Interview With The Artist — Brad Foster
As I sit at my table, talking to people looking at my books, people often ask about the artists. “Who did that cover?” In this and a few other interviews, I’m hoping to answer that question.
Brad Foster is well known to many people who attend the conventions. He’s been the Guest of Honor at a few, I know. He’s very personable and easy to talk to. When he expressed interest in doing a cover, Follow That Mouse was next in my writing queue, and a perfect project for him.
Introduce yourself. What kind of work is your specialty? How long have you been at it?
Brad’s the name. Art’s the game. Ink on paper, digital on screen, I’ve been playing the art game since I could pick up a crayon. One day I might get good at it. It’s a dream….
How did you meet up with Henry Melton and why did you decide to help him with his art needs?
I cornered poor Mr. Melton at a science fiction convention, and basically brow beat him until he gave me a cover to do, just to make me go away.
Many artists collaborate with others to produce the final image. Did you create the cover art yourself, or with the help of others? If this was a collaboration, then who did you work with?
I did it all by myself, so there is no one else to share the blame. I’m sorry.
Were there any notable difficulties, or high points in creating the image?
Well, I do recall kind of fixating on getting the road sign absolutely correct, looking all sorts of photo references of what such signs look like in the real world, checking colors, etc. Not so much a difficulty as much as some sort of weird compulsion!
What is the hardest part of doing cover art for novels?
Deciding if it is best to go totally literal with a scene from the book, or just try to symbolize the over all feeling. I think I got halfway with both of those on this cover.
Do you prefer to work from a single concept? Or would you rather read the text and create an appropriate image?
I prefer being able to not only read the entire text first, but to be able to ask the writer questions on details. But, I will work however the publisher feels is the best method for them. It’s their baby, after all.
Where is your artwork leading you? Do you intend to do more cover art, or have you passed that by and are heading for other goals?
I think I’ve already reached where my art was going to take me: living a life where I can spend most of my time creating artwork is a dream come true. And yes, I hope to do more cover art (Note to Mr. Melton: assign more cover art to Mr. Foster), plus do any and everything else art wise that might come my way. Book and magazine covers, interior illustrations, cartoons, comic strips, posters, logos, art prints, cards, (greeting, playing, and whatever else might be out there to draw), video games, non-video games… if someone needs an artist for a project, I’d love to try it, always have.
Where can the reader see more of your work? Do you have a website? Are there other notable works they can find?
I do indeed have a website, loaded with all kinds of art prints and strange small publications featuring my work, and that of other artists I have published over the years through Jabberwocky Graphix. It’s at www.jabberwockygraphix.com If anyone wants to go directly to a small gathering of samples of some of the pieces I’ve created in the past couple of years, you can also click here: http://www.jabberwockygraphix.com/art-custom.html
Thanks Henry, this was fun!
And thanks Brad for getting back to me so soon. Aspiring artists, this is a man to emulate when you’re trying to make a name for yourself. He’s always out there, and quick to respond when asked to help.