Today we begin a series of features highlighting the artists who are contributing to realizing the look, sound and feel of The Fifth Sacred Thing for the film.  We’re excited to give you the opportunity to see behind the curtain and to experience a broader body of work from the talented people who are helping bring our vision to life.  Our first featured artist, Layil Umbralux, is a fine and conceptual artist.  Layil joined our team earlier this year, and is executing most of the character design concepts for the film, some of which you may have seen in our Kickstarter video.

Layil Umbralux - Character Design Artist


Layil Umbralux was born in Paris to Argentine parents of Italian descent. Her artistic tendencies stem from a young age, and people have long been a focal point on her fascination. Early exposures to fantasy, science fiction and mythology have shaped her understanding of the world and are evident in her images, along with her parents’ influence as designers themselves.

Raised in Northern California, she elected to skip high school to pursue an art vocation directly, at the San Francisco Academy of Art.  Two years later, she transferred to New York City’s School of Visual Arts to complete her illustration BFA, taking a special interest in comics and an internship at Marvel Entertainment.

Bird Blackdragon - Character Rendering by Layil Umbralux

Layil moved to Barcelona in 2002, where she spent 3 years independently developing her art studies and enjoying the city’s ambiance and rich artistic history.  From there, she traveled around Europe and collaborated on Art Education Workshops with the collective, which resulted in her 2005 return to San Francisco.  Following a year as an office assistant with and Massive Black Inc., Layil returned to her studies at the groups’ Atelier facility for their intense 2 year program.  She is currently a resident artist at the Safehouse Studios in SOMA, SF, home to the new Safehouse Atelier, and the scene of many exciting things as she follows fine art and illustration to wherever it leads her next.

Working with Layil has been a real joy for all of us on the production team.

The Melissa - Character Render by Layil Umbralux

We usually give her a list of several characters we want to focus on developing, along with references and descriptions of the characters from the novel and screenplay and a short list of actors we think might suit the role.  Layil does a fantastic job of synthesizing these elements into a look and feel that really represents the character.    She will usually return several studies of the character back to us in various costumes pertaining to the scenes they appear in, and it’s obvious that she does her homework – it’s almost always a perfect fit the first time!  It’s amazingly inspirational for us to see the characters jump out of the written word and into visual form.  Please take a moment to check out some of Layil’s other great work and projects at the links listed below.  Thanks!

Layil at work

Website: – for concept and fine art portfolios

Blog: – for concept sketches and WIPs.

Facebook: – follow me!

Etsy Shop: – buy original fine art

and hand screen-printed merchandise made from sustainable and recycled materials.

Studio: – The rest of the Safehouse crew.

4 Responses to Artist Feature – Layil Umbralux

  1. Maya says:

    Wow – the art work is absolutely beautiful. Excited to see more.

  2. Ann C. says:

    I love the Melissa! It’s not at all the way I imagined her, but it’s compelling and beautiful.

  3. Kia says:

    Love her work, she is definitely an artist to follow! With a strong foundation in fine art and brilliant conceptual expression, Layil’s contribution bodes well for the film.

  4. Cameron says:

    The bees around the Melissa look like they are radiating in relationship to Chakra points! Very, very cool!

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