Thursday, March 13, 2014

Cover Art: My Real Children

This isn't really news because the cover art has been out in the world since September, but the more I see this cover, the more I like it.

I'm absolutely sold on reading the book anyway.  Jo Walton's previous novel, Among Others, was fantastic. 

But this cover from Jamie Stafford-Hill is gorgeous and gives some idea as to what might be going on.  Stafford-Hill is listed as the designer, here, which is a distinction that I might not normally think about, but this isn't a painted cover.  So, as far as I know, there isn't an "artist" in the same way that we get from other cover artists.  Normally I'm not a fan of more photorealistic covers, but this one is gorgeous.

As a side note, this makes me think about artists and the Hugo Awards.  It's easy to tell when Donato Giancola or Jon Picacio has done a cover that that individual is the artist and when we are nominating for Best Artist, we are nominating that individual for the body of work they did in a particular year. 

Designers, however, do more (and different) than the artist.  In an incredibly simplistic reduction, the artist paints a work.  The designer then does the layout of the rest of the cover, including title, author's name, other aspects that they need to put on the cover to make a final cover.  That's my understanding.  I could be wrong. 

So, what happens when there isn't a cover artist in the way we think of Michael Whelan?  The work that Stafford-Hill has done is no less beautiful or striking or worthy of note.  But, would Stafford-Hill qualify for the Best Artist Hugo Award?

I don't know.  I think so.

Regardless, beautiful cover, right?

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