Presenting The New Chapter Icons For Betrayed!

Presenting The New Chapter Icons For Betrayed!

Greetings all,

As Betrayed gets closer and closer to release, I’m starting to gather everything I need. One of those things is art! I haven’t had Carlos start working on the cover yet (saving up money), but I was able to commission the chapter icons for the new POV characters.

First, I’d like to introduce you all to Ignacio. I sent out feelers on Twitter, and he responded. I looked at his work, and it was a pretty easy decision after that.

Ignacio was wonderful to work with. I sent him some rough sketches I made, and he came back with wonderful images. The image for Zac (below) took a few attempts. You see, his chapter icon is an actual element of the story. It’s a patch for Zac and Dom’s old unit, and it’s also a tattoo that Zac has on his arm. So I needed a much more literal representation of the thumbnail I originally sent. The down side was that the concept wasn’t actually an artistically interesting. That’s because most military patches aren’t exactly works of art. But where I was worried I’d annoy him or frustrate him, Ignacio took it in stride and sent me at least six different versions of the idea for me to choose from.

This patience is what really stands out to me. As an artist myself, I know how possessive people can be about their work, and Ignacio was nothing but polite and responsive. Folks, if you’re looking for art, you should consider looking him up.

Now that I’ve raved about his professionalism, it’s time to show off his actual work! I proudly present the new (additional) chapter icons for Betrayed.

This is the image for Dom. Dom was a side character in Caught, but he gets a starring (if not leading) role in Betrayed.

His story was the inspiration for the title and general overall structure. Dom has the heart of a patriot.

In this story, Dom is yet again pushed and hurt by the nation he so earnestly wanted to serve and protect. This image is designed to represent a batter soldier still loyally carrying an equally battered American flag.

This image is for Mariana. Mariana is Zac’s daughter.

She is introduced in this book and only has a small role, but her story is just beginning.

This book only hints at the role she’s going to have and how her story is going to affect her. This image represents the idea of a young girl whose innocence has just started to wither. Mariana is very different than Kaitlyn. The interesting dynamic in Betrayed is her relationship with her father. She’s currently in a world where she only knows love and kindness. That world is absolutely going to change.

Here is the previously-mentioned challenging logo. It was only challenging because I needed such a specific rendering. This logo represents Zac. This patch was his (and Dom’s) unit patch.

Zac loved this patch (and the team mates associated with it) so much he tattooed it on one of his arms. The shield and lightning bolts were inspired by the Army Special Forces patch. I replaced the sword with the number nine (Special Operations Unit Nine).

Zac and Dom were best friends before Dom was “recruited” to be a part of a “special operations training unit.” This was all part of what happened long before Caught. Now, years later, Zac is called on a mission that will force him to choose between his loyalty to his country and a friendship that parted ways years ago.

Please respect the copyright I hold on these images. I’m happy to present them to you here, but I ask that you don’t copy or reproduce them without my expressed permission.

That said, what do you think? Do you have a favorite? I’m actually torn between Mariana’s and Dom’s. I haven’t really decided yet, but I love them both. Please take a moment to hop over to Ignacio’s Twitter page and give him a follow and maybe tweet him a message telling him what you think of his work.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

More Art for upcoming projects!

More Art for upcoming projects!

Greetings all!

SomethingAlwaysRemainsOne wonderful thing about being an independent author is that it gives you creative control. I like control. (Mayhaps a little too much) ┬áThat control allows me to share what I love with people I love. I’ve mentioned a few times that Collin, the artist who did the cover art for all versions of The Journals of Bob Drifter, was my best friend in junior high. He’s still a dear friend to this day. My brother in law did the chapter icons for Bob.

That’s why the art I’m going to show you is particularly special to me. As and instructor, I see a lot of talent come and go through the course. Some want to be artists. Some want to make movies. Others even want to be writers, and I pride myself on looking for opportunities to help them.

Not too long ago, I met a young man who I thought well of. He’d been posting art on his social media page, and I knew I needed chapter icons, and I can only work my brother in law so hard. I could have asked Jessica, who did the chapter icons for Caught, but I want to share opportunities with people.

Matt Reynolds is a motivated young man, and a former student of mine, I was all too happy to talk about my idea with. He was happy for the challenge. I paid him the same fee I paid Jessica per image, and now I’m proud to present the chapter icon for Elele, the main character from Sojourn in Captivity.

 

Elelefinal
Art by Matthew Reynolds. Image owned by M.L.S. Weech. Any reuse or distribution without his consent is in violation of copyright law.

I first approached Matt in March of this year. As I said, I noticed he’d been posting some sort of new art on his social media page every day. I gave him two source images to use as inspiration, and he went to work. Three versions (and a total of five drafts) later, I have the image above to accompany the beginning of each chapter featuring Elele.

early-seferam
I’d kill to have a more updated image of Elele by now.

Elele is a Seferam, an alien race of the planet Orolon. To a human eye, Seferam all look pretty similar (if not identical). They’re black-skinned, with course black hair and large oval eyes. The thing is Seferam eyes are attuned differently to the electromagnetic spectrum (the same way Deer eyes are). They can see ultraviolet light. I came up with the idea while looking at some cool images of butterflies shot under UV light. That gave me the idea to have these creatures see that part of the spectrum. It’s how they identify one another.

Each Seferam has a unique pattern, called a Faline, on the front and back of their torso. The outer-most pattern (in this case the four teardrops you see) identifies one’s pod (or family). The inner-most pattern is unique to each Seferam. In this case, Elele has a seven-pedaled flower. Older Seferam (parents and grandparents) have more patterns between their family pattern and their individual pattern. Elele is a daughter, and she has no children, so she only has the two patterns. These patterns are based on fractal patterns I searched for and found visually appealing. I won’t share them because I found them online and was inspired by them, but I don’t own them or know who holds the rights.

Matt took those images and ran with them. I honestly love this image. I can’t thank him enough for putting in the work to create this, and I’m glad to give him credit as a work-for-hire artist.

Sojourn is finished by the way. The deadline for the other authors in the Slush Brain Anthology is Jan. 1, 2018. So you can expect Elele’s story to be out pretty soon that year. Please tell Matt what you think of the image. Young artists are amazing, and sometimes they just need a bit of exposure to get them the recognition they deserve.

Thanks for reading,

Matt