Art, or not

Hmmm… Another swing and a miss in the art department. I’m trying to find an artist / illustrator willing to get paid to do cover art, to create a picture that looks more or less the way I want it, rather than the way they like drawing spaceships. I’m looking to commission a piece because none of the “stock art” I’ve looked though looks like what I want, or even close enough to say “good enough” if you squint just right in poor lighting.

I can’t pay a lot, but I can pay. So, anyone out there know any friends, nephews, nieces, cousins, coworkers, or something that has some bit of talent and wants to draw some spaceships colliding in space, at least one of which looks like the ones in the book (not just any old random spaceship)?

Thanks to Paul, I’ve even got some images of Taj, so I don’t just have to explain what she looks like, but can show the artist.It should be, or at least CAN be, a pretty simple, clean image. No people. Smaller spaceships colliding with and splattering on Tajemnica, another of the smaller ships being “grabbed” by the glowing drive field. Background planetary and moon stuff optional. Comments here or over in, where I also have some graphics posted now.


15 thoughts on “Art, or not

  1. If you don’t get any response, you might try putting an ad on craigslist. I think those types of things fall under the “gigs” category.

    • I looked through the Craig’s List section of “creative services.” That’s how I found the guy I had been talking to. Found a lot of stuff that wasn’t the style I was looking for. I’ll have to try the “gig” section. Thanks.

    • I’m cool with any medium or style that doesn’t look “cartoonish.” The ship AI has several CGI avatars, so I’m totally cool with the CGI look. His style looks reasonable. Thanks for the link.

  2. Did you look on Deviant Art?

    Not to depress you or anything, but science fiction landscape artists, which include spaceships, are few and out of those the ones that do commissions are fewer and of those the ones that are affordable further narrow the field. To make matters worse, some of them do not do graphic design, so they will produce the artwork but not the actual cover layout.

    However, if you’re willing to dig around Deviant Art you can find some outstanding things. For example, this entire galley devoted to sci-fi goodness:

    I’ve commissioned three covers thus far and will be doing a fourth next year. Let me know if you have any questions.

    • Yes, I spent hours digging around there. Didn’t find anything I wanted. Lots of cool stuff, but nothing that was anywhere near close enough. I’ve got someone that said he’ll do the cover layout / graphic design if I can find the art, so that’s fine, but good to know that for sure (I suspected as much). Who did you commission the cover from? I find it annoying that so many of the art things I see, particularly at DeviantArt, do not make it easy to contact them or discover their prices or if they are available. Also, you can’t comment if you are not registered (and I’m sick and tired of “registering” five times a day just to ask a single question).

      • 1)

        2) Doug Chiang (Mechanika)

        3) And there’s an app on Steam that was just released that has a great sales trailer that inclines me to believe that they’re into Sci-fi, or know someone with the ability to do something quickly. It’s called Digital Ink.

        I don’t know about commission or anything, I just know that the talent I’ve seen in these three might be worth checking out. Sparth in particular seems to have some incredible talent.

        • Doug has some great stuff, but his website was last updated in 2005, and says it’s minimum is netscape or IE 4.0. Hmmmm… Sent of an email to Sparth – some very nice looking art, there. Definitely the right genre and style.
          Finding talent is easy. Finding available talent at a price I can afford is another matter entirely. Thanks for the ideas.

  3. I’ve even got some images of Taj

    Have you posted the images to give an idea of the complexity involved? What style are you looking for : Vincent Di Fate, John Berkey, …?

    • It’s a really simple ship. for some “engineering drawings” that Paul made. I have some others that I can send – he’s even put together a simple animation of the ship. The interceptor style is pretty flexible, though, as is the background.
      Style, I’m thinking anything but cartoonish. CGI, impressionistic, pastels, pencil, paint, whatever medium the artist works best in. Got two hits so far from my “gig” advert, but they were both from guys that just did people, minimalist, sort of a gritty, almost manga-style illustrations, but not a single spaceship in either portfolio. Good stuff, just totally wrong genre.
      John Berkey style would be great – but likely out of my price range.

    • In this case, no. They are at realistic, not relativistic, velocities. The hull of Tajemnica is about a meter thick on average, mostly carbon-nano-tube composites, with some other layers as well. The ships she is colliding with just “turned around” after blowing past her, and are coming back at pretty reasonable velocities, likely less than 2km/s, and the other ships are relatively lightly built interceptors, not hardened penetrators. So, no flash-boom-plasma action, but pretty good splatter.

  4. You could try laura storm in Moscow. She’s a very talented illustrator. If Google doesn’t give you her contact info Canon press can put you in touch.

  5. I posted a link to your site on my facebook today and got a couple of nibbles.

    This one says she would charge about $300 for such a commission.

    This one was recommended by a writer who is working with him on a cover.

    This one was recommended by a mutual Facebook friend.

    I don’t know any of these people personally and all were recommended by friends or acquaintances I would rate as either very liberal or radical leftist. Caveat Emptor.

    • Thanks for the feedback. The link I got in reply to my Craig’s List ad; decent talent, but the style & genre are totally wrong. The CargoCollective has good covers, but again in a totally different style and genre, and I don’t have any photos of a fictitious starship to manipulate. The FaceBook pace says “currently unavailable” and asks me to sign up (NO, thanks just NO).

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