One of the joys for me as an author is working with artists. Every new book requires a new piece of artwork to adorn it’s cover. When you really think about it, it’s kind of an odd practice. We put a single picture on the front of a novel. The novel most likely describes hundreds or even thousands of scenes and from that we pick a single scene and hire someone else to paint it. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t possible illustrate my own covers. But exactly how does an artist figure out what to draw? I can tell you, I’ve done this four times and each time it’s gone just a little differently. This particular time around the process worked out much better than I’d had any expectations for.
Through my normal process of looking for an artist, I stumbled across a gentleman named SWAT. He’s a deviant artist. And no, I don’t mean he’s a deviant. DeviantArt is just the name of the website he uses to present his gallery. He was one of three artists that did work that was close to what I was looking for. Specifically, his Space Dust Cloud, made me believe that he would be able to render the subject matter I had in mind.
Swat’s real name is Sviatoslav Gerasymchuk and he’s originally from Montenegro but currently lives in the Baltic. You can also discover his work on a site he maintains called Arteffect.tv.
What I found particularly about Swat is his desire to understand the story behind the drawing. He specifically asked me for the chapter of the book that referenced the scene he would be painting. Honestly, if I wasn’t on board before that, I was after seeing that request. I, of course, sent it to him. We also talked about different aspects of spaceship design as well as different practicalities of space travel. All the while my faith continued to grown in his thoughtful approach.
I wan’t prepared for him to come back as quickly as he did. Within three days he sent back a rendering of the scene. Honestly, at that point I would have accepted it as a final. It was that good. Swat, however, wasn’t satisfied, he already knew what he wanted to finish and pressed on. About a week later he gave me the final work. I’m sure you’ll agree that it is masterfully drawn.
Of course a book cover isn’t complete without lettering for the title and author name. I pressed my sister from nammynools.com to work on it and she delivered once again. Putting together the right team sure makes completing a book a joy. Of course, Parley isn’t available until September, 2014, but that deadline is coming up fast on us so stay tuned!