Ian Bristow talented artist, musician and author tells the Working Title Blog how he created the covers for each of the books in Transgressor, Fortune's Fools first trilogy: The Fated Sky, Times of Change and Dues of Blood.
WTB: These covers are photo-manipulated designs. Can you explain what that means?
IB: Absolutely. Photo manipulation is the process of taking a photo (free of copyright) and making changes to fit the needs of whatever art you are creating (I use Photoshop). In this case, the goal was to reach a look that felt sci-fi, yet low-tech world. How one approaches the process will depend on how well they paint on the digital platform (if they do at all). I do a lot of painting over the top of the photos I manipulate, so essentially they are half painted, half the photo underneath. In the case of the first and last covers, I 3D modelled the ships to add more customization. This isn’t common practice for a photo-manipulator. They would usually go and find a copyright-free image and use that. But I like to make things as unique as possible, if and where I can. You will also notice the laser fire on the second cover, which is painted in, as well as the cannon. Again, these are just things to fit the needs of the cover and make the work unique.
WTB: Which was the most difficult cover of the three to create?
IB: The first one was the most difficult because the focal point is the ship, which meant quite a lot of messing with placement as well as getting the shadow cast and lighting correct to ground it in the scene. Additionally, there was the matter of searching for the look that would encompass the entire trilogy. This tends to make the first cover in a trilogy the hardest. Or at least the most time-consuming.
WTB: Which is your favourite of the three covers?
IB: I have reasons why I like them all, as I do with all my art because I invest in it. But since that doesn’t answer the question, I will say I think my favorite is the third one; for two reasons. One being the subtle ship in the sky really turned out how I envisioned it and that feels good. And two being that I was able to take the original scene and change the season to winter by painting in snow. That was something of a challenge to get right, and I was pleased with the outcome of it.
The new covers are available from today and The Fated Sky is FREE until Friday to celebrate!
If you would like to find out more about Ian Bristow's cover designing services, go to Bristow Design or look for Ian on his Website, check out his awesome timelapse art videos with his own original music on YouTube or follow him on Twitter.