Illustration © 2016 A.M. Scott
October 1, 2016 ... Artist Darrell Osborn
What were you like at school?
I was the odd one. I was very small, so I had to find other ways to express myself other than sports. This led me to Art, Magic, Juggling, Fire Eating, etc.
Were you good at English? The Arts?
I was never really good at anything in school. I did OK, but didn’t really fit into the standard teaching system. I tried a lot of things on my own.
What are your ambitions? Art? Were you always attracted to "art"?
Simple, just keep working. I always avoided getting wrapped up in the fame thing. I'd rather feed my bank than my ego.
Which artists inspire you?
All the “Old School Fantasy artist; Frazetta, Vallejo, Hildebrandt brothers, etc.
So, what covers and other art works have you done?
In recent years Books 1-6 of the Displace Detective series (Stephanie Osborn), Books1-3 of The Dreams of Steam series (Kimberly Richardson), The Y Factor (Bain/Osborn), The Cresperian Alliance (Osborn/Bain), Racing Destiny (L R Barrett-Durham ), The Raven's War (Patricia Leane Owens), Tales From The Mare Inebrium (Dan L Hollifield), Calamity's Child (M. Keaton), Corruptor (Jason Cordova), and a bunch of other I can’t quickly put my fingers on. On the children’s book front; All About Rhymes, and When I Grow Up, I am Going To Be . . . version one and two (by Gina Crawford)
Where can we buy or see them? (* include American, European and any other relevant links. Free, free promotions or prices can be included)
Most all can be found on Amazon in both paper and digital. They can also be ordered through most book stores. You can find out more by visiting: www.stephanie-osborn.com,www.twilighttimesbooks.com, www.darkoakpress.com, www.amazon.com
What sparks an idea for a cover?
I deal mainly with small and independent press, so it all starts with the author. I work directly with the him/her to fulfill their vision for their creation. I usually ask for their “elevator pitch for the book”. This is a 30 sec. speech on what the book is about. I then go into key scenes within the book. I ask what artist or covers they like. This helps me narrow down the style. After gathering the information, I’ll create around three cover comps. These will range from “what the author said they wanted” to a direction they never thought of going. They’ll make a choice and I go into the refinement stage.
What are you working on at the minute?
I just turned in the cover art for “Fear in the French Quarter” (Stephanie Osborn).Book due out in Oct. by Twilight Times Press
What’s it about? (*if relevant)
Fear In the French Quarter, book 6 of Stephanie Osborn’s acclaimed Displaced Detective mystery/adventure/science fiction series, revolves around a jaunt by no less than Sherlock Holmes himself— brought to the modern day from an alternate universe’s Victorian era by his continuum parallel, who is now his wife, Dr. Skye Chadwick- Holmes —to famed New Orleans for both business and pleasure. There, the detective couple investigates ghostly apparitions, strange disappearances, mystic phenomena, and challenge threats to the very universe they call home.
Do you have a preferred genre?
Not really. I guess I’m an Artistic Slut.
When you create an art piece is there anyone in mind while you are creating that piece?
Often the author will tell me they would want Mr. X to play this part and Miss Y to play that part. I take this into consideration, but not to the point of actually making the character look like anyone.
How much research do you do?
Most of that is already done by the author as far as character. I’ll do research based on location and time period because this affects how a person dresses, their makeup, and what props and building might look like.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
Independents and small press don’t always have the luxury of having a pool of artist they can call on to get a job done. They also don’t have the budget of the big houses. Creating something attractive and on a budget seemed to be a real need. I didn’t (still don’t) publicize my art support service. I’m kind of like the TV show the “A-Team”, the people who need me, find me.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I’m fortunate to have spent most all my life in the fields of Art and Entertainment. The main evolution has come by embracing new technologies while not forgetting how to go “old school” when needed.
Is there an artist's block? Do you get it?
Not really. I have so many things going on at once I don’t have time to think about it. It becomes more of a reflex.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Yes, the cover is first contact point and sets the tone for what the reader can expect.
Are book covers reviewed?
Yes, by everyone who does or doesn’t buy the book
What are your views on social media for marketing?
You should use every marketing avenue available to you. Just remember on social media there’s not much of a “Gate Keeper”.
Which social network worked best for you?
I’m on Facebook and that’s about it for social
Any tips on what to do and what not to do?
Keep your sense of humor and don’t haggle with trolls.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” Henry Ford.
What is your favorite film and why?
Time Bandits, it’s the movie my wife and I went to on our first date
Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Hopefully still alive
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Cut back on fried food and everyone gets old
If you could have been the original author of any piece, what would it have been and why?
The STOP Sign. Because I would like seeing my work everywhere I go.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
Think outside the box, and then redesign what the box looks like.
Where do you see publishing going in the future?
The big store will start taking independents into their fold and more of the noise will start getting weeded out.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Website: No art site but they can find meet www.afterdinnermagic.com
Amazon Author Page: No author page but if you type in Darrell Osborn some of my covers will show up