No Man’s Land: Sketches and Cover

I may be bouncing up and down slightly, and grinning like a daft thing. The absolutely amazing and ridiculously talented Karin Lanven has been coming up with concept sketches for the cover of No Man’s Land, and….

Sketches for Ghost

The above is some concept sketches for Ghost – I’m thinking that Karin’s style for this reminds me of Chris Riddell, and I love it! And below, she’s also been doing some roughs for cover layouts…

No Man's Land cover layout sketch

It’s all a work in progress, but I am ridiculously excited!

Pretty Things and Art

I realised that I didn’t put anything on here about my haul from Oxcon last month! I got some really nice artwork, along with dropping by to see my friend at CosmicMind Comics (and getting to squee over Yuri and Star Trek guinea pig postcards with fans).

The Con itself was small but really good; I spent half a day there and that felt about right. There were quite a few cosplayers and props, but otherwise it was mostly artists, and I met a whole load of cool people as well as picking up some amazing art!

So, my haul: two wonderful sets of Tsukumogami from Dread Levi, who also does a comic strip. These are all postcard sizes, and I’m really looking forward to being able to hang them down a wall! An awesome No-Face by Mr Echo Angel which is currently standing on my side table, along with Tonari No Totoro from VictorsBeard (via Redbubble rather than OxCon) and a beautiful fox from Mike Medagila.

And the earrings were a present for me – I love them! Unfortunately I can’t remember who the seller was (and there’s no markings on the packaging) but they had a lot of cool earrings and jewelry.

Brambledown Designs logo

I’m also saving my pennies to get something from BrambleDown Designs – they just do the most beautiful artwork! I love the kingfisher,  but they also do a whole bunch of geeky art – I p-p-picked up a Porg card that’s gone to a Star Wars fan. I also really want something from The Art of Elm, and I’m keeping an eye on Lissy Raine – she does commissions, so…. *plots*

So, that’s my recent art haul!

Interview with Sophie E Tallis

Sophie E Tallis profile picDid you know that the lovely Sophie E Tallis is an artist as well as a writer? She’s been posting some gorgeous illustrations from one of her ongoing projects, and she kindly agreed to answer some questions – and show off her artwork!

What are you currently working on? A range of illustrations for other authors and publishers and my first picture book –  ‘The Little Girl Who Lost Her Smile’, which I wrote during my illness two years ago. Wow – I had NO idea just how much work goes into a standard industry 32-page format picture book! I have drawn all 24 full page illustrations now and am slowly inking them up and starting to watercolour them…a LOT of work!

Sophie-drawing-1What’s your favourite style? In truth, any. I admit I am very lucky in that I have a natural talent for drawing and can adapt to any style the client wants. The one thing I cannot do is digital art, I’m useless on computers, so I stick to traditional art techniques.

What was your first piece or your favourite piece that you’ve done? A huge and unfinished 9ft by 6ft epic oil canvas I did during my fine art degree…I was offered £500 for it when it was still only half finished…it’s possibly the best thing I’ve ever done.

What mediums do you work in? Oil, acrylic, gouache, watercolour, pen & ink, pencil/graphite, charcoal, oil & chalk pastels, clay, plaster, printmaking media (acid etching, lithograph & screen printing), photography.

Map of SeraphinaWhere do you work? What’s your set-up? I used to have a studio years ago in Stroud which was great for large canvases and getting suitably messy, but nowadays just try to set a side a studio room wherever I live – I use a lot of white spirit and linseed oil mixes in my large paintings and they’re all highly flammable, so you need to ensure you have the floor covered first. If that shit seeps into the floorboards then you’ve living in a time bomb!

Do you work to music? If so, what? Yes, Radiohead, Muse, anything angst-ish!

Favourite artists-block device; when you’re stuck in a hole, what gets you out? Move onto another piece and come back to it later.

What gives you inspiration? Nature and my favourite artists, Caravaggio, Leonardo Da Vinci, Artemisia Gentileschi, Turner, Picasso during his ‘blue period’, Manet, Francis Bacon and Christian Hook.

Who’s the person whose drawing style you’d most like to steal? I’d LOVE to be able to paint as well as my favourite artist Caravaggio (Michaelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio).

Sophie-drawing-2And finally, some questions that aren’t about art! What’s your current day job? I work in a library as a lowly library assistant, a wonderful job that I absolutely love and a world away from the high responsibility, high stress job I used to do as a full time teacher.

What did you want to be when you were little? A writer and artist…oh, and an astronaut, 2 out of 3 isn’t bad!

What do you want to be when you grow up? Lol, well I never want to grow up and at my age, I think I would’ve done it by now. I just always wanted to be a writer and artist and that’s what I’m doing now, so I’m as happy as an ice-cream fanatic swimming in a vat of Häagen-Dazs!

Thank you, Sophie! You can find more of Sophie’s work on her Facebook page, follow her on Twitter, or have a check on her blog for the latest news!

Interview with Evelinn Enoksen

The wonderful Evelinn Enoksen is an artist who lives in Norway and works internationally. I know her through Grimbold Books – she has done some amazing covers, including the beautiful one for Spark & Carousel, and she kindly agreed to answer some questions for me. So, over to Evelinn…

Hello. Thank you for having me on your blog. Yay, I get to talk about artsy stuff.

Spark & Carousel
Spark & Carousel by Joanne Hall

At the moment, I’m working on several book covers as well as illustrations for my own books. I think I like acrylic paint more than anything else, mostly because I can fix mistakes 😉 Pencil drawings are fun too, and water colours, but I stay away from oils, don’t have the patience for it. However, I can happily draw every single scale on a huge dragon, totally not a problem…Fantasy and sci-fi are my favourite genres, but anything space related can be tricky to paint, so I tend to use Photoshop for those.

I knew from an early age that I wanted to create stuff, be it through writing, painting or music, (unfortunately, music was not a talent I harboured, not as a child, and definitely not now.) Painting and writing have been large parts of my life, and I also had writers and artists in my family to nurture and scrutinize my talents. I remember my grandmother (also an artist) asking; “Why dragons and monsters?” I don’t know what I answered, but if she were alive today, I would say “Because I’ve never seen dragons and monsters.”

The Unfortunate Fisherman
The Unfortunate Fisherman

My idea of what good art is changes almost daily, maybe it has something to do with my mood. I think the same applies to my creative process. Some days, words bend to my will and fill the pages in a blur, or the brush strokes flow neatly across the canvas. Other days, everything is like climbing a mountain. Listening to music helps. Right now, I’m listening to Muse, but perhaps I’ll find an obscure Danish opera tomorrow, you never know…When I get a chance to be creative, the living room is where the magic happens, preferably after everyone is asleep. I’m an owl, if I could stay up all night and live in a tree, I would 😉

Burning Sky
Burning Sky

There are many artists I admire for their awesome skills, and I don’t think I like them for their styles, because they’re all so very different. Most are not famous, and you’d probably not have heard of them, unless you were browsing Deviant-art’s fantasy and archives on a regular basis. Looking at art helps inspire me to challenge myself. As long as I practice, I’ll always be better tomorrow than I was yesterday. Now, inspirational quotes are not really my thing, but I have a motto, and that’s: “If you’re gonna do a thing, do it well.”

Thank you, Evelinn! You can find more of Evelinn’s work at her blog on Siamone at DeviantArt, or keep an eye out for more of her covers on new Grimbold Books releases…