Friday, 10 January 2014

Another Year...

Another year. They seem to be passing with speed that’s on a logarithmic scale. It feels like tomorrow I’ll be wishing everyone a happy 2015, but common sense tells me that time has not sped up, just my perception of it. It’s scary.

Sorry my blogging has been so erratic. My whole life has been erratic to tell the truth. I’d like to think that this year, things will settle down, but it’s not looking promising so far.

On the good side, I did get that one book published in 2014 and the website I started in the hope of selling book covers has grown and is getting a satisfying number of hits each day. I’ve been privileged to create covers for some really great books. I’ve also done some maps and of course more troll illustrations for the wonderful Smelly Troll books by Rosen Trevithick.

Photo manipulation
Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook will know that I spent some of the money I’ve earned through book covers to buy myself an Intuos Pro, a drawing tablet from Wacom. I already had a Bamboo tablet, but it was tiny and I found it very restrictive. This is huge and I absolutely love it. If I’d had lots of money, I would have bought a Cintiq which allows you to draw straight onto your picture on the screen. But I didn’t have lots of money, so the Intuos had to do – and it’s proving pretty good. I love being able to do the whole illustration from sketch to finished product straight onto the computer. No messing around with pencil and eraser, no trying to scan the drawing to a satisfactory quality. Just straight onto the screen, multiple layers and then all sorts of lovely effects you can get through Photoshop.
Original art plus photo

One thing that has become clear to me over the year and with using the tablet is that my penchant really is for children’s book covers and fantasy covers. Photo manipulation is fun, but I just love being able to create the whole cover out of my head or turning photos into my own artwork. I don’t suppose that surprises me. I’ve always loved creating fantasy/illustrations, but I wonder if there’s a market out there for original artwork covers? Something for me to find out this year: how many authors are actually willing to pay for full rights to an original cover?

On the writing side, I have a work in progress – a novel based on “Orlando’s Gift”, the short story I had out on Amazon for a while. It’s very different from the short story because I’ve devised a whole other tale to intertwine with it and that’s rather taken over, but from the reaction I’ve had on Critique Circle to the chapters I’ve written so far, it’s going down all right. I just need to knuckle down and keep writing. I already have the cover done, just to keep me motivated! I'd love to show it to you, but that would spoil the effect later, wouldn't it? I still don’t have a title. I’m waiting for it to hit me as I write.

Original art 
To all of you who read this blog, a very belated Happy New Year…unless you celebrate Chinese New Year, in which case, I’m a few weeks early! Here’s to a year of getting done what you want to do, surrounded by supportive friends and family. 


Melissa Grabowski said...

good luck to you! I am going to check out the books you mentioned. And keep the glass half full. I have a lot of physical problems and that is how I get through life. I wish you the best and a big hug!

Kate said...

Thanks, Melissa and the same to you!