Remembering Kim Kincaid: a friend, community member, and talented artist

We recently received heartbreaking news that Kim Kincaid, a long time member of the Inheritance Cycle community and friend of those of us here at Shur’tugal, unexpectedly passed away.

Kim (then known online as “Fatty Lumpkin,” inspired by a character from Lord of the Rings) first joined our community in 2004 – the early days of the series, when the books were still known as “The Inheritance Trilogy”. Kim created some of the first – and finest – Eragon artwork, quickly catching the eye of the community and the Paolini family who, to this day, count her art among their favorites.

Here’s just some of Kim’s Eragon art (click the thumbnails to enlarge):

After I reached out to Kim to feature her art on the site, she quickly grew to be a friend and member of our tight-knit staff, all of us then in our teens. I regularly emailed and instant messaged with Kim, resulting in many fun and positive conversations. Not long after, we began affectionately referring to her as the “mom of Shur’tugal” – a title she embraced.

Some of my fondest memories with Kim came while working together on one of the most ambitious projects I’ve ever undertaken: the “Fan Appreciation Book” we compiled in 2006 for Christopher’s birthday. Over the course of several months, we solicited letters, poems, art, and more from fans across the globe, all to be combined into a book which Kim volunteered to put together.

I had no idea how above and beyond Kim would go to make our fan book beautiful and truly special, blowing us all away by creating a stunning tome filled with everything fans submitted, as well as decorative pages, borders, art, and lettering that she did by hand. She painstakingly worked for weeks to ensure that every fan’s submission was included and that the presentation was clean, unique, and most importantly: special. She also illustrated the book’s cover, adding more awe to an already extraordinary project.

Christopher still counts his “Book of Fans” as one of his most prized possessions and showed it off in a recent video:

As a birthday gift to Christopher, Kim created what is my all-time favorite illustration of hers (and favorite Inheritance Cycle piece): Christopher as Eragon standing alongside Saphira. The artwork was framed by the Paolinis and hangs in their home:

In the years after, Kim’s work moved away from the Inheritance Cycle, though she never forgot the community she was a part of. Determined to continue improving as an artist, she took courses and worked alongside local artists to learn and grow.

This non-stop pursuit of improvement paid off, as Kim’s work was admired by many and included in art magazines such as Spectrum and Imagine FX, as well as the Women of Wonder art book. She also had a number of pieces featured in exhibitions, including her final painting, which was on display at the ‘Dream Covers’ exhibition in Seattle.

Some of Kim’s stunning illustrations:

Kim’s family is working to resume selling prints of her art through the “Art by Kim Kincaid” Etsy shop.

In what would become her final interview, Kim offered parting advice to aspiring artists that we should all live by:

“Risk . . . take it. You’ll never know unless you try.”

Thank you, Kim, for your friendship and contributions to our community. Your kind heart, willingness to listen, heartfelt advice, and beautiful talent will never be forgotten. You’re fondly remembered and missed, and I hope that you’re continuing to paint your way through your next great adventure.

To learn more about Kim, her accomplishments, and the lives she touched, you can visit tribute posts on Muddy Colors and Paolini.net.