Monday, March 28, 2011

Artistic Babble

Whether you're a new follower or have been here since day one, you have to know I am a very creative person simply because I am an author. But my creativity doesn't not stop at writing. I have discussed some of my other talents in a previous post, so I won't rehash it here. But today I wanted totalk about art.

It was 1999 and Peoria, IL had just been buried in a snow storm. I worked as a security guard during a strike, paid partly by the union and partly by the factory to keep the peace during a strike. I was sitting in my car a day or two after the storm, looking at nothing since the strikers hadn't come back and the factory was closed due to the weather. Who was I to argue if they wanted to pay me to sit and read in an empty parking lot? As I stared at a building buried in snow, I noticed the play of light and shadow and something in my head sort of clicked. I'd always loved to draw, but it was the first time my finished project didn't need an explanation. I drew the building and the snow and when I showed it to my releif he recognized it as the building. Sadly I no longer have the picture, just the story, and a new love of drawing.

My talent grew over the years. I watched a lot of "The Joy of Painting" with Bob Ross and learned to paint. Then with some books and an art class in college I learned to draw. That's when things really started to pick up for me. I learned about different mediums and styles. I experimented with color and perspective. I began to actually think of myself as an artist, and other people were agreeing with me. I was able to give art as gifts and people proudly put it on there wall.

When a friend discovered I struggled drawing people, she made me draw her repeatedly until i was able to accurately recreate her face. It only took me three nights before I had an image that was easily recognizable. I still think her ear is amazingly detailed. I still struggle drawing people, but I know if I work at it long enough, I will get it eventually.

There are many more examples that I won't weigh down this blog with, but if you want to check them out, I have a DeviantArt.

So when I discovered Photoshop, it came as no surprise that I loved it's potential, but I struggled with it. I excelled with tutorials, and could take the ideas and run with them. But I'm the kind of person who if you don't tell me something, I may never figure it out. And so after a few initial projects, I wandered away from computer graphics and went back to more traditional art.

A few years ago I decided to go to school to be a graphic design artist. I couldn't get enough grants and loans so I wound up going to cosmetology school instead, but the prep work I did got me interested in Photoshop again. I started to look things up, read tutorials and created some simple projects, slowly getting more and more complex. But I still wasn't doing anything big.

Then I started Natural Selection. It is probably the first novel I've written with the intent of seeing it published. Always before I just wanted to tell a story. I had a mental image of what I wanted for my cover, but the cheapest artist who could handle it was expensive. So I decided to try it myself and you can see the result in my side bar.

But that's not where it ends. A couple of the HPers liked my cover and when it came time for their covers to be designed they asked my help which I gladly gave. I will have links and blurbs at the end. This got me thinking about all the other authors that would like help. I don't feel right asking for money for what I do because I don't feel like a professional, but I want to help other writers with the same dilemma. So after much deliberation, I decided to offer to help fellow writers when I can, and added a Paypal donation link. And that's what it is, as in optional. If you would like my help, feel free to message me on Facebook or Twitter and we can see what we can do. And if you like what I come up with, pay what you can, if you can. I'm not soliciting or begging for money here, just want help other writers. Us self-publishers got to stick together.

The Sight by MD Christe
When Ella St.John Heads home from her shift at the Pink Java Cafe, she hardly expects to be attacked. Much less by the same creature responsible for her parents mysterious disappearance seven years earlier. This is Ella's first encounter with a dark creature of Murumendi; but it certainly won't be her last. Within moments Ella's life as she knows it is ripped away, forcing her to discover who and what she really is. Will she be able to handle the truth....

Legion of Bats by Michelle Ferguson
Forced to grow up in the normal world, Zoe Masterson doesn’t realize how special she is. After being taken into custody for arson and murder she discovers her life is deeply twined with a world she never knew existed.

Zoe will discover she’s adopted, psychokinetic, a Princess, part of a gifted race of people called The Endowed, and has been heavily guarded since birth.  She will fight for her life when she falls in love with her Guardian Icarus.

Filled with anger and vengeance the King, who ordered her parents death, will place a death order upon Zoe and Icarus to prevent interbreeding of races. Zoe responds by pulling off the ultimate coup d'├ętat on a corrupted system.


  1. I can't wait to see The Legion of Bats cover. I really think that you have a gift for making book covers!

  2. That's Awsome!!! The book covers look great.

  3. Love it...and I agree you do some awesome covers! Can't wait to see what else is in store!!! :) Not to mention you also design jewelry, can't wait for that either ;) You're so talented!!

  4. That is awesome, Elizabeth! I am always jealous of people who are artist in this way. :-)

  5. Elizabeth is an amazingly talented artist! She is also a great listener she gave me everything I wanted for my cover and more! She was receptive to my suggestions and the way I wanted things changed. I have gotten nothing but compliments on my cover and really, it says so much about my book! I had the cover custom printed and framed. I'm proud to hang it on my wall!! Thank you Elizabeth <3

  6. I love the black and white w/ trees--is that watercolor? Also, Bob Ross :) My mom always used to make me watch him while she painted his happy trees :)

  7. Thank you for all the wonderful comliments, everyone. @Keyboardhussy, no it's acrylic. I always loved his "Happy Little Accidents. :D