The process of new cover art and the grand feedback experiment

Last year, I created a cover for author Vincenzo Bilof’s Necropolis Now: Zombie Ascension. So, as is sometimes the case and something I look forward to, he asked if I could create the art for the book’s sequel, the now-released Queen of the Dead: Zombie Ascension II (go get it here).

Most of my year has been taken up by my art hiatus, from doing nearly any kind of art at all. I’ve done a handful of art pieces, as you can see on my site. But being away from it has had two interesting effects: my daily art skills have suffered, but my imagination has become sharper and sharper.… Read the rest

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Contracts and art: a necessity

As a freelance artist (and designer), the need to have a contract template available becomes apparent pretty quickly. I like to think I work hard as an artist, and I want my works to be taken care of and used in the proper manner. So, I did a bunch of research, read a lot of books and websites, and managed to cobble together a contract that works for me.

Should you always have a contract? Yes. Do I always have a contract? No (he says, sheepishly).

But it’s something that I’ve been trying to get better at, and I think it’s important for both parties to have one in place.… Read the rest

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Graphic Design and Art: My cover for A Gathering of Crows

Some time ago, I discussed the genesis of the cover art that I created for Maelstrom’s edition of author Brian Keene’s A Gathering of Crows (check it out here!). For that article, I talked about the content of the art, what it meant for the book, and in general the idea behind what’s going on in the image.

But I didn’t really talk about the design part of it.

Now, I know what you might say. Russ, you’re an artist, not a designer. But the truth is I’ve been a graphic designer for just as long as I’ve been an artist.… Read the rest

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Graphic design: my red-headed step child

Most people that know me outside of family (both of you, you know who you are) know me as an artist.  But by day, and sometimes even at night, I am also a graphic designer.

Sometimes that means signs, or books, or even logos, which is the topic for today.  I created a logo for a client last night, and interestingly she asked what the ideas were behind the logo.  To be fair, the client did give me a good, if not nearly exact direction to head in.  But I came up with something a bit more abstract, and she was interested in how I thought of it.… Read the rest

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