Worldbuilding Lessons from Norwescon 2015

Place directly influences both ecology and culture – even people, much as we resist admitting it, are shaped by where we live. Land masses affect climate, leading to rain shadows where the oceanward side of mountain ranges are much wetter than the landward side; oceans moderate temperature. Resources like minerals and plants depend on appropriate geology and climate. Americans traditionally fence our properties because we came to a vast country where wood is easily accessible (whereas Europe logged their forests far earlier). Tribes from Western Washington have cultures far different from Native Americans in the midwest, southwest, and east coast, based on varied climates and resources.

Drawing conclusions from the real world – past and present – helps writers and artists create more realistic science fiction and fantasy universes. I attended Norwescon for the first time this year, and spent the weekend immersed in panels that shared lots of insights about creating realistic worlds.

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Textures from the Subalpine Pacific Northwest

Art-Roundup-PNW-AlpineHigh in the mountains, it’s different. Wildflowers flourish in the cool wet air. Wood weathers to a moody gray-white, its stories writ in the scars on its skin. I’ve collected textures from the Teanaway area near Cle Elum, Denny Creek, and Snoqualmie Pass. These textural photos are free for use under a Creative Commons Attribution license (see bottom of page). Enjoy designing and creating personal or commercial work with these free textures of subalpine Washington!

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Textures of Mount Rainier

Art-Roundup-Mount-RainierMount Rainier National Park plunges 10000 feet from the volcano’s peak, down past alpine meadows flush with flowers, to old growth forests heavy with moss and age. Here are ten bark and wildflower textures I photographed at Mount Rainier National Park for you to use in your creative projects. I’m releasing these textures under a Creative Commons Attribution License (see bottom of post) – have fun creating with the textures of one of the Pacific Northwest’s landmark parks!

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Textures of the Northwest: Forests

free-textures-pnw-forestThink of the Pacific Northwest and you can’t help but think of our lush forests, nurtured by heavy rainfall and year-round cool temperatures. I’ve collected a sampling of 11 native plant, forest, and bark free textures I’ve photographed in forests across western Washington State for you to use in your creative projects. I’m releasing them under a Creative Commons Attribution License – have fun creating with the textures of the northwest!

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