Although, well known as a Sc-Fi and Fantasy book illustrator, I've actually had some far-reaching subjects to tackle in my career as an illustrator. General Fiction, Historical Romance, Factual Books........... whatever came my way, basically.
To survive for any length as an illustrator in publishing, you obviously have to have good artistic skills, but you also need a good imagination and killer instincts !
You are only as good as your last job !
Publishers obviously want to make sales from their books. So it's up to you as an illustrator to maintain a high standard and a good knowledge of how book sales are generated.
The style on many of the books shown on this page, is a far cry from the style I used on Sci-Fi and Fantasy illustrations.
As an artist and illustrator, it's no use, staying static ! A lot of artists here in Cornwall, selling stuff through galleries to tourists are still painting the same style of pictures that I witnessed when I moved here 27 years ago. That's why I keep evolving and changing what I do. As I've said, lots of times, art and your career as an artist can't remain static ! You have to evolve, even if it upsets people that you've changed your style.
I used to like coming up with different ways of breaking up the image on the front, spine and back cover.
It gave a series an identity.
When I was a student, I had a cookbook called 101 ways with mince. When I lectured in illustration, I use to say to students, that this was how to approach book covers. You are always going to have a front cover, spine and back cover,
So think of different design methods to get around the physical nature of the book itself and embrace the challenge.
The Ice House was painted about the time I was doing my Garden Series.
There's certainly some varied stuff on this page !
Especially, the next one ! Ian Hughes the Art Director at Hodder and Staughton gave me this job. because he thought somebody who'd never painted airplanes before, would give it a totally different slant.
I really liked the challenge of doing new things. It certainly kept me alert !
Got me out of my comfort zone !
I quite miss illustration and the challenges it throws up.I don't miss the all-night painting sessions to meet deadlines though!
Mullion Cove. Cornwall.
Cornwall sometimes found its way into my illustration work.
In fact I managed to cheekily put Mullion Cove into a fantasy book cover
once. Nobody noticed !
So many novels, stories and films are centred in Cornwall. It's a beautiful, magical place. So varied, so changeable, weather-wise. idyllic, long Summer days..........wet Winters ! The sea looks different everyday. Sometimes calm, sometimes stormy. Often dramatic, especially in Winter. Always to be respected.
Often I put something on the spine. It gave the cover some extra interest.
I hope you enjoyed looking at this page. I'll try and add more soon.