The best thing about completing a story is the chance to work with an artist who will not only create the cover, but help galvanize the look and feel of your story. Since I had ZAK CORBIN in a final state of revision, I decided to look for an artist to design the cover. Normally I could have done this myself (and many self-publishing DIYers can manage) but 1) my arts skills were pretty rusty, 2) I wanted to see the characters and not just concepts and 3) a trained artist can concentrate on the look while I concentrate on the story.
I searched the web site DeviantArt for an artist because I was impressed with their quality and the artists there (along with their fans) truly appreciate great work. After a couple of searches across the site, I found an artist who had examples of robots and kids, which is kind of the basis for ZAK CORBIN. His name is Daryl Toh Liem Zhan, and he resides in far-off Melbourne, Australia. I sent him a note, we corresponded and he asked me for character descriptions, the setting, important aspects of the story’s world, etc.
He came up with a series of roughs for the characters and layouts for the cover designs. As you look through these, notice how Daryl references older magazines for the character examples. I’m featuring these here as small versions, but will link them to larger versions.
Please note that Daryl Toh is the copyright holder © of these images and any use outside my book ZAK CORBIN: MASTER OF MACHINES, marketing materials for ZAK CORBIN, my blog and Facebook pages requires his permission.
First up, Zak (click to see bigger!):
Next up, Lisabeth:
Pogo, the Corbin Guardian Robot:
And lastly, some cover layouts with placement and poses!
Next post, the final cover reveal!