Tag Archives: art

Wanted: Artist for B is for Broken

There’s probably a much better way of doing this, but I don’t know, because I’ve never done it before :-p

I need art for B is for Broken.

Usually when I need art for a project I either buy it from a stock photography website, shoot a message to one of my artist friends or I surf art websites until I find a style I like then contact the artist to ask about commissions. None of those strategies will work in this case. They won’t work because I have no freaking idea what to put on the cover (or in the interior) of B is for Broken. I’ve had a few ideas, broken glass, broken dolls, broken dolls as seen through broken glass that sort of thing, but nothing has solidified in my mind as being precisely what I’m looking for.

If you’re an artist, that’s where you come in.

I’m looking for proposals for the artwork for B is for Broken. If you’re interested in the job, I need to know four things:

  1. If I were to hire you what would you do for the cover?
  2. What about the interior art?
  3. How much would you charge for that?
  4. How long would it take you to produce?

Also? If you send me a proposal please include a link to your online portfolio or somewhere I can see samples of your work.

Things You Need To Know:

  • The cover for B is for Broken will follow a similar design as A is for Apocalypse, meaning it will have an overlay with all the contributor’s names and the letter will be added in much the same way as was done on A is for Apocalypse (though we can obviously make it darker rather than lighter if we need).
  • The art will be edge to edge as in A is for Apocalypse (not put in a frame or anything like that), so there needs to be a suitable location for the title to be placed.
  • Cover art is full-color
  • Interior art is black and white, and will be placed inside letters to create title images for each story (examples below) so it needs to be readable even when cropped into odd shapes.
  • I would like for the color scheme for the cover art to be different than what we used for A is for Apocalypse.
  • My email address is rhonda@jofigure.com and I’ll be accepting proposals until September 30th.
    • Please use a subject line that clearly identifies why you are contacting me or your letter could get lost in my jungle-like inbox.
  • I don’t need exclusive access to your art, you’ll be welcome to sell it elsewhere also.
  • Just because we used a digitally altered photograph for A doesn’t mean that’s the only medium I’ll consider for B. In fact, I’m pretty sure that C’s cover art is going to be a scanned multi-media mosaic so don’t feel limited.

If you have any questions or concerns please let me know and I’ll address them as best I can.



ETA: I was asked about file size and resolution. Our final cover needs to be 6″ x 9″ at 300 DPI.

About My Cover

This is me and my beautiful daughter, Danica:

Rhonda and Danica ParrishPhotograph by Cindy Gannon

And this is the cover for my latest title, Waste Not (And Other Funny Zombie Stories):

Waste Not (And Other Funny Zombie Stories)

It’s not exactly a typical zombie cover, is it? You can’t even tell if there are any zombies on it. Well, since the stories inside aren’t of the scary/gorey type of zombie tales I didn’t want the cover to be like that either. Also, it just so happens that Danica is an artist. A pretty talented artist (even if I am biased to think so :-p):

One day, on Facebook I logged in and saw this:

Mom, Please Buy Me -- art by Danica Parrish

In case you can’t read that it says, “Plz buy me this program Mom”. She’d found a drawing program that was compatible with her tablet and she wanted me to buy it for her. Now, Danica doesn’t lack for anything she needs but we do try not to just hand her everything she wants, so I told her that if she drew art work for the cover for Waste Not (And Other Funny Zombie Stories) I would pay her the exact amount of money she needed to buy that program.

I asked her for a cover with a cat, a scarecrow and a yellow brick road.

After several different mock-ups, including this one when I asked her to make something “a bit more cartoony” (my daughter is nothing if not a smart ass):

by Danica Parrish

We ended up with this as the final product:

Cover art for Waste Not (And Other Funny Zombie Stories) by Danica Parrish

I passed that on to Jo (my husband) and he played around with it, eventually turning it into the final cover for Waste Not that you see up top there.

Even though we didn’t go with the full colour version in the end, I did want to be sure and show it off because I think it’s wonderful, especially the glow from the Emerald City you can see on the horizon ๐Ÿ™‚

The cover then was an undertaking for the whole family, which makes it pretty damn special to me, and probably pretty unique in the zombie fiction world in more ways than one LOL Not many families can say they’ve created a zombie book together, I wouldn’t think ๐Ÿ˜‰

Don’t Piss On Someone’s Art

See this little guy? It might be difficult to tell because of all the snow, but this is a statue of a beaver. He’s sitting on a bench and holding a hockey stick (he used to have a mug in his other hand but it vanished about a year ago). This little dude lives just down the street from me and I have very warm feelings toward him. I pat him on the nose every time I walk by and I smile at the sound that resonates through his hollow body.

What you can’t see in this image is that people have obviously been letting their dogs pee on his bench. The snow beside him is yellow and gross and makes me sad.

Don’t pee on other people’s art.

You shouldn’t do it, you shouldn’t let your dog do it.

I mean that literally as well as figuratively.

Even if it’s something you don’t personally feel connected to, something that doesn’t move you at all, you still shouldn’t piss on it. Someone put thought, energy and emotion into it. It may not matter to you, but it matters to them.

I had a rule, back when Niteblade used to do book reviews and that rule was ‘If you can’t find anything to like in a story, don’t review it’. Bad reviews are okay but tearing someone’s work to pieces just because you can is not. That’s pretty simple, pretty black and white. Sadly, there are so many different shades of grey involved as well.

For example, how many times have we all seen someone post something on social media (or elsewhere) that they think is amazing, that they have spent time and energy creating and the first comment is ‘Lawlz, you have too much time on your hands’. How dismissive. How rude. How painful.

How easy to do.

It’s ironic, perhaps, that I’d been planning to make this blog entry for a couple weeks now but hadn’t gotten around to it and then today I pissed on someone’s art.

I didn’t really mean to. It was an unthinking thing.

A friend on social media put out a call for people to ‘Like’ one of their friend’s photographs so they could win a contest of some sort. I ‘liked’ the photo and then commented on my friend’s wall about the three things I really liked about the picture and… the one I didn’t. The person in the photograph saw my comment and was hurt by it. She is not (as far as I know) a professional artist, not a pro photographer or model used to having her work critiqued. She is just a lady who modeled for a photograph (she may also have taken it, I’m not sure) and who missed the positives I said about the picture and focused on the negative.

It’s understandable. There is no reason she should have built up a thick skin to these sorts of things. She probably only expected friends and family to see the picture and find all the good in it and it was a photograph to which she had a strong emotional connection to.


I feel bad. I should know better. I really should. I considered before I made my comment whether I ought to share my opinion and decided to because I thought ‘It’s an entry in a contest in a public arena. Surely that means it’s okay for me to share my thoughts, especially since they are mostly positive’ but you know what? Not so much. I assumed a lot by deciding to post what I did, and that’s not fair. I pissed all over that lady’s art.

NAME REDACTED, if you happen to see this, I am sorry. It really is a beautiful photograph and beyond that I ought to have kept my opinion about it to myself.

It’s a tricky thing, I think, to find the balance between discussing art and pissing on it. I’m obviously still working on getting it right.

What about you? Do you have any sort of rules or tools you use to gauge when it’s better to hold your tongue?

(Photograph courtesy ofย  Amanda Cornell)

ETA: I took the name of the person off my blog in response to her request in my comments.


About Art

I bet you’ve seen these pictures already:

A combination of three documents provided by the Centre de Estudios Borjanos on August 22, 2012 shows the original version of the painting Ecce Homo (L) by 19th-century painter Elias Garcia Martinez, the deteriorated version (C) and the restored version by an elderly woman in Spain. AFP PHOTO/ CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS BORJANOS
A combination of three documents provided by the Centre de Estudios Borjanos on August 22, 2012 shows the original version of the painting Ecce Homo (L) by 19th-century painter Elias Garcia Martinez, the deteriorated version (C) and the restored version by an elderly woman in Spain. AFP PHOTO/ CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS BORJANOS
(Text and image from The Toronto Sun)

In case you hadn’t seen them before, this is a painting of Jesus that is over a century old. It became water damaged and some lady decided to restore it. The result of her efforts can be seen in that last picture there — it’s ruined. I’m sure that the woman who wanted to restore the painting had good intentions, that is evidenced by the fact she turned herself in once she realised (far, far too late) that she wasn’t making the painting better, but the fact is it’s ruined.

This painting was created 102 years ago by a man named Elias Garcia Martinez. It is his art. His creation. And now it’s been destroyed. I find that incredibly sad. The lady who attempted to restore Ecce Homo wasn’t working on a reproduction or a copy but on the original painting. The original painting. And it is very likely damaged beyond recovery.

If someone did that to my art, no matter how wonderful their intentions might be, I would be devastated.

T4T: Two Book Covers… Almost

These pictures are going to be book covers when they grow up ๐Ÿ™‚ Click them to see the full image, WordPress crops the thumbnails.

I’ve decided to put a few of my previously published works up on Kindle. Sister Margaret and Shades of Green seemed like the ideal stories to start with, so I commissioned some cover art from Marge Simon.

I can’t share actual cover design yet because Jo is usually my cover design guy and right now he’s up to his eyeballs in getting the June issue of Niteblade ready, so I’m practicing being patient. I will ask him to textify these for me in the not too distant future, though. I guess that means I better get back to trying to learn how to format books for Kindle ๐Ÿ˜‰