eSB: Welcome, Richard. Thank you for joining us. We are here to discuss your cover art for the novel The Sister Paradox. Can you tell us something of your process in coming up with the cover design?
RPC: Well, thank you for having me, eSpec Books. Literally wouldn’t be here without you. 🙂
Cover design jobs vary wildly. In this instance, I had a pretty specific set of parameters in which to work, so there wasn’t a ton of preliminary blue-sky thumbnailing.
eSB: You have a pretty diverse style, what are the different mediums you work in?
RPC: You name it, I probably have worked in it or am willing to. I’ve worked with most traditional painting & drawing media and also ply my trade with digital art, both vector and digital “paint.”
eSB: Where do you find your inspiration when working on a new project?
RPC: Goodness, it can be almost anything. A piece of music, a news article, a piece of fiction or just the landscape outside my window. I honestly believe inspiration can be found almost anywhere for any kind of project–all it takes is keeping one’s mind open to accept a given stimulus as inspiring.
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?
RPC: If given my druthers, I’m still as wildly diverse when working for my own ends as I am when seeking assignments. While I do stop short of complete non-objective painting (it’s just not my personal thing), I do like to exaggerate and distort as much as I like to reign it in.
eSB: What is your favorite medium to work in and why?
RPC: If forced to pick, I’d stick with oil paint. It’s by far and away the most versatile and stretchable medium. (Driers can speed up the drying time, it works really well both thinned out and heavily applied–it can do most anything.)
eSB: How did you get into art?
RPC: Wow–that goes so far back that I can’t really remember. I’ve been drawing ever since I could hold a pencil, so it just must have been something that always made me happy.
eSB: This is not your first time creating cover art, can you tell us about some of your previous projects?
RPC: I’ve worked for a variety of clients in a variety of industries–institutional, editorial, book, advertising and comics–so the list is kind of nutty in its diversity. I’ve made art for HBO, Playboy, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and scads more. The types of art I’ve done range from super-exaggerated caricature (George Carlin’s “Complaints & Grievances” for HBO) to the more staid (observational landscapes for the Bergen County Zoo).
eSB: What was the most awesome project you ever worked on and why?
RPC: This one because it’s the most current! If I’m not super-stoked about what I’m working on, I worry about flubbing it. I try to maintain a high level of excitement for every current gig.
eSB: Could you tell us about one of your most amusing experiences promoting your work?
RPC: I got a call once from someone identifying himself as (name) from (publication). I politely said that I wasn’t interested in a subscription only to have the person say he was an art director for that publication & he was calling regarding one of my promotional pieces. I nearly died of embarrassment right on the spot.
Fortunately, we ended up working together on dozens of assignments together and we still stay in touch from time to time.
eSB: What is one thing you would share that would surprise our readers?
RPC: My right foot hurts as I type this as I broke a bone in it almost a week ago. I think I’ve covered for the limp while typing this pretty well…. 😉
eSB: What are some of your other works our readers can look for?
RPC: Star! Please go to Kickstarter and look up “Star: 72-page series debut” in the search field. The project is two months behind right now–life and its unforeseen circumstances (argh)–however I’m posting fairly regular updates on it and will have ordering info for the post-fulfillment phase soon!
eSB: What projects of your own do you have coming up?
RPC: See above…. 🙂
eSB: How can our readers find out more about you?
RPC: Home base is zippystudio.com and I post pretty regularly on Twitter. Drop on in and say “hi!”
Richard P. Clark – Zippy Studio (The Sister Paradox) Born in a crossfire hurricane (actually Cleveland, OH), Richard P. Clark’s illustration career began in 1993 while still an undergraduate at The Columbus College of Art and Design. Working in a variety of styles, his clients include HBO, Playboy, The Wall Street Journal, Duke University, Marvel, DC and Dark Horse comics among many others.
Mr. Clark currently resides in Upstate NY with his wife, daughter and more pets than he’d like to have.
You can find out more about Richard at zippystudio.com and follow him on Twitter @zipyrich.
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