"" Read more : http://www.ehow.com/how_8339780_put-emoticons-blogger.html WillowRaven Illustration & Design Plus: March 2013

Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Wandering Warrior ... When a book cover hits close to the heart.

Of course, I have a special connection to every book cover I create. Even though I rarely get to read the text, I end up discovering the character and story through the creation of the art. Naturally, the cover art is more about the characters than me, but SOMETHING of the artist always creeps in. I'm told, more than I realize, myself ;P

With this particular cover, the connection is more than a glimpse into my personality, it's also a glimpse into my heritage. A segment of my family is Spanish Gypsy, having migrated to the States during WWII by becoming a soldier for the US, a time when the Gypsies were in danger of being obliterated by Hitler and his camps.

My grandfather didn't talk much about our clan (mainly found traveling in the region of Alcantara, Spain), feeling it safer to let gadjos forget all about his being a Gypsy, but I felt myself drawn to that side of my lineage, the older I got. By the time I went to college to be an artist, I was studying all I could about the traveling people and my lineage, and was soon found and adopted by a Scottish Gypsy Clan.

I am sure you all can now see why I was so excited about this book cover. I simply could not pass up the opportunity to create a cover including Gypsies ... well, at least a caravan in the distance ... lol.

You probably can't tell I spent hours brightly painting the vardos and did my best to represent the beautiful Gypsy Vanners, with their luxurious coats, glorious manes, muscled bodies, and extra full fetlocks (no, not the battle-wise creature you see in front ... lol), knowing the labor of love would not be very visable in the final piece.

A Wandering Warrior, by Harry E Gilleland, Jr. (courtesy of 4RV Publishing), will be available in just a few weeks, so be sure to keep in touch if you like historical fiction/action-adventure novels.

A Wandering Warrior, an historical fiction/action–adventure novel,  takes place in twelfth century England. Thomas Beaumont, a commoner, warrior and an itinerant soldier, loses his uncle in battle and his brother through the duplicity of another. He wanders over the country, using his skills to live and to search for the man who killed his brother.

His search brings him the love of a traveling young woman, but romance must wait for revenge.  The twists and turns of fate challenge the warrior in many ways, often creating doubt for success. The goals at the ends of his searches hold a reader’s interest.

I hope ya'll enjoy looking at this one as much as I enjoyed creating it.

Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven

Monday, March 25, 2013

MidSouthCon31 wrap-up & my meeting @JohnPicacio

MSC31 WebBannerB

MidSouthCon31, where I had the honor of being a professional artist guest again this year, has come to a close and I feel energized and inspired for another year of creativity and expression.
I have declared this year's con a wonderful success. :D And although art sales were down from last year (only three works sold), there is no replacement for the networking and relationships that were started and/or built upon.
John Picacio's DROOD
I rubbed elbows with some of the best writers and artists in publishing today. My co-panelist/art guest of honor was 2012's Hugo Award Winner/Best Professional Artist, John Picacio. How cool is that?!

The two panels we shared the table on were:

Breaking Into Art As A  Business       

What does it take to become a successful artist?  What do  publishing houses look for?  Do you need a degree?

Digital Art:  Past, Present, and Future       
From Andy Warhol's famous soup cans to the creation of  immersive virtual reality installations.  Where is digital art going next?

The best part? He is so down to earth! He's not one of these uppity, condescending, entitled personalities. It was so great sharing space with him and even better spending some time outside the panels during tear-down and sharing a table during the after-con gathering in the con-suite, with both John and his assistant Tara (please forgive me if I am misspelling it), for a quick bite to eat.

Oh ... and the coolest part? He knows my art-idol, Michael Whelan! I mean ... knows him personally! I have shared a professional panel with someone who knows Michael!!!

Those of you who have followed my blog for any length of time know my immediate drool factor when it comes to anything Michael had done or will ever do ... lol.

OK ... lol ... before I get too giddy and lose all professional composure ... lol ... I highly recommend you follow John Picacio's website & Twitter pages. :D

I mentioned I had three works sell in the art room. These are the three:

I can't wait until next year!

Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven


Friday, March 8, 2013

The Serapis Fractur by Mark Clay Grove

... the back cover blurb:

A collector awakens from cryogenic sleep in 2460 to find himself the elected leader of a galaxy-wide business conglomerate based on his strong sense of ethics and integrity – just as a time machine comes online. Because of his interest in history, art, and antiques, he uses the time machine to extract artifacts from inevitable destruction, including the lost contents of ancient libraries of Alexandria and Serapis. Once the extraction process is perfected, historical figures like Copernicus, Hypatia, Edison, Leonardo, and Pershing are extracted from the past to help colonize planets across the galaxy. All goes well until idealistic terrorists attack an orbital city and the collector is forced to revert briefly to his Marine Corps training. In order to defeat the threat, the use of overwhelming force is mustered.

Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven