A splash of colour: Illustrators and bringing concepts to life

There won’t be a lot of words in today’s blog. That’s because it’s about illustrators.

I’ve spent a lot of time this week researching illustrators. Yes, that’s right - I’ve spent time looking at pretty pictures on the internet and calling it work. I need them for our book covers. If you’re jealous I can recommend a long career in publishing, it’s good for the soul.

My journey started with the copies of Interzone I have on my desk, which lead me to talented chaps like Wayne Haag (Ad Astra in particular), Martin Hanford and Richard Wagner (the other one…). Then I started having a look through DeviantArt and other places and you know what? I found a lot more talented chaps and chapesses out there.

So here’s a selection of people I found. I've just picked out one picture in each case. They've all produced more and I've written this post largely to give them some more traffic because they're good and they deserve it. Go have a browse!

Liiga Smilshkalne

Smilshkalne caught my eye with her work on cards for the Android Netrunner FFG. She’s got a knack for combining dark and bold colours to make fantastical digital creations. They’re cyberpunk, but they work as fantasy, shot through with magic too.

Smilshkalne caught my eye with her work on cards for the Android Netrunner FFG. She’s got a knack for combining dark and bold colours to make fantastical digital creations. They’re cyberpunk, but they work as fantasy, shot through with magic too.

Sandro's work is full of character and mood. As part of his portfolio he has a gallery of speed painting pieces which have a great sense of energy and composition whilst still looking karking great so he's got the technical skills. He’s also got a wry and slightly silly sense of humour if the penguins are anything to go by.

Sandro's work is full of character and mood. As part of his portfolio he has a gallery of speed painting pieces which have a great sense of energy and composition whilst still looking karking great so he's got the technical skills. He’s also got a wry and slightly silly sense of humour if the penguins are anything to go by.

It’s a giant cat chasing tiny mermen, what more do you want?!

It’s a giant cat chasing tiny mermen, what more do you want?!

Jemma Salume (OxBoxer)

I'm not 100% sure if OxBoxer is ok with re-posting images so until I hear otherwise from her (I have asked) you'll just have to trust me and have a look at Khalida. The hint of Studio Ghibli, the balance of colours, the lambent flours - all very pleasing on the eye indeed. Salume has a surprisingly personal graphic style, one that sites comfortably between Japanese and American influences. She does some good character portraits too.

Tadas Sidlauskas

There’s something about this I really like. Maybe it’s the absurdity of the fish, maybe it’s the intense look on her face. Maybe it’s that she’s dressed in sensible attire instead of chest-enhancing rumours of armour? Whatever it is, something about this is charming.

There’s something about this I really like. Maybe it’s the absurdity of the fish, maybe it’s the intense look on her face. Maybe it’s that she’s dressed in sensible attire instead of chest-enhancing rumours of armour? Whatever it is, something about this is charming.