Interview with Designer Erin Fitzsimmons + Giveaway (INT)


Since I’ve begun my blogging adventure I’ve become more and more interested in the people and process behind creating the beautiful covers that help to draw my attention. I’ve interviewed a couple of artists and wanted to see things from the designer’s prospective. …

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Interview with Artist Nathalia Suellen

We all know that you can’t judge a book by its cover but I’m not sure it’s possible to avoid doing just that when you see a cover that is breathtaking. I know that I’ve taken covers for granted even though I fall deeply in love with them. I wanted to change that and find out who was behind them and a little about the industry. Most importantly I wanted to learn about the artists and their inspirations and artwork aside from what they do for the covers.

Nathalia Self Portrait

Nathalia Self Portrait

What better place to start than with Nathalia Suellen the artist behind Splintered and Unhinged.

After visiting her website I was completely amazed with her talent and creativity. I knew that I had to interview her and honor her work on my blog.

Thank you Nathalia for agreeing to take the time to answer my questions.

Concerning Cover Art:
What book series have you produced cover art for?
Oh there are so many series, I don’t think I could say all of them but to name a few:  Otherworld Assassin by Gena Showalter ,  The Last Year by Trisha Leigh , The Grisha Trilogy (uk) by Leigh Bardugo, Splintered by A.G. Howard among others.

As for the process: what knowledge do you have prior of the storyline? Do you get to read the book, talk to the author or are you given requirements for elements that have to be included?
I don’t read all the books I work for, that would be really exhausting for me.  That was not different with Splintered, I had no contact with the book story and not even with the author.  I knew roughly about the story through the art director and of course I had some requirements to comply but nothing too specific. I remember of starting the first sketches thinking in three essential things: bugs, strangeness and eye-catching colors.

Many of you don’t know, but the very first Splintered sketch was a full body Alice with gothic clothes, striped socks, windy hair and a scenery full of bones, mirrors and bugs around (the model was insanely beautiful too). We spent a month or so in this first idea but things got too nice and serious that they decided to move the whole idea for a close up Alice, which I think now was one of the most important things for achieving this “special” thing, it somehow turned the cover more powerful and movie-like.

Do you have to offer multiple conceptual covers for them to choose which to pursue or do you get free reign?
We basically do things together. My clients guide me, they show me exactly what they want and I try to make it as close as I can to what they imagine.  Of course, I can’t do everything I want like in my personal works; we need to work as a team and I need to respect the story and their idea before anything.  Sure, if they give me some freedom, I try to make it even better, always.

Are you a fan of young adult fiction?
Strangely enough I’m not the kind of girl who loves to read, I have the necessity of feeding my eyes with pictures and movement all the time, maybe that’s what keep me creative.  (I can’t even read magazines; I’m just like a child who just looks at the book drawings and then close it.)  However I would say I love anything that drives me out of reality for a period of time. Being a book or not, I love fiction.

I recently had the opportunity to meet Anita Howard and thought that your image of Alyssa on the cover of Splintered resembled her…is that intentional?
Not at all. That’s another big coincidence… you know, it’s happening very often with me, so damn weird.

I love your interpretation of Morpheus on Unhinged, what inspirations did you draw on to create him?
While creating Unhinged, I had to keep in mind that Morpheus was NOT the Mad Hatter and my very first task was to find out the differences between the characters.

Steampunk was the first thing that came to mind regarding Morpheus’ style before knowing he was such a GOTHIC and strange “guy”. I got some inspiration from the author’s Pinterest, and I was shocked how different he actually was when compared with the Mad Hatter. I mean, Morpheus is way more gothic and MUCH more mysterious and strange.  My duty was to show as much as I could on the second book: He is NOT the mad hatter!

General Art Questions:
How long have you been expressing yourself with art?
Professionally, almost 6 years.

It appears that there is photography involved in your artworks, are you a photographer too?
No, sometimes I take my own photography but just for fun.

I was absolutely amazed with your collection of work on your website; I read that you are self-taught. How did you get started in the industry?
I started as anyone else, promoting my art and working HARD. In a beautiful day, God blesses your effort and you get discovered. I still have lot to learn and to improve but you know, I really love what I do.

I am giving away ONE (1) 7×10 art print of one of Nathalia’s gorgeous works. This is an international giveaway if Society 6 ships to your local. Visit HERE to see which prints to choose from and if they ship to you.
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