Friday, July 07, 2006

Seraphim


Seraphim, the first cover for Michelle Hauf's Changling series was done in 2003. I was thrilled to be working on this kind of project, a female fantasy/warrior/Joan of Arc type character, battlling the forces of evil! After so many years of Romance covers, I was trying to get the srt directors to see me in a different way. I felt I had so much more to offer in art. The realms of Fantasy and supernatural hadn't been tapped at all. I had tremendous fun with this one, both shooting it and doing the illustration. I chose an untried model, Topaz, who seemed to have the edgy look and slight boyishness I was after. The suit of armor, of course, didn't come in the female variety, but was nevertheless a good authentic looking costume, that took about 45 minutes to put on the model. Things seemed iffy, until we got he in front of the camera. That's when magic happened! That's also when my excitement about this image must have bee transferred to Topaz and Micheal Frost, the Potographer. Sometimes I can see that we have the cover in one shot, and that was the case here, but I got her to be even more edgy and powerful. It's method-acting really, and one of the most fun parts of my work. I would describe it as intuitively feeling what the model has inside. That fire, the fragility or confidence, whatever, and bringing it out. Working with the photos and my imagination later in my studio, I felt that something really special was being created. I've been a painter most of my life, but the collaborative storytelling and imagemaking is something quite unique to this business, I thnk.
A link to the author, Michelle Hauf's Blog: www.dustedbywhimsy.blogspot.com/
Please leave your comments!

3 comments:

Michele said...

James!
How awesome that you sent me a link to your blog. As an author, first sight of SERAPHIM's cover brought real tears to my eyes. You nailed the heroine exactly. Everything about the cover was so different, fantastical and just incredible. (And if wasn't the classic 'romance' look, which I'm grateful for.) I love the wings in the background, and this full-size image on your blog is the first time I've seen it with the darker wings toward the top. So cool!
Thank you. It doesn't seem like enough to simply type those two simple words. But I understand the importance of a gorgeous cover to help sell books. You've got to have something striking that will draw a reader to the book, make them want to pick it up and turn it over to read the back cover blurb. Your artwork (for all three titles) acheived that.

What really rocks? That you took the angel symbol I drew and incorporated it on Seraphim's banner and her armor! And then, for Gossamyr, you used the coat of arms I designed, putting it at her hipbelt. I think I was more excited about having some of my artwork on the cover than the actual printed story itself!

Wanna know my favorite part of the RHIANA cover? The smiling skull on the right edge. I know he's smiling. I've named him Bob. :-)

Bravo! I've got my fingers crossed that you'll be doing artwork for my covers in the future. I know they'll be awesome.
Thanks,
Michele Hauf

james Griffin said...

Hi Michele, I'm so glad you liked the covers I did for your books! You created such wonderful characters for me to work with. I'd LOVE to do the next one! I'm hoping I'll get that assignment.
I think the idea of each of your ladies having an emblem or motif is fantastic! It gives me something to accessorize with. Thanks for getting in touch!

Anonymous said...

I'm reading the book Seraphim, great book btw, it's keeping me up rather late these past few nights. However I keep turning back to the cover art. You did a fantastic job on it. I was wondering if it is possible to purchase it in poster or other size?
Thanks,
David
fordag@hotmail.com