Sunday, February 28, 2010

Micahel Whelan’s cover for Brandon Sander’s The Way of Kings

A new Michael Whelan book cover doesn’t come around very often so I am super excited to present his artwork for our upcoming fantasy series,The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson.

If you click over to you can see progress shoots and read what Michael had to say about working on the project.

Robert McCall

I am sorry to hear that Robert McCall, 90, has passed away. I don’t think there is a popular artist more intimately connected with NASA and space exploration as McCall. Looking at his work you cannot help but to think that common-place space travel should be both wondrous and possible. He has influenced and inspired millions throughout his lengthy career with his documentary paintings, film concept art (including 2001: A Space Odyssey), postal stamps, and museum murals.

“One of the joys of being an artist is the freedom to create one's own world....Like the real world, these excursions of the imagination are fraught with inaccuracies of perception—it is rare that one glimpses through the veil of time even a hint of tomorrow's reality — nor does it seem important to me whether one's perceptions are right or wrong, the pleasure is in making the predictions and doing the work.”— Robert McCall
Take some time to visit McCall’s work on his comprehensive website. You’ll be glad you did.

For more in depth reading:
Lines and Colors

Spectrum winners announced!

Run over to the the Spectrum site! There you can see all the award winners, plus get an inside look at the judging process.

I’m sorry I couldn't catch all the names from the video so here I’ll just say and extra congrats to award-winning friends:
Sam Weber X2!
Donato Giancola
Chris Buzelli
Omar Rayyan
Eric Fortune
Eric Orchard
Daniel Docui
Michael Deas
Ed Binkley
Craig Elliot
Scott Gustafson

And a congrats to all the artists that participated.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Google’s Olympic 2010 logos?

Speaking of no credit...Who did these?

I luvs them.

Almost as much as I luvs Apollo and the Flying Tomato.

Who’s awesome? Or, Credit the Artists!

Lou Anders started to make some noise, via Twitter, against authors and publishers who put up “Look at my cover! Isn’t it the awesome!?” posts without crediting, you know, the artist.

I have to admit, I shook off the issue as a typical oversight. I remember being upset that Amazon, and other online retailers, didn’t credit the artists — information easily obtained while browsing a a physical store — and there was nothing to be done about that....I guess, I came to expect it from others as well.

But, with Lou’s rallying call in the back of my mind, last week’s Scholastic post on their Mockingjay cover has pushed me into the gently irate crowd. Scholastic posted an article excitedly revealing the cover to a popular series, along with the a refresher on how great the full series looks, without a single mention of the artist or designer. This is from the publisher, not from an author who might be far enough removed from the process not to know better. Just to reiterate, the post is about the cover.

Which is not to pick on Scholastic, it happens all the time. So, dear authors & publishers, when pimping a cover, name names!

Art Departments are constantly being told how important it is to get the cover right. Credit those whose talent, creativity, and hard work get the job done. Turn it into a marketing point. Like writers, artists' careers are built on past success. The more attention paid to good work, the more jobs they get...advancing their worth to me as an art director. Whelan, Donato, Martiniere, these guys are valuable first and foremost because they are good at what they do...but they are also “names” in the field and that furthers our marketing efforts.

Besides, it’s the polite thing to do.

Oh, and: Hey, Tim O’Brien, great series of covers!
Tim’s website, blog, “making of” the first Hunger Games cover


A quick shout-out to all the people that make Boskone one of the most pleasant conventions of the year. Thank you, NESFA! It’s always a smoothly run, just-the-right-size convention with a kickin’ art show.

Fuzzy iPhone or “borrowed” photos here.

Great to see John Picacio, Artist Guest of Honor. John is a unique voice in the field and dedicated to the vitality of the genre as a whole. [top image]

Michael Whelan had a 40 painting exhibit. An amazing retrospective that started with his college work and chronological built up to brand new paintings.

Omar Rayyan had a knock out out show. Man, that guy just keeps getting better.

Bob Eggleton and Marianne Plumridge where a delight to share dinner with...And made me think, why not have a Boskone panel meet at one of the nearby art museums?

The now-traditional Rick Berry Studio visit was, as tradition will have it, a mellow blast.

These photos, taken by John Picacio, made me laugh because it reminds that I didn’t leave that seat very much throughout the day...Or weekend, for that matter. Charlie Stross on the left and Michael Whelan on the right.

After the con I was able to convince now-Boston artist Scott Bakal to come out and play while the dead-dog party deaded around us.

....and it’s possible this Rick Berry painting followed me home.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tyler Jacobson wins the Jack Gaughan Award

Hurray to Tyler Jacobson! He won the New England Science Fiction Society’s Jack Gaughan Award for Best Emerging Artist given out each year at Boskone.

I was honored to be on the jury with Todd Lockwood and Bob Eggleton. I first met Tyler last May during the Academy of the Arts University student exhibit and was immediately struck by his bold brushwork. (In fact, I believe I emailed Jon Schindehette that night from my hotel room, “Dude, you gotta check this guy out.”) Todd, Bob, and I looked over a number of really great portfolios—so much good talent coming up—but in the end thought that Tyler was an exemplary representation of the award — newly in the field but with work beyond-his-years, a deep portfolio of consistent work, and a motivated professional who has already established himself with clients.

Congrats, Tyler!

Check out his website and blog.
(And be sure to look at the sketches those bold black and whites.)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Society of Illustrators student sholarship ehxibit posted.

The Society of Illustrators has posted all of the artworks juried into the student scholarship exhibit.

Congrats to all the students! I look forward to seeing these drawings and paintings, and meeting some of the students, at the opening in May.

TOP ROW: Ligia Teodosiu, Grant Hanna, Leon Doucette
BOTTOM ROW: Jim Tierney, Stephanie Georgopoulos, Mike Puncekar

Monday, February 08, 2010

Picture Book Report

Meg Hunt and colleagues have started a literary illustration blog, Picture Book Report — fifteen artists will be create illustrations inspired by a favorite book. Many, in fact, most, of the titles are science fiction/fantasy, including A Wrinkle in Time, Hitchhikers Guide, Robin Hood, The Hobbit, Tarzan, Peter Pan, among others.

From the mission statement:
There is a certain kind of magic to books and stories that is hard to beat .... At the same time, there’s this stigma against books with pictures, that they’re something you leave behind after you get to a certain age. The urge to make our own mark upon this format is immense. To give back to that tradition of storytelling and share our own along the way.”

They began last week with a great series of bookplates to set the stage. I’m looking forward to checking in often and seeing fresh interpretations on so many classic titles.

(In addition to all the great talent involved, I love anything vaguely Robin Hood or Tarzan-y — color me psyched.)

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Dan Dos Santos and the Wheel of Time ebook cover: The Fires of Heaven

Presenting!...The next of our Wheel of Time ebook covers: The Fires of Heaven with art by Dan Dos Santos.

Dan had the unenviable task of having to paint a preternaturally beautiful and ageless woman. He did a wonderful job of it, I’d say.

Head over to the post to see his sketches, progress shots of the painting, and our initial thought process.

All Wheel of Time ebook posts are archived here.
Which include:
David Grove on The Eye of the World
Kekai Kotaki on The Great Hunt
Donato Giancola on The Dragon Reborn
Sam Weber on The Shadow Rising

Two excellent articles on the vaule of work.

As Milton Glaser reminds us, art is work. Here are two excellent articles on the value of work. One funny, the other less so, both important.

(Written by and about writers but applies to artists of all kinds)

Charlie Stross: Information, Freedom, Flame-bait

John Scalzi: Why Publishing Will Not Go Away Anytime Soon: A Deeply Slanted Play in Three Acts

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

ZOMG, Dino app!

From the American Museum of Natural History, which I love. But where is my Carl Akeley Hall of African Mamals app!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Greg Manchess and The Irish Country...

Designer Jamie Stafford-hill had reason to email me the full gamut (so far) of our “Irish Country” It made me go “ahhhh....” The day needed a calming influence.

Layout by Jamie, art by Greg Manchess.