As each day passes, I realize more and more how many "artists" there are in my family.
My oldest brother, Jeff, is quite the whiz with graphic design. He makes vinyl stickers and often must design or draw the requested logo before he can crank out a sticker. Curious? Here's his site: Lyons Design
Jeff teamed up with our cousin Chris and built a monster mud truck. Yup, that's right. A monster mud truck. Some of you may have read an earlier post I did about a mud bog I attended. Well, I missed Mudzilla's performance that day. Poor baby was broke by the time I arrived. :o(
How is this art, you ask? Why is any "art" considered art? It makes someone, somewhere feel something when they see, read, or otherwise experience it. Mudzilla is art.
Taken from Mudzilla's Facebook Fan Page:
Mudzilla is a 1977 Chevrolet C-65 monster truck. It has 2 1/2 ton GMC axles, along with a matching transfer case. The axles have 6.17:1 gears, and the transfer case has 2:1 low range. The motor is a 454 Chevy bigblock, with a TH400 transmission. The tires are 48" tall 19.5x24 V treads.
(Yeah, I have no idea what most of that means. I'm just here to look pretty.)
My younger brother paints, draws, and designs some fabulous jewelry. (Do I sound biased?)
I have a WIP (work-in-progress) that revolves around the prison hulks (decommissioned ships used to house convicts) of 18th and 19th century England. I asked him to draw a hulk for me and gave him some books on the subject. To the right is the result. I darkened it a bit in my Paint Shop program to give it more of a sinister aspect but otherwise, it's exactly as he drew it. He said it took him about 6 hours to do. I will be using it for the cover of my book when the time comes.
His latest thing is hand-knotted pearls such as the ones pictured to the left. Very time consuming. He also likes Swarovski (tm) Crystal and sterling silver. I help him with his blog and Facebook pages since he views computers as a necessary evil. Soon, we will be opening his Etsy.com storefront.
He and I will also be putting together a giveaway involving Regency romance and pearls. We think they would complement each other nicely, don't you?
Then there is my lovely niece Beth who is a spectacular artist. I have nothing of hers at the moment but she will be doing the art for my book covers, probably starting with Angel, the novel due to come out after Deception.
I met up with her a few weeks ago to see her portfolio for the very first time. I was skeptical, I admit. It was my mother-in-law, Beth's grandmother, who said she was a brilliant artist. Now, I'm all for art and encouraging kids in their passion for it. Allowing one who is promising but still quite amateur to do the art for my books is another matter entirely. It is the cover, after all, that is the first thing the potential buyer sees. (Makes me sound a little mercenary, doesn't it?)
Imagine my delight when I discovered exactly how talented she is! Flipping through her sketches, mostly fashion sketches, I came across one that startled me. It was unfinished, the woman in the picture not yet having a face, but I knew who she was. It was unsettling...
It was Verena, the heroine from my yet-to-be-released novel, Angel. There was something in her bearing that caused the recognition. The hair was exactly right, too. The style of dress and style of hair were the perfect Regency styles and even the exact way Verena would appear.
I was astonished. Beth had never read Angel or anything I had written, in fact. When I told her who the sketch was, she smiled and said she drew the picture with my novels in mind. Even with her very limited knowledge of the time period, she managed to bring it to life for me. I am so pleased that she has agreed to draw my characters.
Did I mention she's only 16?