Wednesday, April 22, 2015

My First Cedar Fort Books Are In!!

Hey! Remember back when I did my internship for Cedar Fort? The first two books I worked on are now appearing in shelves! BEHOLD Project 1:


So with this project, ENDURING LIGHT, I teamed up with the head fiction designer, Michelle, to recreate a book cover. The original cover (on the left) was designed to fit a 5X8 trade paperback. However, for the next print, the company decided to up the size to 6X9. Problem is, when covers are made in Photoshop, you can't just drag it bigger without damaging the quality. So, what ended up happening was Michelle and I recreated and improved the cover using visually similar elements. The girl and trees were recovered from the original design. However, Michelle picked out the new cowboy and the fence. I worked on the trees in the midground, and that subtle horse. I don't know if you can see it very clear in this shot, but I also intensified and recreated the foggy colors and textures in the background. Now people really have to endure that light!

Tragically, since this is a recreation, neither Michelle's name or mine ended up on the inside flap under 'cover designer'. The credit still goes to the original artist. *Sigh*

Anyway, Project 2 is POWERFUL PERENNIALS, a gardening book.



This one I didn't touch the cover on, but I edited a lot of the inside content. IE, I redesigned the entire thing. The reason? The original designer created this book to be 10X8 but then the company decided it needed to be 9X9. Which meant everything on the inside had to be redesigned. Since the original designer was AWOL, guess who got to do all that work? The solo design intern (me!).

I don't have samples of the original, which is a shame, because it was gorgeous, but I do have the new design I made.







Tragically, my name didn't make it into the design credit of this one either. I'm not sure why. Regardless, I really hope I have the opportunity to work more with books in the future. I love holding the finished project in my hands.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Jack Frost

On Easter, my friends and I were watching RISE OF THE GUARDIANS

If you have not watched this yet, do so now.

The cast is pretty gnarly, as I'm sure you guessed considering it's made entirely from fairytale characters.

Santa

The Sand Man

The Tooth Fairy

The Easter Bunny (he's my favorite!)

And the super attractive, voiced by Chris Pine...

Jack Frost

The plot's something about saving the world, or you know, whatever--it's great--watch it--
During one of the slow scenes though, right when all hope is lost and the heroes are doomed...

(this part)

One of my friends says,



And then my other friend says,


...



Thursday, April 9, 2015

Just Whatever

For the past little while, I've been experimenting and mixing various mediums. Since I'm obsessed with the books my friends and I write, most of my art recently has been of my favorite characters.



This picture is a sample of the mixed media I've been doing (most often watercolor with ink drawn on top.) There's one of white pencil on black paper, and then the book cover I graphic designed for my current work in progress, VILLAINOUS.

A couple of the drawings on this wall were gifts, but most of them are sketches I made based off of the work of other artists, tweaked to fit my characters. To see the original sketches, explore my boards on Pinterest!


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Typos

Recently I've been turning some fanfictions my friends and I wrote into books to put into my portfolio (for the cover art and book composition, not for the story). Some of these fanfics we wrote hard copy, as in, by hand, which means they needed to be typed up.

Several months later, I finally finished typing up the first one! However... there are some funny typos that can make it into a book during a transition like that. In fact, it can be downright deadly. I've drawn a few of my favorites...


ONE: Messed up capitalization. 



This doesn't seem like a problem until a cute romantic moment crops up...



That suddenly turns into a STALKER moment...



TWO: Losing a letter.


Not a big deal...

until MORE than a letter is lost--



THREE: Mixing up letters.



turns into something even SCARIER.


FOUR: Losing a letter (again)


Because I don't currently have a funny example where an extra letter is added in, you get to enjoy a second lost letter mistake.



Suddenly turns strange...



Spellcheck can save relationships people. I mean, when it's not destroying them--


FIVE: Spellcheck checks out.



But when autocorrect isn't automatically correct...



This is why I'm an artist and author, not an editor.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Dab of Paint

So I recently finished a set of three paintings based off of three characters in one of the books I'm writing. And before you say, 'Waaait, these people look familiar...' the answer is, yes, these paintings are based off actors. No, I don't watch the shows they are from. I sort of don't know how to work a TV.

Anyway....

BEHOLD:





I love painting my characters ^^

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

An Interview with Danielle E. Shipley

To celebrate the emergence of Danielle's latest book, I'm hosting her on my blog today to talk about some of the inspiration behind her latest book, The Surrogate Sea. Here's what she has to say about the inspiration behind the newest Wilderhark Tale:


           Do you know, I came close to drawing from The Little Mermaid for Book Three of The Wilderhark Tales? That is, when I was scrambling for excuses to write about the tailor with which I’d fallen in love in Book Two, I considered having him get kidnapped by some manner of sea maiden. Happily for everyone, the better idea of “The Seventh Spell” presented itself – an adventure that enchanted the cast of characters through time and up and down beanstalks, but nowhere near the sea.
            Fast forward to Book Six, where I found myself thinking on Beauty and the Beast.Again. I’d already used elements of it way back in Book One, and given that the Cupid and Psyche myth is archetypically similar, I’d used it again in Book Five. What can I say? Something about that one fairytale tugs at my imagination the way few, if any others, do.
            This time around, that something was an aspect from the tale left out of the Disney version: The part where, night after night, the Beast would ask the Beauty to marry him, and time and again, she’d refuse. Whichever section of my brain thought it would be fun to hold Edgwyn hostage in the middle of the ocean tried to convince me that someone would want a read a book in which Princess Liliavaine sat in a castle not wanting to be married to someone. Yeah, right. I mean, I can get into an arranged-marriage-type story just fine, but come on. These are the Wilderhark Tales. The characters need to move and do things. Besides, from what little I knew of Liliavaine, she wouldn’t stand for a stay-still plot.
            This is why I have a tendency to mix and match ideas when writing. Give me one spark of inspiration, and it’ll probably die out before I can figure out what to do with it. But give me two sparks or more, and they can feed off each other and stay hot long enough for me to get an actual story on paper.
            Lily needed a story where she could be Lily – which, in all frankness, meant a story where she could be selfish. And if there’s one Disneyfied fairytale that’s always struck me as a study in reckless selfishness, it’s The Little Mermaid. (Sell out all the oceans for the sake of stalking that admittedly cute guy, why don’t you, Ariel!)
            So, we were back to the sea – but not the sea I’d thought it was as recently as two stories ago.
            Book Five was a game-changer for The Wilderhark Tales. For the first four books, the magic the characters encountered was manmade – the spellwork of witch extremists or a wizard-fashioned flute. Then came “The Sun’s Rival”, and with it, a whole new layer of supernatural power. Not gonna lie: The fact that the world’s natural elements are people was as much a surprise to me as it was to Denebdeor’s royal family. It wouldn’t make a lick of sense to drop that bombshell on everyone and then go right back to life as we’d always known it. The formidable Sun, the mysterious Moon, the quartet of distinctive winds – and yes, the Great Sea – all these and more were a part of things, now, and Liliavaine and I agreed: Book Six was a perfect opportunity to further explore the part they played in the world.
            Little did we know at the start, though by the end we’d learned: Hearts in a love game of man vs. nature may soon be out of their depth.

Thanks for the insights, Danielle!

As of today THE SURROGATE SEA is available! Now that you've had a sneak peek, you can look for it on Amazon or Barns and Noble just by following these nifty links!!


Friday, March 20, 2015

I'm Harry Potter

So once upon a time I had an astounding dream about Harry Potter.
(Yes. astounding. Waaait for it...)

"Aren't I cute?"

Actually, Harry Potter was far more than Cute. He was also far more than Harry Potter even. He was Harry Potter AND Eragorn!

PLOT TWIST.

You may be wondering why a young wizard has a dragon. The answer is A) Who doesn't want a dragon? And B) TO PLAY QUIDDITCH OF COURSE!

 DRAGON QUIDDITCH


But, as typically happens to all the things Harry Potter loves, he eventually...


That's right. Harry Potter misplaced his dragon. To top it off, Murtagh and Thorn were on their way to destroy Hogwarts.

That's right. Forget Voldemort as the top threat. I mean, he doesn't even have a nose.

Moving on.

Hagrid actually knew where Harry's dragon was. However, Harry Potter was so proud by this point, and so used to riding a dragon all the time, that he refused to walk.

"Faster Hagrid! Murtagh is coming! Don't you understand?"

Regardless, Harry was reunited with his dragon.

D'waaa (note looming storm clouds)

Harry climbed on her back, and the two of them prepared to face the most evil (and hottest), most horrible (and hottest), most politically deadly (did I mention hot?) figure of all time!!

I mean, look at that nose!

Except...

Harry changed his mind. Instead of fighting Murtagh in the most epic battle of the century, he and his dragon turned away and flew off into a blizzard, never to be heard from again.

THE END


Aren't you glad you took two minutes out of your day to read THAT story?



Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My Portfolio is Live!

For the past three months I've been interning at Cedar Fort. Inc, a publishing house. I've loved every day of the job. Tragically, my internship has ended, and Cedar Fort isn't currently hiring. I have a passion for creating books however, and want to continue helping authors make the work they have slaved over appealing and sellable.

Consequently, my portfolio is now live online at
 

Here's a teaser of what you'll find on the site:

Example Book Covers:




Blog Tour Banners:



Bookmarks:



And even a sample of my Illustrations:




To see more of the magic, go to my site, and please, pass the word along!