are trying to depict and draw to their games.
  • Because D&D/RPGs lag far behind the rest of media in terms of inclusion of ethnic groups, and it's getting to the point where it looks bad for the hobby.
  • I like the idea of there being more fantasy art to enjoy.
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