My next large work, after I complete Bound into the Blood, will be the start of a new series called The Affinities of Magic. That doesn't mean I'll stop writing stories in the first series, but just that I'll be keeping two going now.
All of the paintings for my covers for the books and stories in The Hounds of Annwn are the work of Larissa Kulik, a Russian surrealist. I've been using her paintings from stock photo sites and adapting them to my use.
For my next series, I plan to commission art work for the covers instead. It's an interesting challenge because, although I only need to buy one to start with, I have to plan for several novels and collections, as well as short stories, and they need to be both reasonably priced and recognizable as a single body of work. (Each series needs a brand.) So I need to find an artist who:
- Wants to commit for a number of digital paintings over the next couple of years without charging a fortune.
- Works in a style which I think is suitable for the books.
- Understands the basics of book cover composition for placement of book titles, etc. I'll do the layout and design myself, but the paintings should take all that into account.
- Isn't too overloaded to produce work fairly promptly.
The way you shop for this is to ask for recommendations from other authors and scour places like Deviant Art and ELance for artist portfolios that seem to meet your criteria. I've spent the last couple of days pouring through portfolios by the hundreds and sending out feelers, but it will take a while before I can settle on a very short list. I'll show you all samples as I go through the process, for your amusement (and input).
There are some amazing graphic artists out there. The illustration for this post comes from Ertac Altinoz.