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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New art, and revisiting the past

Just the other day, Thunderstorm Books posted their newest book, Bryan Smith‘s Grimm Awakening. I was lucky enough to do the cover art for it, which was a great thing for me because I also did the cover for the original version way back in 2004.

It’s not often that an artist gets a second shot at the same work, and coming eight years apart was fascinating. It’s a great story, and Bryan’s writing with the character of Jack Grimm has been some of my favorite writing of any story.… Read the rest

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The end of the sketchbook

In the last few years, I’ve done something regularly that I hadn’t in the previous years. I’ve started to complete full sketchbooks, with some kind of art on every page.

I’ve noticed that it’s a good time to go back and look through it, to see how things went over time. In this case, this sketchbook was started in June of 2010, and the last image was sketched in it today. Over that time it’s seen all kinds of sketches, from loose practice ideas, to sketches for published projects, and plenty of goofy items.… Read the rest

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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

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World Horror – Catch me in person

I’ll be attending the World Horror Convention in Austin, Texas this week, and I’m hoping to meet a lot of people there. I have a number of friends that will be there, along with quite a few I talk with online who will be nice to meet in person.

If you decide that you’d like to see what a poor, unemployed, REAL starving artist looks like, here are a few places you might just find me. First, the “official” list:

  1. Artists Are People Too! panel
    4:00 PM Friday, April 29 – Phoenix Central
    Scott Edelman, Russell Dickerson (M), Vincent Chong, Steve Niles, GAK
    Thanks to the Internet, a right-click of the mouse lets anyone copy an artist’s work right off the Web.
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Graphic Design meets Art: Foil Feathers

Last year, when I was working on the cover for author Brian Keene’s A Gathering of Crows for Thunderstorm Books, I was asked if I could do a design for the foil imprint that was to go on the cover. Easy enough.

It’s a point at which my graphic design production background and my art met, as one could not live without the other.

The concept we came up with was easy. To represent things that happen in the story, we decided to go with five crow feathers falling down the front of the book.… Read the rest

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My art for the Maelstrom books

This is sort of an old story, since the three Maelstrom books, two by Brian Keene and one by Kelli Owen, have been out for a few months now. But, as with many things, life managed to get in the way of posting the art that I did for the run.

I decided to post them all again, save for the two I already posted (here and here, go check them out). I’m happy with them, though with all things there are parts I would change now. But, that’s the way of the artist.… Read the rest

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The End of the first Moleskine

Last year, I offered up a post on the small Moleskine sketchbook that I picked up (last July, check it out here). Since then, I’ve managed to fill it completely up, and move onto a new one. As an artist that likes to share (just catch me in real life, I never shut up), I thought I’d post a few more highlights from the last bit of Moleskine work.

Now, the Moleskine for me has been a very useful thing. It’s not something that the art is finished on, so please don’t judge me on that.… 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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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

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