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Some shared thoughts

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love pen by querita

Some shared thoughts

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Art is one of those really awesome things you can’t define with just one word. It’s more than a job or a career, or something you study or visit a gallery to see. It’s part of our daily life and it surrounds us, and I especially love art in the field of publishing. My artistic career began when I was a kid and I fell in love with comics and books that featured gorgeous cover illustrations like the Dell Yearling editions of Madeleine L'engle’s novels. Along the road to adulthood, I never lost the art bug and eventually worked my way into publishing, where I’m currently living out my dream as a cover artist. It’s been my privilege and joy to create illustrations and digital designs for a number of wonderful publishers and authors, and I’m thrilled to be here at Shared Wisdom today. Woohoo!

Cover art for Gatekeeper, coming soon from Dreamspinner Press. (c)2010

I love working in a wide-range of styles, which is fun for me to try different things while also giving my publishers and authors a little variety to choose from. Illustrated covers (especially in a manga or yaoi-inspired style) are some of my favorite projects to take on, and it’s great to be able to match the art to the book’s tone. The mix of fantasy and m/m romance in Gatekeeper really lends itself well to a manga-influenced cover, so before working up the initial sketch, I looked through my bookshelves for some inspirational images. I’m a huge fan of Ayano Yamane’s Crimson Spell series, and that became my stylistic starting point for “Gatekeeper”.

Cover art for King’s Gambit, coming soon from Loose Id, LLC. (c)2010

But sometimes an illustrated cover isn’t always what’s best for a story. Photorealism is the way to go on some titles, and on those projects, I like to mix photos and digital paints to come up with an image that’s (hopefully!) really cool, sexy and--if I’ve done my job well--perfect for the book. I’m currently working on covers for a series of really awesome stories by Treva Harte for Loose Id. She’s got this great mix of gritty-cyber-cowboy-punk-sci-fi-futuristic romance in the series, and this definitely called for a mixed-media approach. I used everything but the kitchen sink in putting her covers together--digital paints, hand-drawn textures, my photography, stock images, etc--and I’m excited by the results.

Cover art for Lotus in the Wild coming soon from Dreamspinner Press. (c) 2010

In keeping with the great idea behind “Shared Wisdom”, I’m hoping to make my day here a fun Q&A session! :) So please feel free to post questions about the cover art process or anything at all, and it’ll be my pleasure to field ‘em for you guys.

About Anne: As a freelance graphic artist, she works for several print and e-publishers, as well as private clients around the world. Whenever she’s not immersed in a design or illustration project, she enjoys writing gay romance and yaoi. Anne is currently working on the next installment of her Pawprints series, and believes that nothing beats a cup of hot chai on a cold day.

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