Jan 24, 2012

Inspirations #1

Where do you get your inspiration?

That’s a question often asked of artists. It’s not always simple to answer, as it can be something as big as a major world event that’s all over the newspapers or as small as watching a couple argue and then hug and wondering about the story behind it.

I’ve been working on a new artsy project: cover design. It’s not terribly new, since I’ve done all of my own (and sometimes more than once) and I’ve done a couple for other authors. But I’m branching out. See, I love my lust for amateur photography. I have tons of incredible photos from around the U.S. and from a few other countries. Most are nature-centered. Many are buildings I found fascinating. A few are random people who happened to be posed in a way I found artistic. (If I use the people, it will be only after stylized in some art form so they are not recognizable.) I often look through and think they should be on a book cover.

I’ve taken art and design classes. Still, when I go into an endeavor such as this, I want to study others. I want to get a feel for what’s out there. I want to make note of what draws me in and what doesn’t.

Ever since I started doing my covers, I’ve paid close attention to what’s out there, to what pulls me in or turns me away. But it’s more than the basic design and colors. It’s the artwork. Photographic people on a cover turn me away. Maybe it feels too personal. I like actual art and photography on covers.

I won’t go into that more since I’m guest blogging on Thomas Wilson’s blog on Thursday to talk about the art of cover design.

What I want to share here is a few links I’ve followed in my search for what’s happening in cover design and in fine art these days.

thebookdesigner.com is holding a monthly contest for authors and designers to enter their work for judging/comments. Scroll through some of the entries and read the comments about what this blog owner/designer believes works and doesn’t.

indiearts.com is a place for established independent fine and graphic artists to display their work. What some of these artists have created is truly amazing. Two of my favorites here: Dan Witz and Terry Strickland. (Be aware, as in most art sites, some content is adult natured and graphic.)

There’s also deviantart.com which allows users to sign up and add their work without being screened.

Of course you can also go to bookcoverarchive.com and flip through their thousands of archived published book covers.

Do you have a favorite website for artistic inspiration in the visual arts? Share it here!


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