Jim Burns, Interview and Influence.

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Recently I got to know Jim Burns.

Okay so it’s only on social media but hell! This is a man who has been a great influence on my work for as a long as I can remember being interested in Science fiction and he actually takes the time to talk with me. I think the first time I saw his work (at least attributed) was in Omni (a Science fiction and fact magazine) in the late 70’s. 

Jim Burns "Mechanismo"

Jim Burns “Mechanismo”

The thing that stuck me about the way he worked was was his ability to contrast very human Star-ships, machinery and people with incredibly “alien” Alien star-ships, machines and characters. The alien part of his work can be almost jarring in it’s difference, and yet at the same time it looks very natural in the scene.

Jim_Burns for "The Reality Dysfunction (Night's Dawn #1)" by Peter F. Hamilton

Jim_Burns for “The Reality Dysfunction (Night’s Dawn #1)” by Peter F. Hamilton

Jim is one of the most approachable, pleasant people I’ve ever had the pleasure to talk to and I still feel awestruck every time we talk.

Jim Burns

Jim Burns

Keith Draws (awestruck!)

Keith Draws (awestruck!)

The realism of his work and the incredible detail he applies meticulously have always been something I strive to achieve, with varying degree’s of success, but I have to say the most important thing  he does is to take the viewer away from the current reality,  into the reality of his science fiction. And something about the way he does this seems to connect to  the almost primeval parts of the mind. The effect of looking at his work is almost like experiencing  recovered memories, filled with the almost overpowering emotions of  awe, excitement and discovery. The truth is  when I look at his art I almost become that “starry eyed teen” again. Speaking of being a “starry eyed teen” I remember the first time I saw the cover for Stanislaw Lem’s “The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age”  painted by Jim. The image is so alien and yet at the same time so fascinating that it has stuck with me. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an image that had such a profound effect on my outlook before or since.

Jim Burns Art for Stanislaw Lem's "The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age"

Jim Burns Art for Stanislaw Lem’s “The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age”

Since I was first introduced to Jim’s Art I wondered what it would be like to have the opportunity to work on such images. In 2012 that opportunity came about when  Richard Tongue ordered three book covers from me.

He sent me the books, I read them and really enjoyed them. I remember I put together the roughs for Richard and we just couldn’t finish them fast enough. I knew then that something major was happening in my journey.

Since then Richard and I have worked together on multiple covers (more than 25 if I remember correctly) and Richard recently told me,
” You’ve done some wonderful covers for me over the years, and I always look forward to each one. Often they are some of my biggest inspirations when it comes to writing the book; it’s always great to have that in front of me, urging me on.”  when he ordered this:

Keith Draws Art for "Operation Damocles" by Richard Tongue.

Keith Draws Art for “Operation Damocles” by Richard Tongue.

It is extraordinary to hear such words directed at me when I could say exactly the same thing about about Richard’s and Jim’s work.  Also It would be remiss not to say that thanks to the work I’ve done for Richard I’ve also been commissioned to work on many other projects in a similar vein.

Another major influence on my outlook was the magazine OMNI and they just ran a fantastic interview with Jim that I heartily recommend you go read. It’s right here: https://omni.media/jim-burns-interview
I think all that is left to say is a big thank you to Jim for being such an inspiration to me and thank you to Richard for allowing me to put that inspiration into action

You can visit Jim’s website here:
http://www.alisoneldred.com/thumbsJimBurns-Illustration-0-1.html

and Richards here:
http://richardtongue.blogspot.mx/p/battlecruiser-alamo.html

UPDATE: Jim’s reply on facebook:

Jim Burns: Cheers Keith! I hope you don't sometimes feel I led you astray! I sometimes have felt that in respect of Frank Hampson....and in fact did a presentation at the British Interplanetary Society called 'I Blame it all on Dan Dare'

Jim’s response on FB

As ever he is humble, and wouldn’t we all love to hear that speech. I’ve asked him if it’s around and I’ll let you know what he says.
Bellow in the comments is Richards Response and I have to say I am humbled.
I think I’m going to try and do more posts like this about creators and their influence and if possible I’ll try and get some interviews.

Frank Frazetta Inspired

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Frank Frazetta has always been a hero of mine.

So when I get the chance to produce work in the genre of Sword and Sorcery Fantasy Art I jump at the opportunity.
The dark forest-600px
Now I don’t want to just copy the style of Frank, no, I want to pay homage by creating a piece of work that is clearly inspired by him, while being essentially my work. And it also must sell the book it is painted for by reflecting the atmosphere, characters and excitement contained therein.
David A. Brogdon gave me that opportunity recently. I read the book and discussed the concepts with him and above is the result.
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to express my appreciation for the impact Frank has had on my life but this  kind of work goes someway toward that.

The Book is now up for sale here: www.amazon.com/dp/B01AQNRG7U
Posters are here:
http://keithdraws.deviantart.com/art/The-Dark-Forest-Landscape-613475874
and here:
http://keithdraws.deviantart.com/art/The-Dark-Forest-613477764

Alien Abduction

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Nash- the Abduction by Mason Dodd

Alien abduction is not a subject I’ve explored in art before. This project gave me the opportunity.
The book is available here: https://goo.gl/ad2G4O
Posters here: http://goo.gl/hggfPw

Nash The Abduction

Science Fiction and Fantasy Dreaming.

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And How Those Dreams Came True.

As a youth I spent hours in bookshops, looking for scifi and fantasy art on book covers. I’d find a few I liked, buy them and when I got home, I’d study the art and try to learn how to do it. I dreamed about doing that kind of art for a living.

Jim Burns, Todd Lockwood, Peter A. Jones,  Chris Foss, Chris Achilleos,  Frank Frazetta, Boris and Julie Bell, Bruce Pennington and Peter Elson (to name but a few) were major influences. In the past few years I’ve even been lucky enough to get to know a few of these people.

Even more amazing I actually now get paid to do work in that genre. I produce a lot of Sci fi images for the Great and Prolific Author Richard Tongue. In fact I’ve done more than twenty illustrations for him to date, and they just get more challenging every time.

Always pursue your dreams. It’s worth it.

Here are a few of the more recent covers I’ve done for Richard:
Final Testament

 

Interceptor

Starfighter

forbiden seas

Great advice for writers. Day 84 of 90: A part of your soul

I saw a post on the board recently that made me think. This author says he spent years lovingly crafting his story, only to feel an overwhelming sense of disappointment at the lack of a response. W…

Source: Day 84 of 90: A part of your soul #ASMSG #IARTG #IAN1 #SupportIndieAuthors #Inspiration

The Secret War Illustration

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One more illustration from “The Secret War” from the amazing game “Era: The Consortium.
Depicting a “Shade” in “stealth armour”, this image is my favorite from the series and ,of much of the work I have done, this has probably come closest to the image I had in my mind before I started work.
SHADES

The game itself has received some amazing reviews  such as this one: 
http://rpgknights.com/era-the-consortium-a-review/
and the kickstarter for “The Secret War” Module is getting great reviews too:
http://www.gamingcypher.com/era-the-consortium-the-secret-war-kickstarter-launches-today/

The kickstarter itself is here :
https://goo.gl/AE9hou
All images are copyright Shades of Vengeance.

The Secret War.

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Era :The Consortium –  New Illustrations

I’ve been working with Shades of Vengeance  on a new module for the RPG Era the Consortium. As well as the graphics and layout, I’ve had the opportunity to work on some of the illustration which you can see here.
Hai Xang Kovibolloas Promotion phantom attackThe game itself has received some amazing reviews  such as this one: 
http://rpgknights.com/era-the-consortium-a-review/
and the kickstarter for “The Secret War” Module is getting great reviews too:
http://www.gamingcypher.com/era-the-consortium-the-secret-war-kickstarter-launches-today/

The kickstarter itself is here :
https://goo.gl/AE9hou
All images are copyright Shades of Vengeance.

Holiday Season Specials

Great Offers Just In Time For The Holidays.

Custom Cover Art Starting from as low as: $165
Character art from only: $15
Photo Manip Cover Art from only: $130

 

And I’m launching the New Sci Fi ready made cover dept  with Jason Archer which you can see here
Where the covers are launching at the special low price of :$135

All details here

2115

all offers subject to terms and conditions

Magic Times

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This was something of a challenge

…and getting all the key element’s in place turned out to be a lot of fun.
Harvey Click always manages to overheat my brain cells in the best possible way!

I’m even thinking it might be cool to make a complete set of Tarot cards.. If only I had the time.
Magic Times e book coverThe Fool Tart Card

Magic Times spread

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