I'm thrilled to be in the company of the nine other amazing authors who penned a short story for FIENDS: Ten Tales of Demons, edited by Rayne Hall. FIENDS is up for pre-order on Amazon here and will be released on August 19th.
This awesome cover was done by artist Jamie Chapman and he dropped by to talk about his artwork, demons, and books.
What fascinates you about demons?
Demons have a lot of character, relying on trickery and deceit instead of just jumping out the shadows to eat you. I think this makes them far more complex as characters, not doing what they do out of hunger, but for their own amusement. Conversely, having (literally) fallen from grace there is also an air of tragedy about them if you approach from a Paradise Lost angle.
How would you describe the personality of the demon you painted?
My demon beckons the viewer, drawing them forward with a wry smile as if there is a secret he has to tell. Perfect as he happens to have his back to a book full of stories.
What kind of illustrations do you enjoy creating?
I enjoy working on subjects with a lot of character or lore behind them. When I make an illustration I want it to look like a fragment of a much larger world with a reason behind every detail.
What's your background and training as an artist?
I have a BA(Hons) in fine art, and whilst traditional media such as acrylic and oil are my first love I have been working hard to develop digital painting techniques too.
When a client wants an illustration - say, for a book cover - how do you go about it? What's the process?
First stop is my sketchbook; I can never leave behind traditional pencil and paper. I do a page of small sketches, trying to give the client exactly what they want and then I try one curveball, something they might not have thought of but still within the brief. Sometimes you can get a happy accident.
Do you do just illustrations, or also complete designs?
I like to apply myself to different forms and fields of art. I am currently the illustrator for a graphic novel called Kitten Heist 1907, and I also still continue my fine art painting when there is an opportunity for a show.
Do you enjoy reading? What kind of books do you like?
Fantasy, sci-fi and horror are my genres of choice, particularly Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Philip K Dick and the late Terry Pratchett. I also make a point of visiting early influences to the genres such as Dante Alighieri. I think graphic novels have valid a place in the literary world too, with many of my favourites coming from the publishers 2000AD and Vertigo.
Where can we see more of your work?
Jamie Chapman earned his fine art degree in London, but grew frustrated with the contemporary art world, and has started up again with his first love of illustration and graphic novels. Drawing cool stuff like dragons and angels is a breath of fresh air, but he has been part of several group shows in small galleries in Shoreditch (London) since.