Please help me welcome cover artist Patricia Lazarus, my guest blogger at the back fence today. Pat has graciously agreed to spend a little time ACROSS THE BACK FENCE and I’m so excited about her visit. I’m in awe of her creative talent and the unique way she brings a book to life with her illustrations. When I saw her interpretation of ALL THAT MATTERS, I couldn’t have been more pleased. Her talents are many, the list of accomplishments long and varied, but hey, I’m gonna kick back and let her tell you in her own words. Did I mention she’s an awesome writer, too?
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. ~Pablo Picasso
I’ve always been an artist. From the time I was little, you wouldn’t find me very far from my box of crayons. I drew on everything I was allowed to, and a few things I wasn’t. I’ll never forget the way that my parents were totally not amused when I drew on our new TV screen during an episode of Kaptain Kangaroo’s picture pages. Even after that setback, I was hooked on making pictures of my own, although mostly for my own amusement, or as presents for my friends. When I started a family, all my artistic desires were put aside for diapers, spit up and marvelous snuggles. I went to work at our local school when my children were old enough to attend. I achieved a small amount of fame drawing pictures for my students at school, which satisfied the artist inside me for a while. I was an avid reader, like many of you, when my focus changed and I began to have aspirations as a writer. I joined a wonderful writer’s group, which was the springboard for my current career.
What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit. ~John Updike
I met Linda Kichline at an MMRWA meeting in the mid 1990’s, and immediately struck up a conversation. I found that she lived near me, and I began to critique with her. Later, I came to find out that she was one of my very favorite authors, Karen Rafferty. As Karen, she wrote dark paranormal romance. I loved that type of book, but couldn’t find many of them on the market. We often discussed that fact over the next few months. And I later found out, Linda was doing market research on several research sites, to see if there was a niche market for paranormals. She felt, due to this research that she could make a go at publishing. Over the course of our friendship, I had drawn several cartoons of her cats, which were a never-ending source of amusement for me, having none of my own. When she asked me if I’d like to try making book covers for her, I said, “Sure, why not? Sounds like fun.”
Art is the colors and textures of your imagination. ~Meghan, Los Cerros Middle School, 1999
Fun? I was flipping out inside. Fun was a weak, namby pamby word for what I was feeling. Oh My Lord! I was going to be famous! Pino, right? I was going to be the next Pino! No wait! Jon Paul! I was going to be right up there with the likes of Jon Paul! Those names may not mean anything to you, but they are some of the icons of romance artistry. I knew them, because I loved those covers that took you into the book even before you read the cover flap. I often would try to find the artists name, and wondered how they got the wonderful job of making art for my favorite stories. And now I was going to be one of them. So what if I was only ten years away from an AARP card. I was up and coming! I was going to be able to splash my colors and ideas all over the world!
All art requires courage. ~Anne Tucker
Then I’m thinking, oh, oh, wait a minute! I’m not an oil painter. I do soft pastels and colored pencil drawings. I explained to Linda that my art wasn’t going to look like those passionate clenches that dominated the book racks. Luckily, she didn’t want the “norm”. One of my friends calls me, “The Abnormal Artist”. My job for ImaJinn Publishing was tailor-made for my wild imagination. Since our first less than spectacular attempts, to the more professional covers we have today, it has been a learning process. I have enjoyed every minute of the ride.
A painting is what you make of it, besides which, 'Moon, Weeping' has a better ring to it than 'Paintbrush, Dripping.' ~Robert Brault
I have been so fortunate to have a venue for my art. Wonderful novels, full of fantasy and romance are my art gallery. Who couldn't make a wonderful piece of art for a book named Midnight Masquerade, A War of Hearts, or The Demon's Librarian. Now, for Tell-Tale Publishing, I have a new role. As Art Director, I have more autonomy for the covers I do, but I still have wonderful books as a frame for my art. My new favorite cover is, of course, All That Matters. How could you say no to the yummy mechanic on the cover? And once you buy it, you find that the book is as yummy as the cover model. A good cover and a good book. What could be better?
Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language. - Walt Disney