book cover

On The Sofa With – Stephen Cooney

Today, I am joined on the sofa by Stephen Cooney, an amazingly talented painter, who is responsible for many horror book and e-zine covers.

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How would you describe your artwork?

I would describe my artwork as sci fi/horror although I’m finding I’m painting more fantasy and drifting away from horror at the moment.

What medium do you use for your art?

I use acrylics on canvas.  I prefer to use them as oils tend to take a long time to dry, and the chemicals can get a bit too much.

cooney pan

How do you get your inspiration?

Mainly from the publishers themselves, and I put in some ideas of my own as well.

When doing artwork for a book cover, how much control does the author have over the finished result?

Almost all of it unless a publisher contacts me instead of the author, but I like to get as much input from as many people as I can, it makes the job easier.

For those who may not have worked with an artist before, can you explain the process, from the author’s first request to the finished product.

Well what tends to happen is I’ll get a simple layout from a client and come up with as many ideas as possible from what they want, and come up with a rough drawing.  I will then transfer the drawing onto a canvas board.  I never draw the background as I tend to make that up completely as I paint; all my art is done that way.  As soon as the painting is completed I’ll send them a hi res photo of the art.  It’s as simple as that.

Apart from book covers, have you done artwork for any other projects?

I use to tattoos but gave that up to do illustration work.

What would be your dream project?

I don’t really have a dream project, although when I was younger I always wanted to do album covers for heavy metal bands.

How long does a book cover project usually take you?

Well a book cover can take up two to three weeks depending on how much detail is in the painting, but saying that, I can complete a painting in about a week if I have to.

What happens to the original painting once the book is out?

Once the original painting is done and the publishers have their copy, I wrap it in a protective film and it’s stored away until I decide to sell it or sell it as prints.  A lot of the authors like to own the original if they can.

When you’re not doing a project for someone else, do you paint for your own pleasure?

Blimey I can’t remember the last time I painted for myself, projects are coming in almost all the time.  I paint all the covers for Nightmare Illustrated.   That’s one painting a month.  James Ward Kirk is another publisher I do a lot of art for.  God there’s so many I can’t think, but as I finish one illustration another comes up, but I can’t complain, I love art.   If I can do any illustration then I will, but if I can’t fit it in then I will say sorry no can do.  The reason I say this is because I always get ” we thought you would be too busy. ”

Do you have a website?  How can people get in touch with you?

Not at the moment but I’m working on it but the beys way to get hold of me is either email  amandawestlake@btinternet.com or Facebook.  Steve.cooney.9@facebook.com

You can find Stephen on his facebook page here.

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New Interview & Other Stuff

I did a new interview recently that went live today.  Author Jennifer Loiske interviewed me for her 7 Minutes blog.

Click here to read my interview with Jennifer.

Thank you so much Jennifer for great questions.

Yesterday, I decided in a moment of madness to splash out on a set of new fingernails.  Now, I’m a total nail virgin so this was all new to me.  I’ve thought about it many times but never taken the plunge but after talking with a friend about her experiences with them, I decided to do it.  A lovely gal named Kate came to my flat and did them.  We chatted all the way through and she explained everything to me.

They look lovely and for the first time in my life I like the way my nails look.  I went for the typical french manicure look and I’m very pleased.  The downside is that I now feel like an amputee who’s just received new false hands and has to learn to manipulate them.  Boy is it hard to work these things or what?

Typing is difficult as the nails, being longer than my own, get in the way so I’m having to learn to type using the ball of my finger tips and not the tips, as is normal.  I was trained to type properly and can normally go pretty fast but now I’m slow and clumsy.  You just don’t realise how important fingernails are until they get in the way.  Other girls on facebook have promised I’ll get used to them and I’m hoping for that as I do love the way they look.  On a brighter note, picking my nose and scratching my ass are going to be a walk in the park..!

I was invited to do two guest blogs recently.  One for April 18th and the other for May 23rd.  The first is about world building for space opera writers and offers simple tips to make your universes both plausible and unique.  I haven’t decided what to write about in the May post yet but I’ll be posting the links when they go live.

I uploaded two of my covers to the Authors.com cover contest today in a fit of madness.  They have to be approved first though, before they go live for folks to vote on, which seems odd to me.  It’s a contest where the public vote for their favourites so why the hell do they need to be approved by some faceless admin first?  Oh well, I’ll post if and when they go live and beg shamelessly for your votes.

In the meantime, hop along via the link above and read my interview with Jennifer at her 7 Minutes blog.