In 2008, I received an e-mail from Oliver Wade, animator and character designer at Insomniac during the production of the last two Spyro games (Ripto's Rage and Year of the Dragon). He had a lot of neat things to say about working on Spyro, in the gaming industry, and animation in general.
Alright, here's the start (we exchanged a lot of e-mails over the course of about a year).
I was browsing the Spyroforum and noticed that you were interested in drawings of Elora. Well, believe it or not, I am the person who did the Elora design originally. I worked for Insomniac Games from the time of the first Spyro game through the end of Ratchet: Deadlocked. I designed all of the characters in the 2nd and 3rd Spyro games including Elora, Hunter, Moneybags, Bianca, Crush, Gulp and any other characters you can think of.
I just thought I would send along a copy of the original Elora drawing that I did oh so many years ago.
As you can probably see, she was originally going to have 4 legs and be more of a female centaur. But after looking at the design for a while I decided it would be better if she were a faun and just had two legs. I added the long fox-like tail for better balance and there you have it.
Her face is based on a friend of mine and her name was derived from another Insomniac employee at the time named Caroline. I just took the letters, jumbled them up and removed some until I got Elora.
I'll spare you my fannish response to his first e-mail. I asked him what brought him to SpyroForum and if I could share the Elora art. He said this:
Sure, like I said, it's yours to do with as you wish but I appreciate your asking
I was actually looking around on the sight because I am currently replaying Spyro on my PSP and I was stuck in the Tree Tops level (I forgot how to do that crazy charge glide to the last area with the dragon). It's nice to see that the old Spyro games are still being remembered somewhere.
I saw your post about Elora and dug through a box of old drawings until I found her. It was nice to relive those pleasant memories while looking through that box of stuff.
If you have any other questions, just ask,
This is going to get long, so I'll end this post here and try to keep updating this as I am able.