Sunday, August 28, 2016

‘c Sixty Years Dead’ Cover Reveal; Using a Graphic Design Application

Last post, I presented the complete book cover illustration reveal for my upcoming horror short read, “Circa Sixty Years Dead”. Now, may I present to you the full cover reveal--illustration and lettering both:

A book cover depicting a giant, six-armed goddess statue.
Credit: Steven Arellano Rose, Jr.

As I said I would, I used a graphic design application, Paint.Net, to paint the black sky and touch up some of the statue’s edges to reduce that glowing effect. I also used black digital paint to touch up the horizon line on the right-hand side because it had been uneven with the horizon line on the left. The rest of the illustration was produced by my own hands. The lettering was completely produced using Amazon’s graphic design application, the cover creator.

Graphic art software is very handy in practical situations, in my case, the marketing of a book. Yet I try not to let the digital art drown out my art made with my own hands using physical tools, pencils in this case, as opposed to virtual ones such as Paint.Net’s paintbrush.

Almost since time began, machines have been used for the practical purpose of making work easier. Even though art serves several functions, not all of it is practical. Art as we know it today is expression of the individual. It’s a reflection of the artist’s view point on life, including the emotional energy that comes from that view point. A virtual tool hides that energy because a program is doing half the commanding of the tool’s actions, distancing the artist that much more from the art.

Art’s function in the selling of books is at least half practical. It would have taken too long for me to go back to the original paper version of the illustration and hand-paint over the highlighted areas that left the glow effect. This was a problem I didn’t see until after I scanned the picture onto the computer and digitally painted in the sky. So, a graphic design application or software package such as Paint.Net and Photoshop has its use as a supplement.

As a substitute, however, the software can cover up the natural look and emotional energy of a work. When it does, it hides the artist’s role in the work. This problem is an example of the concern about computer technology taking over not only people’s jobs but also human activity in general.

Since art is a creative act, it is the artist’s job to preserve that act since machines cannot create based on human experience. At least they can’t do this through their own awareness or experience since they don’t have consciousness. To put it another way, it’s the artist’s duty to prevent the machine from taking over humanity, at least on the level of the creative act such as painting, music and writing. To ignore that duty is to allow the machine to take control of human life and maybe even all life.

A female robot with an electric guitar.

“Circa Sixty Years Dead” is scheduled for release during the coming week. However, I am still open to feedback about the cover even if it means having to delay the release by a few days. So please let me know what you think of it. I want my readers to be satisfied with a book they’re paying their hard earned money for. Although, I will be giving away free copies of the book on its release day in celebration of! If everything seems okay to you, I’ll release the book on Amazon by next Saturday. To be the first to know of its release and to get a free copy, follow me on Twitter, @StaRosep2,  or like my Facebook page.

Before I close up for the night, let me leave you with this question: in your honest opinion and belief, do you think today’s book illstrators are too dependent on computer technology for producing their work? Feel free to leave your answers and any feedback in the box below.

Until next time . . .

“Circa Sixty Years Dead” Synopsis:

A young archaeologist’s obsession with an ancient goddess statue is destined to haunt him for the rest of his life.

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