This is the first post on the Dark Tidings Press blog. I can't guarantee how frequently I will be posting, as I am working on multiple projects, and some other business related activities that I can't announce yet. Just know that I will try and post once a week or so!
Recently, I decided to put out a call for some artists in my college network to see about getting some concept art done for the Gods and Men Cycle. This got me thinking about the importance of artwork for me as a writer, and as a reader. I have always thought artwork for my world was important, which is why my covers are scenes from the book, rather than stock photos or graphics, and why there is an art tab on the website showcasing all of the wonderful artwork that I have commissioned over the years.
Historically, fantasy artwork has been a staple of the genre, from the often lurid covers of old pulps and paperbacks, to the illustrations accompanying Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manuals. Growing up I always fell in love these pieces of art. They took me into the world in a different way than the written word did. Not that one was better or worse, just different. Often times I would refer back to the cover of a fantasy book as I was reading, to try and add context to the image on the cover, or to help the image I had formed in my own mind. When reading a book that doesn't have illustrations I usually go to the web and search for art, official or fan made to add to the image in my head. When I get get really lucky I find an official art book or world book that I can purchase a hardcover of and put it on the shelf alongside the novels in the series. I mean, what fan of Conan doesn't like to flip through nice prints of Frazetta's take on the character?
There are of issues with this, of course. Unless the author and the illustrator are the same person, the artwork is just an interpretation of the world. This is how we end up with covers where the protagonist has the wrong hair color, or a scene from the book plays out the complete opposite of how it does inside the pages of the work.