Today we hear from one of the often-unsung heroes of the book world – the cover artist. I’m particularly pleased to host guest post from Mr James Powell, as his art has graced the covers of three Dark Continents titles (those three being Phobophobia, Monster’s Ink and the soon-to-be-released-in-paperback Ghostly Summons). It’s fair to say that he’s one of our favourite artists to work with. No doubt the publishers of The Demonologia Biblica, Western Legends Publishing, share that opinion.
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It would be so easy to place the blame elsewhere on how this cover got conjured up. All too often I take the easy way out and say, ‘The Devil made me do it!’, or that I was inspired after reading passages from an old book I found in a basement in a cabin in the woods. It would be easy to say that this image arose from a nightmare I had, a dream that left me sick and unable to sleep for several days afterwards.
I’m guilty as charged.
It took about three to four hours to create this cover. My imagination is like a big haunted house, with so many wonderful and disturbing things waiting to be roused from their hiding places amidst the dust and the damp, begging to be unleashed into the world. It’s something akin to an exorcism for me, reaching deep inside the darkness and pulling this awful stuff out into the light. And once I finish a piece of art like this, I sit back and stare at it for a while. And there’s always this sour feeling that comes over me, just before I start to smile.
Yeah. I’m guilty.
And I’ll do it again.
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Artist/Illustrator James R. Powell is a native of Mississippi, where he quietly resides, surrounded by the dark woods that provide inspiration for much of his work.
In 1999 he was employed by Peavey Electronics, where he painted guitars for various musicians such as Eddie Van Halen, Sheryl Crow, John Entwistle, and Alex Lifeson.
He’s worked with best-selling author Neil Gaiman on a project called ‘Grey People’. And he’s been published with Renegade Arts Entertainment, Blue Leaf Publications, Dark Continents, Western Legends, and many others.
He’s done various book covers for authors Brian Hodge, Scott Nicholson, Matthew Tate, Alan Dale, and Blue Remy. He has also created art for actor Lance Henriksen, and has done conceptual art for the Misfits and for the film Sick People.