A rail-thin female figure, shorter than average, with too-long limbs and fingers, perpetually smoking a cigarette
Starving Artist manifests as a smokey presence though which colored light seems to shift, like the exhalation of tobacco smoke in a nightclub. Sometimes a vaguely feminine form can be seen in the smoke, looking a bit like an art school student caught in your peripheral vision. In the past, when Lyra and/or Cangiante have given you the ability to perceive spirits in Twilight, Starving Artist’s presence sharpened to a rail-thin female figure, shorter than average, with too-long limbs and fingers, perpetually smoking a cigarette. Her hair, clothes, and even body mods are different each time you see her, but look appropriate to a young art student. The colors are never quite right, however – they’re not the colors of skin, hair, and dyed cloth, but of acrylics and watercolors.
Over the last few years, the spiritual entity that goes by “Starving Artist” has become a fixture of the sanctum. Though she’s bound through some magic to Cangiante’s soul, he seems to leave her on a pretty long leash, and she roams freely through the house. Her presence has served as something of a practical course in the natural interaction between the spirit world and the material. The members of the cabal will notice her lurking in corners or peering over shoulders when they’re engaged in some creative activity, whether painting, playing music, drawing or writing. Even crafting and practicing spells draws her.
And while one would think that having an audience would distract, the reality is entirely different. Starving Artist is incredibly easy to ignore, and when she’s around, you feel more focused and productive than usual. Your mind seems to take creative leaps and risks it might not otherwise, and ideas blossom in your mind as if you’ve sipped from a font of inspiration.
Thus the feedback loop.
Sometimes the loop can be a bit… troublesome. The creative high is not an easy thing to let go of. When you’re making art, things like eating dinner or getting enough sleep for work tomorrow just don’t seem terribly important. If you play until your fingers bleed, or drink your way to a hangover while writing a brilliant story for This American Life, well, the end product is worth it, right? What’s a little pain when making art?
None of this causes Unseen Senses to go off. The spirit is natural, and the way it influences the world is equally natural. She generally accompanies the cabal on investigations, and while she isn’t particularly useful in a fight, she can sharpen her natural powers to actively manipulate people’s emotions (which does trigger Unseen Sense). She also seems to have a strong sense for entities in Twilight or Shadow, making her a useful informant. Furthermore, Lyra and Root can use her to anchor sympathetic magic as easily as if she were Cangiante.