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Skybound by MarcSimonetti Skybound by MarcSimonetti
This is the french cover art for "Skybound" by Sam Sykes, ed Fleuve noir.

I hope you'll like it. (I did have tons of fun doing it)
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:iconkaytara:
Kaytara Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The artwork is lovely but that outfit on her. Whyyy. This is 'in the best tradition of fantasy' in the same way that slavery is in the best tradition of western civilisation - it's a sad and embarrassing one and needs to end.

I realise this was presumably what the client requested and not something you have control over, but just... *sighhh*
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:iconmarcsimonetti:
MarcSimonetti Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Well, that's simple:
That's the way she's dressed in the book.
Please note the guys in armor are women too.(without a nipple armor)

I can see that whole "feminist" movement around the world against that kind of dressing in the fantasy cover art field. No one is moving against the naked ladies dancing in hip hop video clips, no one is saying anything about the girls exploited all around the world for the porn industry, or used to sell cars, shampoo, or beers. 

Maybe you could start to think a little bit by yourself. Why on that subject do you agree with extremists (they're the only ones not wanting to see naked bodies)? Women have fought to have the right to do whatever they want, including be dressed the way the want. 
Pay one day of your time to visit an art museum, or even a church in Europe, you might find some almost naked bodies all around the paintings and the sculptures.

Take two seconds and look at the picture: She's not submissive, she doesn't need any male warrior to fight, she's not showing her tits or ass in an unnatural way, and she's more dressed than lady gaga or Miley Cyrus.
So maybe what needs to end is that kind of easy, and formatted comment.

Oh and there's a Man-Dragon is the background, as you can see he's more naked than she is: Is that a problem too? Is the problem only for women? Then what about equality? 

I'm scared to see that sex can't be shown anywhere (because as you may know, hopefully people still have sex to have children, nothing dirty in that), and that violence isn't a problem at all anywhere. There's blood all over the picture, see?
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:iconkaytara:
Kaytara Featured By Owner 9 hours ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for replying personally. I'lll try to reply to your arguments point by point.

That's the way she's dressed in the book. Please note the guys in armor are women too.(without a nipple armor) I don't have the book to judge this by, however. If there's different types of female characters with various dress tastes in the book, that's pretty great. (I mean, I'm skeptical about a character staying in her bikini armour for the entire book, but alright.) It doesn't change the fact that this is still a run-of-the-mill fantasy cover in which a half-naked female body is used as the main attraction. Or, to put it more simply, there are doubtless (hopefully?) other epic scenes (or even non-epic ones, you're skilled enough as an illustrator to make three guards ambling down the street look awesome, you could make any scene look catching on a cover) that could've been chosen as the scene for the cover, but out of all those countless scenes, the one with the bikini armoured woman was chosen. Why is that?

No one is moving against the naked ladies dancing in hip hop video clips, no one is saying anything about the girls exploited all around the world for the porn industry, or used to sell cars, shampoo, or beers.
I didn't mention the word feminist or the feminist agenda, and this conversation isn't about the porn industry or sexualisation in advertisements. However, since you mentioned it, I can tell you this: Simply because you haven't seen it discussed doesn't mean it's not being discussed. In fact, I'm pretty surprised by this statement because I see criticism of sexualisation of women in ads all the time, and the porn industry is a heavily contested issue too because of how badly it treats its workers. Again: these things are being criticised because of the *exploitative* way female nudity is used, not because of the nudity itself. However, once again, my comment wasn't about feminism at large until you made it about feminism at large. Please don't derail the conversation.

Maybe you could start to think a little bit by yourself.
You're patronising me there. I understand that you're assuming I'm a brainwashed puritanist whose knee-jerk response to anything involving bare skin is to ask for it to disappear, but please keep implicit accusations that the other person isn't capable of critical thinking out of rational debates.

Why on that subject do you agree with extremists (they're the only ones not wanting to see naked bodies)?
The issue isnt' with naked bodies, it's with *whose* naked bodies are being shown, and for what purpose.

Women have fought to have the right to do whatever they want, including be dressed the way the want.
Are still fighting, and yes, women have the right to dress the way they want, but what does that have to do with the picture?
The problem with arguing agency and "this is what this person chose to dress like" is that the argument falls apart the moment you apply it to someone who's *fictional*. This woman isn't real, she didn't decide on anything. She's not an agent, she's not a subject, she's an instrument. Literally everything about her was chosen for her, some of it for very specific purposes. In this case, she was designed/written by a man, illustrated by a man, and is going to be on the cover of a book in a genre that still targets men and is hostile to women, both as characters and as an audience. It's possible this book isn't like that, but with a cover like that, it's impossible not to lump it in with the rest at first glance, and first glances are what covers are all about. When you choose a scene for a cover, you want one that creates *good* assumptions and pulls the viewer in. I can't speak for other women, but I can tell you that I wouldn't give a book like this a second glance in a store, because I'd see that the cover is trying to pull in viewers with promises of female sexualisation and assume that the content is siilar in nature.

Pay one day of your time to visit an art museum, or even a church in Europe, you might find some almost naked bodies all around the paintings and the sculptures.
Thank you *again* for the condescension and the assumptions that I'm uncultured and have no idea about art. To get matters straight, I *live* in Europe. I've been to the churches, I've been to the Louvre and the Dresden Gallery of the Old Masters, I've been to an installation of the Tretiakovska. And I'm really not sure where you're going with this. It's hard to reply because you're assuming I'm a puritan who has issues with naked bodies in general, and are making your points accordingly and trying to point out that there's nothing wrong or scandalous about naked bodies, when my actual issue is the lack of equal opportunity nakedness, so to speak, and the very different ways and purposes for which female nudity is utilised as opposed to male nudity. And while there's some equal opportunity nakedness in our history of art (the Greeks, for example), a disproportionate amount of it is still just male artists drawing naked women, not the other way around. Mainly because there are barely any pre modern era female artists who've reached any amount of fame. So yeah, what you just pointed out there is that using women as objects in art isn't a new problem by any means, and was at least equally widespread in all the rest of history when women weren't even allowed personal autonomy.

Take two seconds and look at the picture: She's not submissive, she doesn't need any male warrior to fight, she's not showing her tits or ass in an unnatural way, and she's more dressed than lady gaga or Miley Cyrus.
Yes, it could be miles worse, but that not a very good defense. She's dressed in a bikini for battle with some decorative scratches on her. She is dressed in a way that is, from every logical perspective, utterly absurd, which hammers home the point that it's more important for women to look pretty in a fantasy setting than to dress in a way that will not get them disemboweled in one second flat. You may not mean to be making that point, but the picture is making it for you. And no, no single picture "causes" sexism, but this same attitude is prevalent in everything from how women are censored on TV (even if they're breast-feeding or, you know, getting first aid for cardiac arrest) to how women's clothes are designed, which is flimsy, thin/with emphasis on being formhugging over being warm or functional, and with an absolute lack of pockets large enough to store more than chewing gum in. And I have less issues with Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus than with this, because they're at least live human beings who choose to dress that way consciously and are making money off it. (It's quite funny how women being sexual becomes scandalous the moment *they* choose to do it for their own profit, rather than it being done to them for someone else's profit.)

Oh and there's a Man-Dragon is the background, as you can see he's more naked than she is: Is that a problem too? Is the problem only for women? Then what about equality?
I'm pretty sure that the naked man-dragon in the background isn't a problem because the number of people in your audience who are both sexually oriented towards men *and* are dragon/manmonster fetishists is likely to be vanishingly low, and not part of any major marketing decisions.
But you do make a point. See, the thing is, there is a genre where male sexualisation runs rampant on the covers. It's called the romance genre and it's targeted at women. Everyone other than women - and often including women - views it with derision and dismisses it as 'chick lit'. Why is it that a genre that tries to grab women with naked bodies of men is seen as ridiculous and wish-fulfilling, while a genre that tries to grab men with naked bodies of women is often critically acclaimed, bestselling, and is considered "for everyone"?

I'm scared to see that sex can't be shown anywhere (because as you may know, hopefully people still have sex to have children, nothing dirty in that), and that violence isn't a problem at all anywhere. There's blood all over the picture, see?
Again, to make it clear, I have zero issues with sex by itself, the issue is that as things stand, it's used as a marketing tactic at the real life expense of women, not to serve the story or add realism to it.

As for the "but there's so much violence, why aren't you complaining about that!" argument... I'm going to guess that the reason people don't usually take issue with gratuitous depictions of violence is that there *hasn't* yet been proof of violence in video games/books/movies causing real life violence, and more to the point, geek culture at large doesn't have a problem with being routinely hostile to, dismissive of and abusive towards actual real life victims of attempted or completed muggings, homicide or terrorism. Conversely, geek culture very much DOES have a huge, pervasive problem of being hostile to, dismissive of and abusive towards real life women, and it's not hard to pinpoint one of the ways they're being taught to act this way.
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:icongwendolyn12:
Gwendolyn12 Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Professional Traditional Artist
your comment needs to be framed and posted all over the world. Now THAT'S a reasonable and feminist position. As far as I'm aware of, we feminists fight to be free, do what we want and be what we like, and not be be even more opressed (and worse off, by women themselves)
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:iconkaytara:
Kaytara Featured By Owner 9 hours ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Right now you're defending a fictional woman whose outfit was chosen for her by a man and for a man over a real life woman (and others like her) who is uncomfortable with her kind being used as eye candy on covers made by men, for men. But I'm the one who's being oppressive for expressing my discomfort?
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:iconrevealedfromthevoy:
RevealedFromtheVoy Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow j'adore cette image :D

La fille au centre est vraiment belle, et le chaos et la violence autour d'elle rehausse sa beauté (et l'étrangeté d'une telle beauté au milieu d'un tel tourbillon de violences) ^^
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:iconjames-dark-blue-wolf:
That's freaking badass!
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:iconihamo:
ihamo Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2014
This is amazing!
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:iconjesschan:
jesschan Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Gorgeous
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:iconzombiesandwich:
ZombieSandwich Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2013  Professional Filmographer
That will teach them to never steal her clothes again! ;D
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