Is It Easy or a Struggle to Get These Moths to Take Flight on the Magazine Cover?

After the thumbnail sketch was approved, I had to make a final drawing of the magazine cover to be approved before I could move on to fleshing it out with color, shadow and light. Below is the final drawing I sent to the Metaphorosis editor. Did he have any changes? Was I able to capture the feel of the strange story with my strange illustration?

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The editor approved it, only saying that I needed to keep in mind the dimensions of the cover which were a little more narrower than my above drawing. That was easy to fix by cropping off the sides, since nothing of importance was at the edges. All of the essential visual information resided in the middle of my illustration.

So far, it has been easy to do this cover. Admittedly, I wasn’t sure how to portray the boy before I drew him in detail. Did I want to show him as a misfit? Did I want to show that he was angry with his mom? Could I visually bring out the brainy kid that his mother didn’t understand? In the end, I think I showed the curious and fearless kid that I could relate to in the story.

What’s next after the drawing is the color, shading and light. They will be the tougher challenge and may be an actual struggle. If you stay tuned, you may get to see me fall flat on my face in my execution. That is always my fear. It’s like I draw myself into a corner and then I have to color my way out of it. If we have any luck, I’ll be able to pull this out of me like a butterfly from a caterpillar (yes, that was a nod at the task I have ahead).

Which Thumbnail Sketch Will Become the Magazine Cover for Metaphorosis?

Before I even start the wheels turing and scribbling down some sketchy ideas for magazine covers, I get stories to read, so I can decide which one pricks my imagination the most to illustrate. This time for Metaphorosis, all 4 of the stories I read had powerful visuals for me. They were all equally compelling, none standing out from the other. What was I to do? I couldn’t choose one.

I made a thumbnail sketch for each story (as you can see above) and asked a friend which one he liked the most. He picked a couple, but I still wasn’t sure what to do. I decided to send all the sketches to the editor and see which ones he found the most compelling. Strangely, he also chose the same two that my friend chose as his favorites from the 4 sketches.

That gave me confirmation to choose one of the two sketches to make into the May 2019 Metaphorosis cover. They are the bottom two sketches of the spaceship and a boy surrounded by moths. Which one did I decide to create into the cover? Which one would you have chosen? I finally picked the boy with the moths.

Stay tuned during the next few weeks if you want to see the evolution of this cover. I’ll share my work in progress, so you can see if I was able to make this sketch into something worthy of awe and attention. It’s always unknown to me if it will be easy or a struggle.

2 Bits of Good Art News for Art From the Strange Land of Beelaungeen

Do you get into the rut of accentuating the negative instead of the positive? I do too. I think about what I lack. I think about what I want. I think that if only I had———you name it——-and it would make my life easier, happier, better in some way. You do that too? Well, today, I’m doing the opposite and letting you in on 2 bits of good news for Art From the Strange Land of Beelaungeen—-what I mean is good news about my art——and what I mean by art is the art I create for you who likes my strange artwork.

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  1. MY “MOONS, MAGIC AND NIGHT TIME GIRLS CARD SET” WILL BE SELLING AT RIVERSEA GALLERY: This Astoria, Oregon Coast gallery will soon sell my 5 cards at their gallery. They will be sold individually for $5.00 each. I showed the gallery owner the set and she said she’d love to sell them. This is the first time I’ll have any art or products in this gallery and the first time I’ll be sell my cards at a brick and mortar business, so it is exciting.

  2. I’LL BE ILLUSTRATING THE MAY ISSUE OF METAPHOROSIS, SPECULATIVE FICTION MAGAZINE: I’ve illustrated the cover 3 times before, but it’s always fun and always good news to be doing a cover for this magazine with sci-fi and fantasy short stories. I’ve been sent a few of the stories to be in the May issue, so I can decide what to create for the cover. I think it will be hard to decide because the stories are so strange and interesting, full of fantastical imagery. I’ll be sharing the process and my progress in the weeks to come.

Do you have any bits of good news to break through the negative? Do tell. I could use some good news from you.

Who Wants An Alien Girlfriend? (My February 2018 Cover for Metaphorosis Magazine)

Below is my work in progress for the February 2018 cover of Metaphorosis Magazine.  You can see the evolution from drawing to completed painting.  It was a quick turn around of when it was due.  I only had 1 week to finish it.  I wasn't sure if I'd make my deadline.  In the end, I turned it in a day early.

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It's a story about a guy from a small beach town who learns his girlfriend was an alien.  When I first heard this description, my mind filled with images of insect heads popping out of 1950's hourglass dresses.  But the girlfriend is far less obvious than that.  She's full of mysteries yet means our hero, the boyfriend, no harm.  In fact, she's quite benign.  You can read the whole story starting in February 2018 at Metaphorosis Magazine.

You Won't Guess What I Got to Do Again! (Ok, Maybe You Will)

Yep, it happened again.  I got the opportunity to do another cover for the sci-fi/fantasy magazine, "Metaphorosis".  To what do I owe the honor of getting this cover again? 

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Well, because I'm a fabulous illustrator, of course!  That and they needed someone who could create a cover in 1 week.  Yep.  This is a quick one.  It's a challenge for me to do one that quickly.  But I said yes.  Stay tuned for the work in progress.  And send me some good vibes for getting it done in time.

GOOD NEWS: MY FANTASY ART WILL GRACE THE COVER OF "METAPHOROSIS" MAGAZINE

I forgot that I sent my portfolio to a sci-fi/fantasy magazine called, "Metaphorosis" at the beginning of this year (2017).  The editor had liked my work and said they'd let me know when they could use my style. I thought that was nice, but really didn't think I'd hear back from them.  So it came as a surprise when he contacted me a couple months ago and asked me to create the cover for their December 2017 issue.

The first scribbly sketch to the editor of "Metaphorosis" magazine.

The first scribbly sketch to the editor of "Metaphorosis" magazine.

Of course, I'd like the opportunity to have my art on the cover of this fiction magazine.  They sent me 2 fairytale-like stories and asked me to sketch a scene from one of them that I wanted to create for the cover.  I read both of them and they were very romantic and very melancholy.  The main characters in both of the stories felt lonely, sad and wished for love.

The final sketch for the December 2017 cover of "Metaphorois" magazine.

The final sketch for the December 2017 cover of "Metaphorois" magazine.

I decided whatever I chose to create, it had to make you feel that loneliness and that longing for love.  I chose a scene where the young lovers must part and may not ever see each other again.  I thought making it dark and muted with only little parts glowing would make it feel magical and mysterious.

Work in progress photos of the cover painting.

Work in progress photos of the cover painting.

Honestly, I was scared I couldn't make it what it needed to be. I wasn't sure if I was good enough of an artist. I confided in a friend who has known me for a long time. After listening, he reminded me that I am always like this before I start a painting. I doubt myself. I think it's going badly and it's not going to turn out.  I laughed when he told me that.  It was true. I had forgotten that.  

Almost done work in progress photo of the painting.

Almost done work in progress photo of the painting.

He also reminded me that even if it seemed like my painting wasn't working out and he didn't understand what I was trying to create, it always turned out beautifully.  He had faith in me.  That gave me the courage to continue and to finish it.

The final painting for the cover of "Metaphorosis" magazine December 2017 issue.

The final painting for the cover of "Metaphorosis" magazine December 2017 issue.

As you can see, it turned out quite lovely. I surprised myself. The editor said he liked it a lot and so did my friends and fellow artists. That made me feel good.  I was so happy I came through, not just for the magazine, but also, for myself.