"" Read more : http://www.ehow.com/how_8339780_put-emoticons-blogger.html WillowRaven Illustration & Design Plus: January 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

Celtic Destiny has a cover!

Remember the cover for Amber LaShell's Celtic Secrets, the second book in the Abbey Kane trilogy? Well, it now has company. :D

The cover for Celtic Destiny features the antagonist of the series. Check out the blurb:

As Elysia, the evil Faerie Queen who is determined to kill Abby and all of the other Gods in the Other World, continues to grow her army, Abby must now use her secret weapon to glean information on how to kill Elysia. As the inevitable war approaches, Abby and Tom must both accept their destinies if they hope to win, but not everything is what it seems in this terrifying final installment of the Abby Kane Trilogy.

Below you'll see the cover art in more detail:

For those interested in ordering signed, framed Giclée prints can do so from my gallery at ImageKind.

"Giclée" means fine art ink jet print. The term was coined to differentiate fine art prints from commercial proofs made from similar equipment.  This next image helps illustrate the scale of the print at it's ideal size: 
I am also creating novelty items featuring the work in my Zazzle Shoppe. If you want something, but you don't see it on what you want yet, just let me know.:D

Until next time...
Aidana WillowRaven

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Scape Magazine's third issue is live!

Scape Magazine has published it's third online issue, and once again, I have a contribution. :D.

I shared this image the first time back in late October, when it had to be submitted. Scape only comes out every few months, so I didn't want to talk much about this piece until it was live on the site.

Fish Bowl was inspired by AshleyRose Sullivan's Fish Bowl, and can be read in full on Scape's site. I can't share the story, of course, but I can give you a sip:

     ... Dust swirled around that world. Around all the world he knew. But inside his tank, his fingertips pressed against the glass, he could not fathom it.
     Little girls and boys, stared up at him, at his blue tinted water, at his gills. They were covered in it. Covered in the dust that had spread like a quiet infestation. Their lungs were full of it. Their skin was caked with it, red and brown, where his was slick and fish-scale green.
     Mortimer spun in the tank, large enough for he and one other, then did a somersault through the water. He swam like a fish, which is what he happened to be—an impossible primate with webbed digits and gills. A young man who filtered air from water when everyone around him breathed red dust. He was born like a dolphin, into the water, and never left.

     A crowd formed around his tank and peered through clear wall and water to his body, his face, his hair and spindly fingers. He swam suddenly, toward the glass and allowed the crowd to see his second set of eyelids, his suction cup tipped fingers and they gasped then laughed as he did a backward flip, and swam to the bottom. A little girl tapped on the glass. It was so near to inaudible that Mortimer would've missed it completely if he hadn't turned in time to see her.

If you click on any of the images, I believe you can see a close-up.
     Fine grains of dirt covered her pigtails and a faint rusty layer clung to her pink cotton candy but, Mortimer figured, she probably wouldn't even notice.
     A plume of fire shot into the sky as Johnny, all tattoos and sweating skin, exhaled into the night and the crowd moved on....

Bet ya'll didn't notice the fire breather until you read about him, huh? I had all ya'll looking at the mutant. ;P

Swing on over to Scape and read the rest. I have several fun products featuring Fish Bowl in my Zazzle Shoppe and it's available as a signed, framed print in my ImageKind Gallery. And of course, I love me some comments. :D

Until next time...
Aidana WillowRaven

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sail! Awolnation! Hot! Sexy!

I have to share this animation and song! I can't figure out which one inspires more illustration ideas in my head ... lol.

So hot!

Enjoy some steampunk ...


This is how I show my love.
I made it in my mind because
I blame it on my ADD baby.

This is how an angel dies
Blame it on my own sick pride
Blame it on my ADD baby


Maybe I should cry for help
Maybe I should kill myself
Blame it on my ADD baby

Maybe I'm a different breed
Maybe I'm not listening
So blame it on my ADD baby


Lalalalala Lalalalalaoooo


Was I lying? I've seen the animation with other songs, before, so I don't think this is the actual video for this song specifically, but it fits it so well, so you'd never know. And it's amazing how different songs cause a difference interpretation to the exact same video. So cool! This is my favorite pairing, though.

According to info I've seen, credit for the animation titled Eye of the Storm was directed by Christopher Alender for the band Lovett.

 Well ...

Until next time...
Aidana WillowRaven

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

'Hyper Harry' is now available in paperback, too!

I introduced this cover when I first created it and prepped it for Kindle, but I didn't really air a pet peeve I had about it, and books with covers like it, or rather, like the cover it used to have, at the time.

When planning the cover art for Hyper Harry, the author and I both felt less would be more. It had been published before with a seemingly less/more cover, but that cover just resulted in being more less and less more.

Now, my readers know me. Rarely do I bash another artist's or publisher's work. And by itself, the cover wasn't bad as far as design went. It just didn't tell the story. It didn't convey the mood. Or, at the very least, it conveyed the wrong mood.

I know there are a lot of schools of though out there about what a cover should be, what it should do. In my view, a cover should tell the viewer, at a glance, what the book is about. It should tell the reader the genre, portray the over all mood or conflict, and most importantly, it should demand the reader's attention.

Let's see how I did:

Not even asking about aesthetic (which isn't always important, and isn't my point here),  did I portray the genre? Check! It's a kid's book, either MG or Early Reader. Why do I say that? Simple, the age of the characters.

Did I portray the mood or conflict? I see it, but I know what the book is about ... lol. Before you read ahead, write down the mood or conflict you see, and we'll see if I hit it or not after you know more about the book.

Lastly, does it grab your attention? Are you curious enough to pick up the book and maybe flip it over to read the blurb or open it to read the first few pages? Again, you'll have to tell me how I scored. My guess is, if you bother to read further, that is the equivalent of 'flipping it over' ...lol.

Of course, it would be in bad taste for me to show the old publisher's cover here, as I am bashing it, but those that are terribly interested, it can still be found on Amazon if you do a search for Hyper Harry.

doop dee doop dee doo ... la dee daa dee daa ...

 I see you have decided to continue to read. So, check! You want to find out what the book is about, now. Without further a due, and since I have proven that I at least have scored 2 out of 3 on the cover art and design, I re-introduce Hyper Harry:

Note from the author: 
Having a child with ADHD can affect the whole family. HYPER HARRY, for kids 8-12, and is now available on Amazon.com as a paperback and Kindle book. Try reading it as a family. It can make things better.

Sixth-grader Ted Cheltoni has had it with his little brother Harry. The kid is noisy, hyper, forgetful, doesn't finish his work at school and can't clean up his room at home. Ted, his parents, and the school try everything from Time Out to behavior/work programs and counseling, but nothing helps for long. Soon, Ted's parents are fighting so much about how to help Harry that Ted's afraid they'll get a divorce! When Harry gets suspended from school and kicked off the bus for a week, his parents have to take time off to take care of him and transport him to school. Soon Ted finds Harry packing to leave home to “make things easier” on Mom and Dad. He can't believe it. His little brother thinks he’s so bad he has to run away from home? He's got to help Harry, and fast. But how?

HYPER HARRY, a work of fiction appropriate for kids 8-12 and reluctant readers, provides three end pages: “10 Tips for Kids with ADHD”, “10 Tips for Parents of Kids with ADHD”, and an “Information and Support” list of helpful resources.

The author, Patricia H. Aust, has served on the Connecticut Task Force on ADHD, the Board of Directors of Learning Disabilities of CT, and has worked in public schools with many kids and teens who have ADHD.

“Written from the viewpoint of a 12-year-old boy...this book helps children understand they are not alone in dealing with a sibling with ADHD. (It has) friends, a girlfriend, trouble with a bully at school and other adventures to keep the story from focusing strictly on ADHD. HYPER HARRY can help siblings gain a better understanding of ADHD, why their sibling may act sometimes in irrational ways, and why it is important to work together as a family to solve problems.”
Eileen Bailey of About.com/ADHD.
“This warm and understanding book is for all the Harry's in the world, but also for the Teds—  the siblings who live through it with Harry.” 
Doris Anne Hauptman, 
former Program Director of Learning Disabilities of CT.

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace (January 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1468006185
  • ISBN-13: 978-1468006186

By the way, how'd I score on the mood/conflict? Did I hit it?

Until next time...
Aidana WillowRaven

Sunday, January 22, 2012

'Celtic Secrets' is now available in print!

I originally created the cover for Celtic Secrets, the second book of the Abby Kane Trilogy by Amber LaShell, for eFormat. Now, after several months, it is available in paperback. Being a 'real book' person, I am ecstatic about it.

I also happen to be working on the cover for book three, Celtic Destiny, and will be sharing that with ya'll soon.

Here is a little bit about Celtic Secrets:

Now that Abby's boyfriend Tom has learned that he is actually a Faerie prince, and not a mortal, as they thought, and realized that he can stay in the Other World with Abby, she has never been happier. That is until she finds out that Elysia, the evil Faerie Queen out to kill her, has escaped from the makeshift prison Abby trapped her in and is assembling an army against her. Now Abby must take a journey to try and find out Elysia's secrets if she has any chance of winning this war.
  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace (January 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1468087258
  • ISBN-13: 978-1468087253
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.7 inches

Until next time...
Aidana WillowRaven

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cover art for 'A Shadow in the Past' is ready for show.

4RV Publishing and Melanie Robertson-King, author of A Shadow in the Past, are hard at work editing a YA/YA Crossover (suitable for readers from thirteen to twenty-five years of age) Time Travel with romantic elements of 90,000 words set in Scotland.

Sarah Shand is a nineteen-year old who finds herself thrust back into the past, where she struggles to keep her real identity secret from a society that is put off by her strange comments and ideas, not to mention the forwardness in her speech and actions, which are so unlike Victorian women. When Sarah verbally confronts their confining social practices, including arranged marriages between wealthy and influential families, she makes a number of powerful enemies. As a result, she finds herself committed to a lunatic asylum from which she later manages to escape. When she realizes she has fallen in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, Robert Robertson, she is torn between finding her way back to her own time and her family or remaining in the past with him.

When challenged with this cover project, I really didn't know where to start.  I had the gown, I had the setting, all hinting at the romance aspect, but how do I portray the time travel aspect without your stereotypical time machine or sci-fi portal, which would de-romanticize the rest?

Vivian, the president of 4RV Publishing, gave me a cool idea. We were discussing the first draft, which had a changing screen where the mirror now stands. It was pretty and suited the period, with a lovely painting portraying a woman of the time swinging freely in her garden. Romantic, but not portraying another time or time travel. So, changing the dressing screen from painted to mirrored was suggested, having the MCs mirror image, the way she sees herself, reflect her true time period through her attire.

The result allowed me to keep the romantic while still portraying the dual time periods. Not your typical time-travel cover art, is it? Hopefully the readers from both the romance world and the sci-fi world will be attracted to the cover and, in turn, have the chance to enjoy an awesome story.

Be sure to keep an eye out for this book! I'll keep you all posted on the final release dates. 

Until next time...
Aidana WillowRaven

Melanie's non-fiction articles have appeared in The Country Connection Magazine, The Scottish Banner, Celtic Life Magazine, The Humm, and The Scotsman (electronic version).

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Yeah! Check out how I and some of my books placed in the annual Preditors & Editors Reader Poll for 2011

Every year, Preditors & Editors has a readers poll, and some of the books I've had the pleasure of working on placed in the top 10. Each category is in bold and the placement in blue.

Children's Book: 1st place Walking Through Walls by Karen Coiffi, illustrator Aidana WillowRaven.

Other Novel:    1st place Sparrow Alone on the Housetop by Jean James and Mary James

cover art & design by WillowRaven ~ published by 4RV Publishing
Those placing in the top 10 are --

Science Fiction:  5th place Time Pullers by Horton Deakins

cover design by WillowRaven ~ published by 4RV Publishing
Other Novel:  8th place Aldric & Anneliese by Harry E. Gilleland, Jr.

cover art & design by WillowRaven ~ published by 4RV Publishing
Book Cover Art:  5th place Strangers in the Stable by Jim Laughter, cover by Aidana WillowRaven
illustration, cover art & design by WillowRaven ~ published by 4RV Publishing
 I placed in the top 10, as artist for 2011, and the publisher of all of the above books placed in the top 10 as well.

Artist:   5th place Aidana WillowRaven

Publisher:  6th place  4RV Publishing, and the owner personally nabbed:
Author:  3rd place   Vivian Zabel

Other 4RV top 10 winners can be seen on the 4RV Reading, Writing, & Art News blog, soon. Make sure you swing on over and check out what books, authors, and artists from 4RV placed, too.

Until next time...
Aidana WillowRaven

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Running out of room for all of your books?

Ok, I want this staircase, regardless of the fact that my house is only one story ... lol.