Friday, March 4, 2011

Artwork for the Book

Since yesterday's post gave a spoiler about the great dragon being dead, here is artwork I commissioned from Shane Tyree that depicts the dead dragon in a scene from the book. The group reaches a point in the mountain caverns where they believe they should be hearing, smelling, and seeing signs of the dragon, but there is only silence. The elf Alvanaria silently creeps into the pitch black lair, and the man who has begun to fall in love with her, Lord Midas, blindly follows her. When Alvanaria realizes the dragon is dead, she lights a torch, nearly frightening poor Midas to death.
The painting would work fine as interior artwork for the book, but it isn't suitable for the cover, both because the layout doesn't work for cover sizes and also because the art gives away a plot point.

Have you ever or do you think you might ever commission art for your book?

15 comments:

  1. I love this piece. It's very atmospheric, and I have to say, the detail when you zoom in is fantastic! It's the sort of art I would publish and rave about on my Friday Pic of the Week...lol...
    I'm fairly talented with the old pencil and have considered art for my work. I know I'm capable of it, and I've already designed one cover for an ebook - but what the publisher wants and what I can do is another thing...

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  2. DRC, I even tried contacting famous artists like John Howe, but he wanted (and deserves) far more than I can possibly afford. My dream artist for my books is Alan Lee.

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  3. I have, and I do have an artist who's work I love, I just can't afford the $8K he charges for his art. Therefore, I've found other capable and reasonably priced artist.

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  4. I have to confess, I didn't recognise their names, but now I've looked them up, I hold my head in shame. I am familiar with their work - and not just the pieces from Lord of the Rings...They would do any book justice, and I'm not surprised they wanted alot.

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  5. LM, John Howe asked a minimum of $10k for a very small piece and I would only get a digital copy. For extra rights it would be more.

    I keep trying to find local artists in the places I visit, but no luck so far. Maybe when I move to Hungary...

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  6. i think that exploring around deviantart.com could put you in contact with some amazing artists who would charge much less... just a thought.
    but that picture!!!! AWESOME!!!! i didn't read yesterday's post, because i HATE spoilers SO MUCH!!! and when you get published i want to read your story without spoilers! :) but i couldn't resist looking at the gorgeous art!

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  7. Victoria, I have looked at a lot of sites and artists, including deviantart. The problem is that my vision for what I want is quite specific -- I want an artist who can successfully mimic the style of Alan Lee. I haven't seen many artists whose styles give me hope they can do this. The one I know can do it -- the art for McKiernan's Silver Call duology was done by him -- sadly passed away.

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  8. I know a guy back in Minneapolis who is an incredible artist, and I've been trying to talk him into doing some chapter heading sketches, but I don't have any money for him, yet. I suppose I can't blame him.

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  9. Ref: ...do you think you might ever commission art for your book?

    Only if I intended to self-publish.

    Unless it's a graphic novel, where the book has illustrations on every page, it's unlikely a publisher will accept both the art and the novel.

    The exception might be in YA, but again, that's iffy.

    It is a very nice piece of art though.

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  10. I used to dream of having Michael Whelan.

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  11. I like it. You could zoom in on the character with the torch, up close it would be hard to tell what was all around her.

    What are the rights of the artist when you commission work like this? Are they entitled to a percentage of the profits or does it fall under fair use?

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  12. Budd, the rights depend and you need to negotiate them up front. Shane worked for a very reasonable price and was generous with the rights. I have free use of the work as long as I always acknowledge the artist. While I believe I can use it in published work, I would double-check with my agent to be certain.

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