I had one artist who said he was interested, but he never sent me the first draft and never replied to my messages. There was another guy who sounded like he might have been interested, but I also never heard back from him. Then one guy came up and asked about the project. I told him and he said he wanted to do it and he even agreed to do a trial piece.
That trial piece was important as I looked at his deviantArt profile and couldn't find anything that resembled what I was looking for. Some time before, I had decided the best cover art for this book needed to be a tapestry that showcased modern elements. I eventually settled on the fight between Cyonex and Crawn as it was the best for showing the fantasy elements and the time. However, no art on the artist's profile page matched this feel, but the trial piece would give me faith.
Since this was a trial piece, I didn't want him to use Neostriker for the basis. Instead, I needed him to use another series that had modern elements and see if he could transcribe them to a tapestry art. The result was Star Wars. While I could see room for improvement, the trial piece was good and I gave him the task of making the cover art.
The first draft he gave is what I would describe as a comic book cover. It was good. He implemented part of my design for the hero, which was to my liking, but I thought it was too realistic. I wanted the cover art to allow freedom of imagination to the readers. It also wasn't the format I was expecting after the trial piece. Part of the issue is that it wouldn't work with the cover template I had found to be the best of the options available.
The second draft was closer to expectations and also very promising. It was still a bit dynamic, but I liked the design of Crawn he came up with. I didn't care much for the background as I felt like it took away from the location of the fight. However, the biggest objection I had was that Craw's sword wasn't pointed at Cyonex. It was a good piece of art, but it didn't look right for a cover piece. It looked like Crawn was lecturing Cyonex which would completely change the first impression readers would have. While the book certainly has a bit of philosophy, I felt like it gave the wrong impression as it made Cyonex look like the aggressor. Had this been inside art, then that would be okay, but not good for the cover.
I hope you enjoyed that look into the process of creating the cover art. David is an aspiring young artist. His hobbies include Star Wars, comics, drawing, cosplay, and sword-sparring. If you want to hire him, you can reach him through his DeviantArt profile, Omnipotrent
J. D. Nyle
Neostriker: Shining is now available for purchase from Amazon in US, Canada, UK, and Europe