Monday, January 9, 2012

The Juggler

Yep, that's me. I managed to get a lot done this weekend around the house, and I do mean a lot. Still, not as much as I wanted to otherwise. I decided I'm not writing another damn word of fiction until I get some art related projects done for some other folks. Weeknights tend to go poorly for me in that regard, but I'm going to give it a shot this week.

I did sit down this weekend and play some more with that 3D software I got a few months ago. That has a ridiculous learning curve, I clearly have no idea what I'm doing. However, I did do something book cover wise - er, for myself.

This is the version I've had around since August
My novelette, A Dead God's Wrath, was released last August and I've never been too thrilled with the cover I did for it. I had in mind do do several installments in the same universe, and wanted the covers to all be riffs on a theme. I haven't come up with a theme, per se, but I did think the cover didn't do me any favors. I mean, it isn't bad, it just doesn't make me shout from the rooftops.

So, I have decided that I need a new cover for myself. I do realize that a lot of other folks are waiting on me to do stuff for them, and I am on a short timeline, but this is sort of an exercise, getting out of writing mode and into artsy mode.

So, I came up with the image below and am thinking of putting it up as a replacement for the existing cover on the novelette.

I wouldn't get mad if I got some advice.

A super special edition collector's cover maybe?
The man on the cover is the 3D model I made. I think he's passable enough as real except for the way his arm bends as he holds the gun, that gives away the illusion some. If I work on it enough I'll get better. I actually blended the model with regular digital painting stuff. Doing that is a cheat, because rendering hats and clothes take time and skill that I don't have. So yes, I rendered a naked man, and painted clothes on him.

But, I think I can see the potential in doing stuff with the 3D software. Once rendered, they can look pretty cool.

Anyway, should I make the change? Or keep working on it? I am a bit worried that no one would have a clue about the Science fiction elements of the story based on this cover. It might give the wrong impression.



23 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I like the new cover! Then again, I really dig the old one. I think the shadowy figure works and the colors make it really stand out from other books. Either way, you do great work.
What program is kicking your butt right now?

Grumpy Bulldog, Secret Agent said...

I thought the old one was fine, but this one is good too. Obviously I'm not the person to ask on this topic.

Tonja said...

I haven't read the story...yet (I promise I will).

I like the old cover better - it's interesting - the guy looks like a strong person that's given up or come to a point of acceptance (guns pointed down). I like the yellow glow.

The new one seems really violent to me, but I'm the pacifist mommy type - I would not buy the book with that image if I didn't know you from here. If that's how the story is, then maybe the new one would work better and maybe it would draw in more men. Nice work on the images.

Stephen Tremp said...

Although I do like this one, I think the first cover is better. The new one is a bit too up close and personal. He's invading my space and starting to piss me off. But the old one is engaging and I want to know more about this shadowy man.

M.J. Fifield said...

I'm with Tonya and Stephen. I like the old cover better. I've always liked that cover. The silhouette makes him more mysterious.

Grumpy Bulldog, Secret Agent said...

Though I have to say from recent experience no one really knows what the hell they want, so just do what you want to do.

kimmullican.com said...

First, I am jealous. I'm just getting started with Photoshop and I think it's turning me into an alcoholic.

I like the old cover better, it has an element of mystery.

The new guy / cover just makes me want to look away...

Jay Noel said...

Whoa, that dude's face on your new cover looks mean. Great work!

But you know I'm a big fan of the original cover. It looks more like an epic story, compared with the new cover, which seems more horror.

Andrew Leon said...

I do like the new piece, but I think the other one works better as the cover. The colors are bolder and the silhouette makes a stronger statement. Yeah, I know, how can you have a stronger statement than a gun in your face? Maybe, that's just too Dirty Harry for me, and it really doesn't convey anything about you story to me. Except that it has guns. In your face. But it really doesn't.

Brinda said...

I like the original cover better. I think it's easier to immediately see the title and is more legible. I like the shadowed man (mysterious) better than the digitally painted one. The second one is nice; I just like the first one better. :)

Nancy said...

I'm jumping on the bandwagon. The old one, it allows you to picture the characters yourself. That new one isn't how I pictured the guy so it irritated me a little :). But I do like the yellow glow on the first one. You obviously put a lot of work into the new one and there are good things about it but I don't think you are going to get better than the first one.

M Pax said...

I love your original cover. The new one is amazing. Way beyond what I can do.

Your original cover always made me think of King's gunslinger series, which I think is a good thing. Maybe there's a way to combine them?

The Golden Eagle said...

I like the original cover better--though the new is striking as well!

Man O' Clay said...

Before I scrolled down to see the whole cover I was only seeing the gun, and my initial thought was Dirty Hairy, you know, Clint Eastwood. Good stuff.

Neil Vogler said...

Hello Rusty. I decided it was high time I came and followed your blog, as opposed to just lurking. This'll be a good forum to talk about Grumpy behind his back...

On the cover: love it, actually. Eye-catching. My only advice might be: would it work better with the hand and gun in sharp focus, and the man's features blurred?

Michael Offutt, Visitor from the Future said...

I like the original cover better. It's really good. I don't think you need to do another UNLESS, you're bored with it. If you're bored with it, then you must satisfy yourself.

Mark Noce said...

It's great that you're expanding your knowledge of other things by making these cover models, very cool:)

Matthew MacNish said...

The motion blur on the hand and gun look especially cool. The man's face looks a little too sharp too me, but I'm no expert, and it's just one opinion.

Briane P said...

I really loved your first cover, but the more I look at the second one, the more I like that better: It's got a sense of action and movement to it that the first cover lacks. But I like the color scheme of the first cover. Can you combine the two? And are you willing to take art advice from me, even though I wasn't able to "Draw Skippy" and never got into Art School?

David P. King said...

I'm torn. I like what you've done with the 3D model, but at the same time, I LOVE the simplicity of your original cover. The choice is obviously yours, but that's my three cents. :)

Jenna Blake Morris said...

I think the new cover looks good, but I like the original cover better -- the color, the man in shadow, his pose, it all grabs my attention. Still, I think either one would be fine.

Cindy said...

I also like the original cover better. It's more mysterious.

Danette said...

Hope your getting some time on your artwork. I could use a little writing time and once I have some other household issues straightened out, I think I will. Putting in my two cents, the first cover leaves the reader (or at least me) with questions which would lead to opening the page. Gives the words the boost they need. The second cover feels more like a picture that would come in later. But you have to be happy with it- no one knows that better than I do. If I do what everyone else thinks is great but I am still dissatisfied, then I am still dissatisfied. However! If I am prone to leaning toward what other people want me to do, then I usually conclude that I am still not sold enough on the one I was leaning toward and I rethink the whole thing. The whole deciding process is very complicated for me. I should probably not give you advice... :)