Artfully Put: Observations and a Call Out for Artists
It’s Friday afternoon right before we leap into the Memorial Day Weekend. Hopefully, you have big plans, schemes, games, and dreams. Who knows? Maybe’ll you fulfill some of them. Me? I’m looking at pretty pictures and may well be doing this throughout the weekend. Though, as you know, I am oft quoted as saying CONTENT IS KING[1. Something I most definitely believe.] Art is essential and has its place within a work. Art gives us an easy way to communicate beyond words. Why on earth do you think books have covers with art? I don’t know exactly when this began, but I bet the first book to slap a picture on the cover did surprisingly well. Some books, when they reach the status of classic are often sold without art at all. Think of your Prides & Prejudices and Wuthering Heights. Can you imagine them with art? No, not really right. They are CLASSIC. They don’t need art.
Yesterday, my daughter and I were waiting on her computer (see yesterday’s post for some of the details), and we wandered over to the bookstore. We generally wander about in Zen fashion. She wanted to see what was new in teen fiction and I, of course, accompanied here. As a write, I like to get a pulse for what’s going on. Weirdly, we go to the bookstore a lot less as we both have electronic gizmos upon which we generally consume our fiction nowadays. Me? I’ve migrated over completely to the iPad2 at this point, while she’s largely inherited the NookColor (though we both kid ourselves in thinking she’s just borrowed it). I like it for the convenience of reading–as does she–but she always likes to be able to get a book at two in the morning if she wants to[2. This I find an interesting shift in the consumerism model I was brought up with (stores have set hours, you must wait, etctera. I’m sure there’s a topic there for expansion as well.].
You probably wonder where I’m going with all this. Well, we saw some of the current books on the bestseller list, such as The Hunger Games [3. Which I wrapped up just a wee bit before her. She is closing in on it if not done at this point.], and saw last year’s fair-haired children (such as the Twilight books). I was studying the graphics and illustrations on the cover, as much as anything. There has been a stylistic shift to what’s being presented graphically to the newer generation as opposed to the rest of us. My daughter and I noticed this about the same time. She pointed out that the two CLASSIC books I listed, among others, were done with a more modern flair to better blend in and appeal to the modern reader. She noted, more interestingly, how they were modeled very much in the fashion of the Twilight books. I can only imagine the young lass who unsuspectingly grabs one of these books, hoping for exciting tales of supernatural romance, is going to be gravely disappointed. I hope they read the back cover or inside cover flap (as my daughter diligently does). Like me, she’s a hard sell.
I snapped some cover images of books I’d like to get electronically. It’s strange. I’ve spent years reading books and have long loved physical books. And still do in some instances. Since I got the brilliant leather case for my iPad2, every book feels like a fantastic hardback. The fact I can modify the font size and the paper and the color appeals to my design aesthetic as well.
That being said, I’m mulling over a modern approach to art, at least as covers go. I imagine my traditionalist nature will win out in many instances, but I think we may try some experimental ventures with other things in the not-to-distant future.
Until next time, I bid you, dear reader, adieu!
P.S. We’re doing a call out for artists at the moment. Shoot an email my way (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the subject header of RPG Art Callout (RWR) and you may well hear from us! We’ve already been getting a lot of response from folks, so hurry before my inbox is flooded.
P.P.S. Don’t send portfolios/images unless requested. Send a link to a site feature samples of your stuff.