TSC Production Journal #4: Art Direction

At Emergent Realms, we put a lot of thought into the words that make up our stories, but those words are often accompanied by many images like cover art, maps, character art, and any other artwork we need to help you immerse yourself in our worlds.

Today, Jim Wilbourne talks about the artwork behind The Seventh Cadence and how it all came together.

Jim on the Art Direction for The Seventh Cadence

Though the revision process for The Seventh Cadence was the most difficult hurdle for the novel, finding a cover artist we were satisfied with proved to be a formidable challenge in its own right.

First, there was the issue of actually finding an artist who was both interested in the project and that we trusted to be around long enough to keep doing art for the series for the foreseeable future. And then there was the matter of making sure the artist could fit the aesthetic of the story at a reasonable price. Surprisingly, this took a few years, but when we found the right artist, we were overjoyed.

We chose Billy Christian from Polar Engine Studio because we loved his art first and foremost. Secondly, his experience with Magic the Gathering made him uniquely positioned to do a book cover for an epic fantasy novel. Plus I saw that he’d done the illustration for A Mark of Kings by Bryce O'Connor and Luke Chmilenko. I remember seeing A Mark of Kings for the first time and thinking, “this cover art is amazing!” and I bought the book on the spot based on the cover alone. I know my story is going to be great for most epic fantasy fans, so I knew that I needed to find someone who could help those readers come to that conclusion just as I had for A Mark of Kings (which is also an amazing book, by the way. You can grab it here).