Monday, September 07, 2015

200 on...magiking an artist

I have some amazing friends. I blogged a week or so ago that I adored the cover art for my book The Beginning Things and was sad that the artist was “unknown.” The image of a girl on a chair came from a stock photograph company, and no artist was tied to the painting.

This week, I opened a Facebook message from Debbie Spanich, a good friend and colleague. She cryptically announced herself as my “fairy godmother” and sprinkled me with a link. The link was to, a site that sells royalty free stock photography. And down there on the twelfth line of a page showcasing a Russian artist’s work was my girl on a chair. 

I’ve Facebook-friended the artist. Let’s hope I get a reply. If I don’t, I’ll try something else.
But the main thing is that we get to credit the artist on The Beginning Thing’s back cover.

Here's another from the same artist.

And next week, Debbie gets to share how she tracked down the girl on a chair (I’m guessing some image-recognition software as opposed to divination or the smoking of magical herbs). Either way, Debbie IS my Fairy Godmother. She’s turned an image into a story. 

Abracadabra—that’s magic.

Monday, August 24, 2015

200 on…unknown cover artists

Art is hard work. Whether it’s writing or sculpting or painting or making killer cupcakes, creating is hard work. And all too often, the creator receives scant acknowledgement.

When Underground Voices and I decided on the artwork for The Beginning Things, I wanted to acknowledge the artist in some way…like include her name on the acknowledgements page…give her a big shout-out on social media…or send her a copy of the book.

But it turns out that the artist is unknown. UV discovered TBT’s gorgeous girl on a stock artwork site, and for whatever reason, the site owners were unable to let us know who painted her. 

I would love to somehow hunt the artist down. There’s a part of me that wants to buy the original and have it hanging up on my wall. I know that somewhere it exists. It might be tiny – a little 8 x 4 pastel sketch. Or maybe it’s bigger—some huge canvas. Or maybe—horror of horrors—the artist photographed the original and submitted it to the online artwork site, and somehow, the original was lost or destroyed. 

Hunting down an artist from an artwork is nigh on impossible, but the possibility haunts me.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

200 on…G-strings and front covers

Underground Voices recently finalized the cover artwork for The Beginning Things. I love it – it’s understated and seems to have caught the “sense” of twelve-year-old Tot, the novel’s main character. They’ve kept me involved in the process—a move that makes me love working with small independent presses.

UV originally sent three options. I had trouble deciding between two of them: I liked the composition of one (a framed image that allowed the title to stand against a plain background) and the artwork of another. UV combined the two to arrive at this final choice.

There was one further revision: the original artwork showed the girl wearing a slightly cropped sweater which exposed the band of a tiny G-string. While Tot is sexually active (and that’s a big part of her story), she is na├»ve in many ways: she wouldn’t wear sexy undies. UV responded to my concerns immediately and had the image edited to lengthen the sweater.

They sent me two sets of the original artwork: one portrait image of the front cover only and a landscape image of the front and back cover spread. This landscape version has proved a great choice for promotional postcards. I love Vistaprint!