Thursday, October 12, 2006

Thumbnails: John Picacio

Thumbnails: 30 Second Interviews

John Picacio has worked for just about every client and has
either been nominated, or won, just about any award a science fiction illustrator could want...Not bad for a guy that trained to be an architect. It will be a pleasure to watch his career grow for many years to come. (For the latest in Picacio-news, check out his blog.)

Favorite painting you did in the last year?
A tie: The cover for The Empire of Ice Cream by Jeffrey Ford, because I felt like I finally made a few breakthroughs in my drawing and painting on that one; and the cover for A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr. , the book's a literary classic and I liked the pressure of coming up with a fresh take for a novel that's already had past covers by folks like Milton Glaser and Lou Feck.

Your dream assignment?
Three off the top of my head, Dreamtigers by Jorge Luis Borges, a Batman cover, and an all-ages illustrated book.

Do you have to like the book to be excited about the project?
I once read an interview with Brad Holland, where he said
that he prides himself on being able to take any subject, familiar or unfamiliar, find some interesting perspective on it, and explore that in a given illustration. I like that. I try to approach my jobs the same way...so I would say it definitely helps to like the book thru and thru, but it's not the overriding factor. I think there's always a core of strengths in any book though, and I'm looking to capitalize on those things for the cover.

First break in the business?
The 30th Anniversary edition of Michael Moorcock's
Behold the Man, Mojo Press, 1996.

A career highlight?
Designing the entirety of my own hardcover art book,
Cover Story, The Art of John Picacio, and knowing that I was responsible for every square inch of illustration and design in there...thanks to MonkeyBrain Books for publishing it.

What are you working on now?

Several things, including finishing a cover for Sheri S. Tepper's new novel
The Margrets, starting a triptych cover for the re-release of Jeff Ford's Well-Built City trilogy, and starting the research for the most exciting book job of my life thus far (stay tuned).

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