Here's another post about how I've been interacting with the artists.
I gave each artist his or her choice of two creatures to create as an initial piece for the project. In Eric Quigley's case, I asked him about a Nightmare or a Wood Golem. (I tried to give each artist a monstrous creature or a humanoid.) Eric chose the Wood Golem. I gave him links to a couple of on-line samples that had a similar anatomy to what I wanted and a short description from the SRD:
"This human-sized automaton resembles a crude humanoid figure made of cast-off pieces of wood. A wood golem is carved from rare woods, assembled into a roughly humanoid body with articulated limbs. Their creators usually leave their bodies almost unfinished, with individual pieces of lumber and unworked wood apparent and obvious as part of their construction. A wood golem stands 6-1/2 feet tall and weighs 400 pounds."
Eric did two initial sketches, which should be the first image below. I told him I liked #2, but wanted to see more detail, so he send me the more refined sketch and explained, "I meant to say that the hands and feet (and mid-section) are like raw trees. I was thinking the appendages could make like roots, might be kind of cool."
My response was, "I did get that you were going for roots/stumps for the feet and maybe twigs or roots for the hands. The desciption does say that the creators of wood golems leave some pieces unworked, but I don't want to overdo it. Definitely the feet I like, maybe not as much for the hands. The idea for the hands could grow on me though. So if you've got another idea for the hands (or just do one of the two in a different way) I'd like to see it. If not, its ok. As I said it could grow on me the more I look at it and re-read the description."
That led to the final picture in this post where he revised the hands to have a semi-mechanical look which I felt worked well. Once the anatomy and pose was worked out, he next sent me essentially what you see on the main project page, although the background was added separately. We agreed on a forest background, but originally had an idea to include a tee-pee. Eric said the tee-pee wasn't really working (space/size-wise I believe) so we went for just the simple forest background.
As I've said before, I love it, although it may be more of a "Totem Golem" than a "Wood Golem." If we have budget we may do a second wood golem that is more traditional.
We're getting close to the home stretch, so please spread the word! We're running into a bit of a danger zone of not making our goal, but the last week (especially the last few days) of a Kickstarter usually are a busy period.
Remember I'll be posting at least the initial sketches of each creature for feedback from all backers. After about a day or day and a half I'll gather and refine the feedback and send it on to the artists.