Monday, January 15, 2018

Book covers As Art Galleries

Since I'm uploading art on this blog and will upload to my DeviantArt account later this week, I wanted to talk about how book cover art has influenced and continues to influence me to this day.

I don't wish to get into a long discussion but I will split these blog posts into a mini-series by focusing simply on ONE particular science fiction series.

'The Rowan' Anne McCaffrey (pb)
During my community college days, I 'discovered' this paperback in the college bookstore.

These were the days before college/university bookstores were still owned by their schools.

Done by the artist known simply as Romas, his full name is Romas Brandt Kukalis, he has done mostly front covers mostly in the speculative fiction field. As a very young art major, book covers became my art galleries and I not only devoured the stories but also 'ingested' the covers!

Here, what I can only assume are the hardcovers:
(Hardcover version)
(Hardcover version 2)
Dynamic, huh? Still a fan of these covers. The heroine's/shero's strength of character, her superiority/insecurity complexes, the distinction of her authority, the outfit and fashion of her time period, and her potent psychic abilities seemed to radiate from the paper.
Now, why do I speak on this?
 Well... Most of my reading material have become 'classics' and therefore, in need of updating. While I can't complain that books need re-editions and updating like everything else, I'm a little troubled by a lot of contemporary cover art. Back then, different genres had different 'looks', different aesthetics. And while things weren't perfect, and plenty of speculative fictional books were given a bad rap in poor-looking artwork, book covers that didn't tell a story, there were still gems and once you looked at enough bookshelves, you began to tell, even if the book was stuck on the wrong shelf, this was a romance, this was horror, this was a thriller, this was comedy, this was memoir, fantasy, suspense, etc. Nowadays, it seems book cover art is suffering from sameness.

(Updated cover for 'The Rowan')
Take a look at the updated cover art for The Rowan now:
Nice cover. Nice art. Sigh. But I don't feel anything, and if I didn't recognize my late favorite author's name, this would be the cover to any other genre. As an emerging author who may have books published one day, I feel kind of sad that my cover won't be distinct and unique from others. Because, as a new name, I will already have obstacles to get my titles out there, and as a lifetime reader and lover of books, a bland front cover will prove to be another obstacle.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Inktober 2017 - Part 2

Inktober 10/2017

Inktober 10/2017

Inktober 10/2017

Inktober 2017 - Part 1

Doing something different. Will post more than one item per post so my dear readers and visitors can get more bang for their buck!

Note: My years of artwork can be seen on DeviantART. However, since I haven't uploaded these Inktober 2017 pieces yet, they made their debuts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! But you, my readers, can enjoy them here!

Inktober 10/2017
Inktober 10/2017
And as always, leave comments and I'll be sure to respond!*

*Be kind and be professional

I Didn't Forget!

Still owe my viewers my Inktober 2017 submissions! Especially on my DeviantART profile... Well, before I upload my artwork, I'm going to touch on a few recent things:

I am re-working an old idea. A science fiction series from my childhood. The journal designated for this story is halfway done.

I'm also bringing up that I noticed one of my posts about  multicultural elements in one's writing is popular and keeps popping up on the blog's sidelines.

A notable reaction when I showed Inktober for 2017, people appreciated the fact that a lot of the characters were Black, Brown, South-east Asian, and that they had Caribbean/West Indian backgrounds! Sort of sad that this reaction means that we still haven't reached the level of inclusion and diversity within genre fiction, but, we ARE getting there!

Next post will be the first Inktober 2017 submissions!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Writing Opportunities, galore! Just Take the Time!

What many of my readers may not know is that I have been working on several applications for work, grants, and opportunities with writing.

*The following is for the writers among the readers regardless of experience level. There may be terms and jargons used that are particular to the freelance writing world.*
**DISCLAIMER - Remember to often take what you read from columns, essays, and articles with a grain of salt but always exercise common sense and good judgement. Writing is a business after all. Also, what I've learned over the years is if more than one publication has said the same thing on the same matter, it's probably best to follow that instruction!**

For over three years, I've scoured and researched what's out there, either internationally, nationally, and state-side, and for almost two years, I've actively pursued these in order to jump-start projects, travel to different residencies/retreats, and interact with more writing communities outside my comfort zone. I even attended a fellowship workshop last year 2017.
I've taken more chances, more risks, and knocked on more doors than I have ever done in my entire adult life.

When I decided to begin this journey during my community college Creative Writing course, there were clear Do's/Don'ts.
Have also been given tons of advice over time, often from many well-meaning folks. Advice from writer magazines, online articles, and blogs. I've also attended workshops, conferences, seminars, and residencies, and there have been advice from those too.
I've seen on at least five applications (for the following: fellowships, grants, scholarships, residencies, workshops, retreats, contests, and seminars) what I'm seeing is a pattern.

**Certain items that would render many a writer into the ineligibility category:
1. Publication in a vanity press
2. Self-published
3. Book reviews
4. School publications (college/university)
5. Scholarly/Instructional writing
**Another DISCLAIMER remember that writing is personal for each individual, which means we can make our own choices.
However, there are CLEAR NO-NOs in Writing: Do Not Ever Pay to Publish Your Work. Not even in Self-publishing does one do that.
No upfront payment to an editor. No upfront payment for someone to publish one's work. No payments to edit. No payments to proofread. No payments to put someone's work into print.**

Anything new happens, I'll be sure to announce it here on In Pretty Print and my bibliography blog, The Angry Goblin (please check this for any info on my latest publications), and as always, my official website Tabber the Red is where it's at! 

Updated every few months while the blogs are updated every few weeks, the website is my be-all to finding out everything about me as an author and artist. 

Hyperlinks are above and remember, to SUBSCRIBE to this blog is FREE!

Take care, dear readers, and again, Happy 2018!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year's Eve... What's in store?

My last post(s) for 2017.

It has been intriguing, exhilarating, and exhausting. I pray for you all because I believe in prayer's power. I have a lot of plans for my writing, for my art, and projects that need completion.

May 2018 be the year your wishes and dreams are also fulfilled.

I think about you all. Take care and many blessings in your lives.