eSpec Books interviews Cynthia Radthorne, cover artist for POST by Brenda Cooper, now funding on Kickstarter, http://tiny.cc/Novels2016
eSB: Welcome, Cynthia. Thank you for joining us. We are here to discuss your cover art for the novel POST. Can you tell us something of your process in coming up with the cover design?
CR: Thank you so much! I’ve known author Brenda Cooper for many years, and admired her work. We both attend Norwescon, where I display my work in the art show; Brenda was rather taken with the mood and tone of one particular piece. We worked together from there to come up with a new design that kept the essence of that image while including the particulars of the story in POST.
eSB: When you aren’t working on a commission, what art do you make for fun? Are you the type of artist that likes to tell a tale with a particular style or do you like to experiment?
CR: Much of my work leans toward the whimsical or delicate, because that’s just sort of how my mind works. And they do tell a story, often a personal and emotional one. Art is a good catalyst for that. At the same time, I also like to portray women in strong settings, whether it be sci fi or fantasy. While my style stays pretty consistent, I am always experimenting in refining my techniques.
eSB: What is your favorite medium to work in and why?
CR: All of my work is created using digital 3D models on a computer. I am hopeless with a pencil or a brush, so the computer is what allows me to bring my visions to life.
eSB: How did you get into art?
CR: I have always been a bit of a computer geek, and fascinated by 3D virtual worlds, the creation of imaginary spaces in this little box that actually have very few limits. I stared with a program called Bryce that allowed one to create lovely landscapes, and from there progressed to my current tool, DAZ Studio, which is optimized around people. I found my creativity totally unleashed by this process, and never looked back.
eSB: This is not your first time creating cover art, can you tell us about some of your previous projects?
CR: I am also a writer, with three published fantasy novels with a small press (which, alas, folded in 2014). Because I was tinkering with the 3D art on my own at the time, I was given the opportunity to come up with my own cover on the first book. That cover proved to be pretty successful and so I ended up doing the covers for the next two as I wrote them. I have since done something like nine or ten covers for other writers.
eSB: You have also done work for trading cards. How is that experience different from a cover art commission? What type of guidance are you given?
CR: The trading card project I was in was quite specific – I was given fairly detailed parameters of what a character should look like, what they should be doing. That was quite challenging, as when I am working on my own pieces I have the flexibility to say, “Naw, that ain’t quite right, let me do this instead.” Here I had to make that specific idea work. However, it all came together well and I did I believe 20 cards for the company.
eSB: What was the most awesome project you ever worked on and why?
CR: This one, of course! Because there is nothing more fun than collaborating with another creative soul on a shared vision, and working with Brenda was an absolute delight.
eSB: How can our readers find out more about you?
CR: Probably the best place is at my website, www.CynthiaRadthorne.com. I have an online gallery of my work there, as well as information on my novels (which I hope to get re-released in ebook format later this year). I also display my artwork on Deviant Art, a general art site; and Renderosity, a 3D-oriented art site and marketplace.
Cynthia Radthorne – (POST) Cynthia’s illustrations have appeared on book covers, web sites, trading card games, and at art shows at science fiction and fantasy conventions. She enjoys bringing light and smiles, and the occasional tug on a heart string, through her artwork. At her website, www.CynthiaRadthorne.com, one can peruse her art gallery and latest works.
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