Ariel Burgess hails from the Washington, D.C area, where she has lived most of her life. Her family is filled with artists and red heads, so she was destined for both. At an early age she set her sights on a career in comic book illustration, and recently finished her Associates of Web Design at Montgomery College.
In her art, Ariel chooses to bring fictitious things and people to life. She does not think she could have made The Wheel of Time® cards if she had not been such a fan of the series or loved the characters so deeply. Because of that love, Ariel introduced her family to the series, and now they love it as much as she.
Ariel has been attending JordanCon and exhibiting her art there since 2012. Her work is featured in The Wheel of Time Companion.
How long have you considered yourself an artist?
I have considered myself an artist since I was four, but if you count from when everyone else thought so, then probably twelve. That was when I really focused on learning it as a trade. I think I considered myself professional when I signed my contract with Ta'veren Tees, but I was doing commissions long before that.
How did you first discover art, or that you wanted to create art yourself?
Most of my family members are artists in some way. So I was inspired by them, most of all my older brother, mother and Grandmother. When I was little I knew wanted to be an artist when I watched Disney movies. I wanted it as a career when my father showed me MARVEL's Phoenix Saga when I was six. I wanted to draw comics and I wanted to be Jean Grey.
What's the one thing you most enjoy about attending conventions?
Getting to meet lots of wonderful people who love the same things I do, most of all at JordanCon. The Wheel of Time (WoT) fan base has a special place in my heart and always will. The WoT community accepted me for who I am as an artist and a fan and gave me my first, real, big break. I have become close with many of the JordanCon members and look forward to spending the weekend with them all year long.
Are you a fan of the Wheel of Time? If not, what is your favorite book or series?
Yes, I am a big fan of The Wheel of Time. My other favorite series of all time is The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.
What was the subject and title of the first piece of art you ever sold?
It was an anniversary portrait of a couple. The title was "Cristina & Mario."
What do you see as the primary link between writing and art?
Imagination. I often write stories and I often draw scenes from those stories. I really think they are one and the same, just in different formats. Personally, as a dyslexic and a visual person, I have an easier time processing the information if it is visual. Which is one of the reasons I want to see The Wheel of Time as a premium show or movie. Until then I try to do my best as an Illustrator.