My inspiration for Lightning's design was derived from nature. Her attire is simple, almost primal, with the exception of the ox horns and spiked gauntlet. Her aura is both feminine and deadly. I always considered myself a tough person and part of me superstitiously thinks it's due to me being born in the year of the Ox.
On the right she is ready for combat, her expression defines indifference. On the left, her eyes betray the same fierceness with a glimpse of her humanity. To me, no true battle exists without humanity. A monster blindly kills and conquers, but a human advances with purpose. That's how I envision Lightning, who seamlessly binds these traits in a package so deceivingly demure.
Illustrated with watercolor, images formatted in Photoshop.