Let’s talk about art and rights

I’ve been a published artist for 15 years this week, for both cover art and interior art. I don’t say that to brag, I just want to set the stage for a discussion about the rights that go along with using my artwork.

Now, to get the obvious out of the way, I own the full copyrights to every piece of art I’ve ever created. Copyright law will give you a serious migraine if you attempt to study it fully, but it is clear in the statement that a work is immediately copyrighted by the creator on its creation.… Read the rest

Art & Design: Promotional materials to leave behind

It is a good idea, after an interview or portfolio review, to leave behind some manner of promotional material for yourself. That could be as simple as a business card, or as complex as a brochure. The idea is that the person doing the review will have something to refer to later, hopefully to get back in touch with you for work or a project.

Each of these materials should follow some obvious guidelines, though the design and size of them might dictate how much information you should (or shouldn’t) have on there.… Read the rest

New cover art & design: Fleshbags

I’ve been busy for some time now, and I haven’t been able to post the newest ebook cover that I created a couple of months back. I thought it was time to show it off, so here it is.

For those that follow this blog (both of you), a few months back I was in the middle of creating a very nice, calm seascape (see it here). I joked on the social networks that, while I was creating this nice art piece, at the same time I was creating what might be my goriest and most horror-filled piece ever.… Read the rest

Foil Design: Multiplex Fandango

A good friend of mine, Weston Ochse,  just released a fantastic collection of stories, called Multiplex Fandango. Published by Dark Regions Press, Multiplex Fandango is filled with great stories, and I highly recommend picking one up as soon as you possibly can. Go here to do so.

Now, you might be asking, why am I selling Weston’s book on my own site? Simple. Weston is awesome, and a great author. Also, because I was lucky enough to work with Dark Regions Press on the foil stamp for the hardcover edition.… Read the rest

Fun with Typography

In starting up my new online stores, I decided that it might not be a bad idea to have a few items that weren’t as much about my art as much as just “cool”. Being that, without a day job, I don’t get to play with graphic design as much anymore, I thought it would be fun to toy with typography.

For those reading this that aren’t designers, or aren’t familiar with the term, typography is using text and fonts in (hopefully) an interesting way in a design. I mean, you could just type out your information in a boring font, on one line, and hand it in.… Read the rest

Designing Foil Stamps for Covers: Maelstrom Set #2

Previously on my site here (well, here), I talked about foil stamp designs. I posted examples of designs from one of the books by Brian Keene, A Gathering of Crows. Earlier this summer I had the opportunity to create the foil stamp designs for the second Maelstrom set of books from Thunderstorm Books as well.

Foil stamp design is a bit different than the usual color work, as I explained in that previous article. Briefly, you don’t have many colors (or even shades of gray) to toy with, you get just one color.… Read the rest

The game is afoot: Ebook cover art and design

Recently, I’ve had a couple of commissions to do ebook covers. Which is great, because I really am a starving artist (unemployed and all), so commissions help me survive. But that’s only part of why we’re here, the other side of it (and the point of this article) is designing for ebook covers.

Now, at the end of the day, the design really isn’t radically different. You still have margins, it still has to be proportionate, and so on. But there are some things to keep in mind with the ebook cover design that are very important, both with the artwork and with the design of the cover.… Read the rest

Using the iPad as a portfolio

Something that comes up from time to time is the need, as an artist and a designer, to have a portfolio to show someone in person. That could be at a convention, or a job interview, various places where having a portable way to show your work would come in handy.

For many years, I’ve used a simple, letter-sized portfolio, which has worked well. I can have a design on every page, or a group of art pieces, or even change them out as needed. But, for that to really be effective, you need to print new things all the time, and in general over time they tend to get a bit beaten up.… Read the rest

Of Soccer and T-Shirts, and Steel

As a designer (not just an artist!), I run into all sorts of different projects. Everything from very simple designs up to extremely complex ones. Sometimes it’s web design, and other times it’s graphic design.

Sometimes, when I’m lucky, it’s graphic art and illustration.

A few years ago, my freelance client asked me to design a t-shirt for the construction company she was working with. I’ve done plenty of t-shirts for her, and plenty of other designs for apparel and other items. But this one was a little more of a challenge.… Read the rest

Crowds and animation

For my current day job, I’ve been tasked (since 2005, when I started) with creating animations for our big conference/workshop. The animations played, with video, in front of the major sessions at the workshops, for between 700 and 1200 people at a time.

They needed to accomplish several things from the design perspective. First, they needed to represent, at least in a short way, the area where the workshop was taking place. Next, they needed to be “flashy” (pardon the pun, they were done in Adobe Flash), so that they would get the attention of the participants in the room.… Read the rest

Marketing the authors

Being a graphic designer as well as an artist can lead to some fun projects. When I’m working with authors, I tend to try to help them with what they need to push the books I’m doing the covers or other artwork for. After all, if they do well then hopefully I’ll get noticed as well.

Especially when the author is someone I already know, that makes it fun and hopefully I get to help a friend in the process.  That’s not to say I have the time or inclination to help on every project that I get, but I always think about it and try to help.… Read the rest

Dabbling in the land of multimedia

When I’m not doing art (so-so art, really), I work both as a day job and as a freelancer in web and multimedia design and development. Most of the time, that means I have to turn off the creative side of my brain and slog through whatever code comes next.

Sigh.

But occasionally (and hopefully more often quite soon), I get to work on fun, creative projects with multimedia, and today one of those projects was posted by Cemetery Dance Publications.  They needed a book trailer for Brian James Freeman’s book The Painted Darkness, so I worked on that for them.… Read the rest

A YouTube promo for my art

I’m working on a Flash book trailer for a  client (you’ll see soon enough, it’s not a small client), and for testing with converting Flash animation to video I decided to create a promo for my own art.

After a number of unique issues (I’m looking at you, Kaspersky), I was finally able to upload it to YouTube.  Check it out, all opinions are of course valued. Believe it or not, I also did the music for it.  Which isn’t half bad.

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