Fantasy artists – a call to art

Lately, I’ve been fascinated by book covers in the genre I write – fantasy. There are some outstanding covers, highly original, but they are rare. Below are random examples of the covers I like.

 

They all carry the atmosphere of the book they illustrate.

On the other hand, the majority of covers in the fantasy genre are mediocre, especially in the urban fantasy sub-genre. A half-naked girl with a tattoo plus a half-naked hunk with a sword (optional) comprise most of them. The trendy alternative is a guy in a swirling cloak. Created from stock photos, such covers are lamentably interchangeable. The artists don’t even read the books before they make covers for them. Pre-made covers are popular too, because those covers are neutral: one size fits all.

You might think that there are few talented fantasy artists out there, but that assumption is wrong. Websites like http://deviantart.com and http://pinterest.com are full of marvelous fantasy art. Their images take me to the worlds beautiful or scary, whimsical or gloomy, but always unique. I’d like to pay tribute to these artists, to introduce them to the wide-spread community of fantasy fans. I want to interview them on my blog.

If anyone who reads this post knows a fantasy artist or is a fantasy artist, I’d like to talk to you, to showcase your art. Please, contact me.

 

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3 Responses to Fantasy artists – a call to art

  1. I agree with you, and I’ve recently gone professional with Vanesa Garkova who I found through DesignCrowd.com. She does beautiful work IMO. http://vanesagarkova.alle.bg/

    She does do some tired, old covers like you describe, but I’m sure she too has to create what sells. I recently missed out on the final round of a book contest based on my original book cover. It sent me down a path through those swirling cloaks and spindly warrior young woman. I saw the same pattern you describe, but I had to make a change. Take a look at her site. She’s wonderful to work with and has reasonable rates. Maybe she would be interested in an interview.

  2. Widdershins says:

    They’re not my thing, but totally gorgeous! 🙂

  3. The three covers you highlighted are great, and unique. I have been writing a long series on cover design on the Author Allies site trying to help authors to understand the difference between a good cover and a bad cover. I’m especially trying to help authors doing their own design work or hiring a designer for cover designs and marketing collateral to get better results. So many self-pubbed authors say that they don’t have money to afford a cover design–even one of the premade covers.

    I’ve been a graphic designer for years, and I’ve done magazine covers as well as nonfiction covers. I’ve only just started doing fiction covers; for me it’s actually a lot more difficult. Then again, I’m still in the process of blending my fantasy artwork/painting with my digital design work, but that’s a long story.

    I thought I’d send along a few links. One is an article I just read on cover design on another site,
    http://www.booksandsuch.com/blog/make-book-cover-stand/

    Here’s a link to one of the articles in my cover design series on Author Allies, and another link where you can find the rest of the series (scroll down to Graphic Design):
    http://www.author-allies.org/graphic-design-authors-4-visual-branding/
    http://www.author-allies.org/author-platform-building-tutorials-articles/

    These are some of my fantasy paintings; I haven’t painted in this style in many years as I shifted over to graphic design work:
    http://shaunaknightarts.wordpress.com/fantasy-paintings/

    My current painting obsession is textural mixed media pieces. These don’t photograph well so it’s difficult to use most of them for covers:
    http://shaunaknightarts.wordpress.com/mythic-mixed-media/

    Here are my current cover designs:
    http://shaunaknightarts.wordpress.com/covers/

    There are some really amazing artists and cover designers out there and I aspire to achieve that level of visual work. 🙂

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