My comfort zone is "classical" of "high" fantasy with elves and dragons, but not everything that excites me fits into that setting. That's one of reasons why I'm interested to take part in my husband's project - book series called "D.R.E.A.M.E.R." (as analogy to one famous post-apocalyptic games) Main theme of it are lucid dreams and everything around them, it's modern mystical fantasy in contemporary setting, and all magic things happen when heroes sleep :) But that phenomenon strongly affects their lifes, they pulled into confrontation between different organizations of dreamers. First book "The Cheathunter" started from story about MMO game in lucid dreams, where main hero works as moderator, then he discovers what lies behind it and meets powerful Coven of Moscow witches. May be it sounds weird, but it is so :)
I liked to illustrate this stories because there's no boundaries like in real dreams, and also nice atmosphere. It's okay to draw heroes just flying over real cities mixed with weird architecture or fighting impossible beings. I lived in beautiful Saint-Petersburg for 7 years and it was cool to remember some features of it like famous rooftops or strange old courtyards.
That skull-headed creature was found by main hero during his explorations of dreamworlds, and they become symbionts. It's so called Phasing Wolf, and it is fast as hell. Cover for second book "Familiar"
One thing is great when you paint characters from a story - they have personalities and it helps a lot with design of their appearance. Witch coven at the beginning of 6th book.
And I'm interested, what do you think about weird settings and which of them do you like the most?