When choosing a cover artist, it was important to me that the work be an illustration rather than the usual combination of a primary photo layered with effects to make it look like an illustration. However, a little research will tell prospective authors that illustrators are expensive and difficult to work with (not true). Finding the right look for a character or cover is a complex process. By adding the intricacies of hand-drawn art, it becomes that much more complicated. Or so the internet would say.
Upon selecting Isis Sousa as the artist for the cover design, we began down the very same road the internet warned me about. The first step established the form for the image and was little more than a sketched outline of the main character, Askon, in a wary position with some vague mountains and foliage in the background.
From there we progressed into coloration for the character and background, and then to more than a dozen back-and-forth revisions which usually had between five and ten details that I felt needed adjusting. All told, at one point Isis informed me that there were no fewer than 42 versions of the artwork. I found this astonishing (and am thus sharing it with you). Her patience and helpful advice is beyond reproach.
By far the most difficult part of the process was deciding on Askon’s face. After years of describing and re-describing him within the book, I knew in my mind what he should look like. But as you may have seen in police sketch scenes from movies and TV (though hopefully not in real life), description can get close, though the final sketch almost always misses something. After a list of details, a long reply email, and a small album of male actor head shots that would’ve felt a lot more at home on a teenage girl’s Tumblr feed than in my iPhoto library, we came to agreement upon what turned out to be my favorite part of the cover.
From there, the rest seemed simple by comparison (to a non-artist like me, that is). Typography, shading, colors, and some very important detail work gave us the final product, which I’m extremely pleased to show you today.
Here is the cover for Fragments: Alora’s Tear, Volume I.
Enjoy! And please feel free to share the image, but as it is copyrighted material, refrain from altering the content or selling it.
Next on the list: pre-order and publishing dates.