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Ben McSweeney AMA ()
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You've mentioned in the past that you'd really like to do an art book of all the unused and supplementary art done for the Stormlight Archive that doesn't make it into the books. Are there any other projects that you'd love to do, if not now than at some point in the future?

Ben McSweeney

Well, as an animator/storyboard artist by day, it's no surprise that if Stormlight were to be optioned for animation I'd want to be all over that in as great a capacity as allowed. But that's kind of a cheat answer... I'd like to do more comics work, if I could find a way to make it balance. I've been enjoying the hell out of Gary Gianni's work in George R.R. Martin's new collection of the Dunk & Egg novels, a project like that could be fun. Honestly, right now I'm in a nice place with a lot of fun stuff on my lap, so as long as I can keep that rolling I'm feeling good.

General Reddit 2019 ()
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I want a book published of Shallan's illustrations,that would be so awesome.

Ben McSweeney

A collected art book is most likely to happen in the 5-6 gap. Ideally it would showcase every artist and each illustration, plus our many alternate covers, which by then should be well over 100 pieces.

If there isn’t space in that book for the digital ton of ancillary sketches and anecdotes about the work that I’ve been collecting over the past decade, maybe there’ll be a Shallan-focused art book down the line (well, really it would just be a me-focused book, but that amounts to largely the same thing plus extras).

TL,DR: 4-5 years.

Crafty Games Mistborn Dice Livestream with Isaac Stewart ()
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Do you have a "look bible" [for collaborating artists]? Or do you literally give them the stuff that you've already produced? Do you say, "This is my map of X," or "This is the way the Lord Ruler works," or do you kind of go, "Hey, here's what Vin has been for the last ten years, but these are the things you can't change"? Do you have guidance like that that you give people?

Isaac Stewart

Usually the guidance we give them is the words in the book. We sometimes give pictures and things, reference. We did that for the cover for Oathbringer, where we provided reference of, "Here are some pictures of people who look kind of like Jasnah that might work."  We're doing that more and more, but at this point...

I know that Magic: The Gathering has these big look bibles that they share with their artists, and those are really cool. And then they wind up turning them into these gorgeous art books that they've been putting out, using a lot of the same stuff from there. And we haven't gotten quite to that point where it's like, "You know what? This person has to look this particular way." We're moving that direction, slowly, but that's because we're based on books. We want people to be able to imagine the characters as they would.

We hesitate sometimes, when it's like, "Okay, here's the look of what this person is." Even with the Heralds, that we were putting at the endpapers of the Stormlight books, we are careful to say that those paintings are somebody's interpretation. We like ot think of these as in-world interpretations, and each of the artists who are painting them for us are maybe artists actually on Roshar, and they've painted these paintings that are hanging somewhere in some prince's palace or queen's palace, and they've got all of these pictures of the Heralds. So we treat these as in-world artifacts. However, they were not painted from the real people that the Heralds are, so it's more of the tradition of what this Herald looks like.


It's very interesting you say that, because you even said that, when you showed us your early sketches of Vin, looked very much like what [fan artists] made. So, the words are descriptive enough that they're fairly clear.

Isaac Stewart

I mean, there are some thing that we have to canonize later, like, "Which ear is Vin's earring in?" Well, it's not mentioned. It's not mentioned until we got to the leatherbound books, and we said, "We have to figure this out!" And then we made a few notes in the leatherbound books, "This is her left ear." But there are things we run into like that. And the more secondary the character is, usually the less words that are written about them, so there's more wiggle room on how to define them. Interview ()
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Now that maybe we are going to have the [first half] from the Stormlight Archive, maybe will you have an art book for the cosmere or the Stormlight Archive, or maybe a companion? I think Rhythm of War was amazing. It has such detail and everything that happens, and all the science behind it, that it makes it feel super real. And we were thinking will we ever get as well--like you know for Discworld that you have The Science of Discworld books, maybe we'll need that in the end for the cosmere as well.

Brandon Sanderson

It's a good suggestion, that's a very good suggestion. I'm a little gun-shy, I realize, on this because Wheel of Time did the White Book. And I know that there were those--let's just say those in the community and those among who created it, that were disappointed with it, which is part of why Harriet spent so much time working on the encyclopedia. I think that made me more timid than I need to be, because the various ones for George Martin's series have been very good, and the ones for Discworld have just been fantastic.

And so you're right, it's probably something we should start putting together. Some sort of, you know here is the "first era" of the cosmere and here is your companion piece for reading it, here is a glossary of all the characters. If there's some way I could make those spoiler-free, that you could look up an entry and only you know--I wonder if it could come with those glasses that are red and and blue and so you can only read the normal entry unless you've read a certain book and then it tells you the other parts and things like that. Would that be too much of a gimmick? I'm kind of in love with that idea, so that you could read about people without being spoiled.

YouTube Livestream 3 ()
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Many People

Wondering if we're ever gonna see a Cosmere coloring book?

Isaac Stewart

We've talked about this. I think that it's within the realm of possibility, but I don't want to promise anything at this. Because, again, it comes down to this whole opportunity cost thing, where do we want to spend our time. But I can see it happening. I just don't know.

Brandon Sanderson

We want to eventually do some worldbooks for some of the series, like a nice world guide for Roshar. But those take a lot of effort, and we have seen some of those turn out very poorly for other worlds and book series, so we're not sure when and if we will do that.

Isaac Stewart

We've learned, especially on Cosmere things, that we need to be heavily involved on those sorts of things, or things can move away from where we want it. So we would have to be involved with this, so it would need to be during a time when we're not preparing for, like, a Stormlight book. Because that's highest priority.

Brandon Sanderson

I would imagine, that if we release a Cosmere art book, that it will be after Book 5.

Tor Instagram Livestream ()
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Is there a plan to release an art book of the Stormlight Archive?

Brandon Sanderson

I would like to do this someday. I'd like to do something like what we call the Big White Book for Wheel of Time. And Song of Ice and Fire has one. I would probably release it after Book Five of the Stormlight Archive, which is a big break point. I'll finish Stormlight Five for release in 2023 (is the goal). That brings a lot of the major arcs to a close. Stormlight Six, then, will be a little longer of a wait. I'm gonna write the entire Era 3 of Mistborn in between. My goal is (we'll see how I stick with this) to start on those as soon as I finish Stormlight Five, and write them, all three, straight through, like I did with the first Mistborn trilogy. And then not release them until the whole trilogy is done, and then release them one a year. And then after that, work on Stormlight Six. So we'll see how that goes; that's several years off.

For right now, my focus is on getting the Skyward series finished and Wax and Wayne, Mistborn Era 2, finished. Those are my goals to have done by the time I start Stormlight Five.

And so, art book? Yeah, I bet after Stormlight Five, somewhere between Five and Six, we'll release an art book.

Tor Instagram Livestream ()
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Will there be a Stormlight 4.5?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, the Rock novella, called Horneater, should be written to take place chronologically between Stormlight Four and Five. That'll have given us a novella between each of the books except One and Two. Maybe some day I'll fill in a hole there and put a novella between those two. I don't know that I'll do any between [Five and Six]. Likely, if we do an art book, that will be what's between [Five and Six].