Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Daekazu commissioned for Chest of Souls

The first picture I commissioned Daekazu to do was of Brenna and Talon in a happier time.  It was also a test - we were looking to upgrade the covers and needed to see if his style was what we had in mind.  This picture let us know he was more than capable, though it is not a book-accurate depiction of either character.  Talon is much taller, Brenna much prettier.

How it was done:  we found pictures of the clothing for both, and he interpreted the pictures of the actor's face we used for Talon and Brenna.  Some people thought Talon was portrayed by Haley Christensen (the guy that played Anaken Skywalker) but it is William Levy - we sent him two pictures (one full-size, one a face-shot) that are already on this blog and this is what he drew inspiration from.

Daekazu aims to satisfy.   I chose his style specifically for this series because he understands how to draw light - he makes things shine and that is the magical/mystical feel I needed.  There is a language barrier (he is Polish).   He writes in broken-english and we found, after the above picture was finished, that making a rough sketch of what we want/expect helps him understand better than a lot of detailed written instructions. Communication is an ongoing process, but he is worth every penny we paid him.

Here is his link on Deviantart: http://daekazu.deviantart.com/ if you would like to see more of his work.  Warning:  not all of his art is child-appropriate. 

This was the first cover - his interpretation of the sketch we sent for Book One.  In one word:  Fantastic. 

How it was done:  We sent him pictures of tigers, the face of the girl we thought best represented a very young Brenna, the nightgown, and my oldest daughter made a sketch of the basic design we were looking for (I can draw, but haven't done so for decades) and, with a few corrections, he made this eye-popping cover.

I can't express how important this was.  In spite of sage advice to not judge a book by its cover, we all do and the public LOVED this cover.  During the 5-day promo, there were over 2200 FREE Amazon downloads, thanks to his enormous talent.

We wait in great anticipation for him to finish the cover for the second book.  We already sent him the sketch and the information he needs.  Hopefully, by the end of the month, we will have it and can show it off here. 

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