Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

An Interview With GWV

Hi Friends,

I'm feeling a bit introspective here on an October evening and so I'm going to engage in the guilty pleasure of pretending I'm being interviewed..

While skimming across the net I found the following interview, originally with Yves Saint Lauren. I like the questions, so here goes!

What is your chief characteristic?
Creativity.

What is your principal fault?
Moodiness.

What is your favourite quality in a man?
Kindness.

And in a woman?
Courage.

Who is your favourite historical figure?
Basho, the haiku poet.

Who are your living heroes?
People who dare to speak aloud thoughts, write stories and create art that might get them killed by the world's ignorant and greedy.

Who would you like to be, if you could?
J.R.R. Tolkien, my favorite author. He was a dreamer and a scholar, and quite successful at both.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Getting fan mail... and money for whatever I did that brought on the fan mail.

What is your idea of misery?
Settling for less- particularly from myself.

Where would you like to live?
Some interesting and beautiful places I haven't lived yet. Although here is good, too.

What talent would you like to have?
Being good at math.

For what fault do you have the most toleration?
Over-exuberance, especially in youth.

Who are your favourite painters? (I'll stick to the classics, as Yves did)
Da Vinci and Monet

Who are your favourite composers?
Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsokov , I love the moody romance of the Russians.

What is your favourite colour?

Purple.

Of all things, what do you most detest?
Rudeness.

Have you got a motto?
"If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right."
-Henry Ford

What would you like to do right now?
I would like to make a somewhat more than comfortable living from my creative endeavors, and so have plenty of extra money to help young artists and writers get started, causing me to be a widely celebrated and well loved old fart.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The New Jim Baen's Universe Cover Artist

Well, that's me! I hardly believe it myself! It's astounding! It's fantastic! It's startling!

Here's December 2008's cover. I chose to feature legendary writer Ben Bova's Moon Race. I'll make a few more tweaks on it before publication, but this is the basic idea:


The piece is very much inspired by the works of the 1940's-50's sc-fi and fantasy pulp magazine artists. I was born too late to get the pulps off the newstands, but I am lucky to know them through second hand finds and printed collections. I spent many happy hours in my youth dreaming of the far away worlds those classic magazines provided such thrilling glimpses of.
I still do. I have to pinch myself now that I am the guy doing the covers for an amazing magazine like Jim Baen's Universe! It's a childhood dream come true.

I'm now working on the cover for the upcoming October 2008 issue. The art will feature Mike Resnick's very moving story, Article of Faith. It looks like this will be a regular gig for for a while, I can hardly wait to see what future stories I will get to homage in cover art! I'm so freaking happy I'm going to dance the 'Eagle Rock' all up and down the docks! "Everyone in for the Eagle Rock!" (Dances the 'Eagle Rock' Be glad there is no video.)

It still boggles my mind. I get to make moon walkers and androids for the covers of a popular sci-fi and fantasy magazine that has all the magic of the wonderful pulps of yore, and more. What a lucky life.

Postscript: I neglected to thank my friend Dennis A. Martin for making a 3-D model of the walker based on my sketches. His version forms the base of the image you see here- I think it's time I learned how to use that 3-D stuff! Thank you, Dennis!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Grantville Gazette Ad

Hail Friends,

A while back Paula asked me if I could whip up a last minute ad for the Grantville Gazette to go in the Liberty Con booklet. Since our fearless leader Eric Flint was the guest of honor it would be a good idea to have something in there! I only had 48 hours to get it done but I came through, whew! After the dust settled I took another look at what I'd done and thought we could get some more mileage out of it. I made a few changes, added another Gustav fighter (my version of the premiere warplane of the 163x-verse) and sent it off to Paula who liked it. :-) My hope is it will soon be pointing the way to the Gazette from here and there around the web.


This is just too much fun.

Garrett W. Vance

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I'm now the Art Director of the Grantville Gazette!

Great googly moogly, I haven't made a post to my blog in almost a year! Here's my excuse: I've been busy WORKING on artistic stuff! Back in November of 2007 I became the Art Director of the Grantville Gazette. I think Editor Paula Goodlett may have put some kind of spell on me, she has Powers... All I did was whip up a jokey pic for her I made of myself dressed up in official swag from the 1632 Store and she realized I was a pretty fast hand with Photoshop.


The next thing I knew, I was hired! The best part was I got this job by clowning around! (something I excel in). I now do all the art for the magazine. I also know a LOT more about Photoshop than I did when I started. It's a big job, but I really enjoy it! (Shhh, don't tell Paula!)
Check out Grantville Gazette Volume 15 and up for the pretty pictures; some are my original creations along with various public domain art to represent the historical elements of this alternate history series. My pride and joy are the title banners I design for each story. It's always a challenge, sometimes I find myself pondering questions like "How do I make a pig interesting?" I am working hard to bring a new (and hopefully interesting) look to this very eclectic magazine. For a few personal favorites look here, here, and here. This title banner was chosen by the 1632 Board for the Ring of Fire Club member's exclusive 2008 commemorative coffee cup!


Throughout all this I have still managed to get some writing in.
I'm crossing my fingers that my sci-fi action with a touch of horror piece, Riders of the Three Toed Horse, gets picked up by the Gazette's big sister magazine Baen's Universe. I'll write more about that one in a later post (hopefully in less than a year's time, and ideally after it has sold!). Writing-wise I'm currently working on a new 163X-verse story titled Second Chance Bird, which features the continuing adventures of Grantville's 'Bird Lady' Pam Miller, who is off on a dangerous voyage around Africa to save the dodo! There's going to be more action than a summer blockbuster movie and maybe, just maybe, a little romance for Pam, our heroic (and no longer frumpy) divorce'.

Now I need to get Gazette 19's art going, I swear I am busier than a beer aficionado in Munich. Back to work!