Friday, 15 April 2016

The Sky Warden and the Sun (book cover), acrylic and oil on paper, 2002
A cover for the second in 'The Change' trilogy by Sean Williams, possibly the SF author I've illustrated the most in my early freelance days. This YA trilogy is set in a far-future Australia where the past is largely forgotten.


  1. Love the piercing look !!!

  2. I believe your imagery shines through more clearly in this work! The mountainy clouds (or cloudy mountains?), the statues and even the feel of this cover is very related to your most known works, I think.

    While I see your works over time I can put it better in words what it is I'm trying to find! Would you have any words on how your imagery developed over time? Either, is it a clear choice about when to use it? And does it make a difference on your creative process if it's a mural or a book cover? I mean, other than the materials and size, and so on.


  3. Hi Eduardo; the main difference in approach is probably the needs of the client. Book covers are somewhat constraining because they serve a particular advertising purpose, though there is still some scope for personal touches. They are at one end of the scale, at the other are paintings and drawings I do for myself: no brief, no commercial purpose. Picture books are somewhere in the middle, but more to the personal end of the scale, especially later ones where editors gave me increased freedom. The same with murals - there you have more practical issues too, because of size and location. The job type doesn't matter so much, just the question of whose vision I'm servicing, my own or that of someone else (a library, a film studio, and author of a novel, a publisher, and theatre company etc., this will determine style and approach.)

    Jobs where I perceive no freedom at all, I politely decline, life is too short! Although when I was starting out, I even did diagrams of microscopes for scientific catalogues and other boring jobs as if I was a human photoshop program, just to pay my rent. I was always careful not to do too much of that, only as much as I had to, to finance my 'art habit'.

    How has my imagery developed over time? I think its become more cross-genre, and a little looser, slightly more confident (although that wavers!). When I started I used to think: now I'm doing an SF cover, now I'm doing a landscape painting, now I'm doing a kids book... But these days I don't think like that so much, I just try to do a 'good book' or a 'good painting', whatever that is. So I would say that over time what happens is a kind of synthesis of different separate styles of my younger years. Maybe this is how a lot of careers go. The synthesis (which is still happening) gets increasingly close to something original and personal I think, a complex mix that you never entirely understand... you stop trying to understand it, or categorise it, and just get busy doing the work!

    1. I see! It is awesome to get that kind of answer from you!

      Thanks so much again!


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