Saturday, May 11, 2013

Rituals and Intersections - Equinox Artwork

by MJ Preston

Daniel Blackbird was one of my first virtual drawings.
From May 11th -17th is the May Monster Madness Blog Hop so I decided dig up some of my artwork and present it in a couple of blogs. Often when I write I use this medium to inspire myself in the storytelling process. When writing my first novel: THE EQUINOX I began a virtual drawing of protagonist 'Daniel Blackbird'. I say virtual, because a pencil never touched paper through the process, everything was generated on computer using an early version of Jasc Paint Shop Pro. This was something I used to do as a kid when writing stories. Back then I carried a sketch pad, binder of loose leaf or whatever I could to scratch out my rudimentary creations.
     As I continued to work on Equinox the art seemed to accompany the creation process and I ended up generating a lot of images. What I didn't realize was that most of the artwork was too low in DPI to be published anywhere, so other putting it up here on a blog or on my website, the early Equinox Art had no marketable value. Live and learn I guess. I wasn't really looking at publishing it anyway, but I have since changed my approach to artwork and go big with the originals now.  I don't think this approach to writing is anything new. I believe Clive Barker took a similar approach in his writing, but unlike Barker I do not market my artwork.
     As I wrote each chapter I also continued producing new images
EQUINOX ART -The Black Orb concealing the creature within.
and as with most things
my skill improved. As a result, I began inundating friends and family with whatever popped into my head that week. This usually resulted in the odd comment that insinuated that I suffered from sort of mental problems. I tried not to take these attacks on my mental stability to personally. As a result of this born again process I decided that I would take complete creative control of my book and design my own cover for The Equinox once it was ready for publication. I went through a number of drafts and finally settled on two different covers. One for the paperback and the hardcover. Left you'll see one of the early original concepts. I eventually settled on two different covers, but the process was great fun.

Creative Sculpts: The Skin-walker of Chocktee
Early on the task of creating the skin-walkers was a slow process
I have not limited my creativity to just pictures and writing, but did a bit of sculpting as well, bringing to life the nefarious skin-walker of Chocktee. 
Neighbors must have thought I was crazy putting this guy out.
    It took me about three months and a gallon of silicone to put the seven foot monster together. After completing the project I took a couple shots of the big lug and it caught the attention of local media. It also made for an awesome centerpiece on my front lawn which is usually covered in grave stones and zombies on Halloween. He was a big hit with most of the kids, not all of them would come up my driveway to get a treat. I had to meet some of the more timid kids at the road. [insert devilish grin here].
      After Halloween I had to chop the big guy in half because there really was no where to store him. He's under my patio in a crawl space now, no doubt being crawled upon by spiders and bugs as he waits for my wife to open the door.

Using Internet Media

     Following the publication of Equinox I went on to author a couple of videos which outlined my artwork and introducing the public to some of the characters from the book.  Using music from artist Kevin MacLeod and mixing it with art and animation I produced this video called Faces of Equinox. Have a look.

     Well that's it for this MAY MONSTER MADNESS segment. In my next blog I will take you to the City of the Dead and show you a bit more of my work.

Thanks for stopping in and enjoy your hop across the blogosphere.


MJ Preston is the Author of the Horror Novel: THE EQUINOX
His new novel ACADIA EVENT is forecasted for release in late 2013

'The Equinox' is a tour de force of brilliant writing, fast-paced action, and gritty characterisation. 
Get your copy of The Equinox  
Sold in Hardcover and Trade Paperback
Click on the books below for more details

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  1. Holy crap - your Skin-walker of Chocktee is AWESOME!! Not that your paint-shopped images aren't good, too -- they are! -- but the skin-walker is incredible. He's absolutely good enough to be in any Horror film. Wow! You're so talented. :-)

  2. Man of many talents! Nice work! They are just sensational :-)

  3. Holy crap that's a sexy looking monster! ;)
    Why were you blessed with all this creative genuis? I think you should divvy up some of your talent to those of us who need it! ;)
    But really, this is brilliant! Can't wait to see what's next!
    Here's my MMM'S for today Carmen Jenner Author and Book Me!
    Happy Hopping! =D

  4. I also love to draw the characters from my stories, but not with any of the artistic talent you have; your art is amazing! What a shame you had to cut your skin-walker in half; but then, he might be an even better Halloween prop now!

  5. The "law enforcement" image, from your latest post, inspired me to look further back. And to read the about The Equinox. I know the image has little to do with the novel, but it speaks of how your mind works. I love what you did with the creepy cop, and now I'm interested in seeing what a Canadian horror author does with the wendigo myth--I'm psyched!

    By the way, that green glow oozing out of my comment is good old envy. I really wish I had the skills to bring my characters to life with more than words.

    P.S. Did your wife open the door yet?