We are delighted to introduce you to the art of Argentinian artist, Rodrigo Vega! Rodrigo has created this spectacular cover for John Dodd's debut science-fantasy novel, Ocean of Stars, out 12 April 2022.
About Ocean of Stars
Alone in the universe after the destruction of Mars, Catarina Solovias signs on to the Starlight Eagle, under the banner of Charles Godstorm, a wealthy merchant who disguises his true nature as a murderer and thief. They encounter a ship from another time that rips them out of their own timeline and into the far future, where they are captured by the mysterious Morgan. Godstorm trades Catarina’s life for his and Catarina has to find her way anew in a universe she has no knowledge of. An epic tale of hope and loss, stars and ships, set upon a backdrop of the tyranny of time and the dreams of a people yearning to be free, in a universe like no other, the Ocean of Stars.
And now let's get to know Rodrigo!
-How did art come into your life?
I believe art comes with the human condition. All kids love drawing, building stuff, cartoons and comics, etc. This connection is severed at some point, when they are expected to move into "mature" interests. Much like most artist I was just luckily enough to grow in an environment that fostered it enough to allow me to become decent enough at it to make it a profession.
-What is the art scene in Argentina like?
Having lived here all my life I have little reference for contrast! haha. And having worked for a long time as a free-lancer is even harder to tell, because we compete on a global job market like everyone else. If I had to guess, I think it's pretty good. Buenos Aires is a very culturally inclined city, with very generous public policies to facilitate artistic activities and every day I'm surprised by the talent of some local artist I never even heard of!
-Do you have a favourite artistic focus when you draw?
Focus? As in priority?... hmmm well, I'm a world-builder at heart, so I ponder a lot about how a piece or design hints at the setting of a story or scene.
Make sure that the idea tells a story, figure out a composition to highlight it and then fill out the details...
-How and why did you come to Fantasy and Science Fiction? What attracted you to it?
Similar to the question about art. I just always thought it was the coolest thing and never had a good reason to "grow out of it". I had a very active imagination as a kid, hopefully I still do, and using it just fills me with joy and enthusiasm. I always used everything I had at hand to fuel it, cartoons, tv, movies, games, books. Anything that offered worlds and questions to explore was fair game.
-Tell us about Ocean of Stars' cover art. Take us behind the scene.
Following the idea of the way I focus on a piece, I first bombarded John with every question I could come up about the premise he had. The planet, the setting, the technology, the factions and the ships. Ironically, open space can be a bit challenging to build a sense of .. well, space and direction. So I had to use every trick in the book to use light and particles in my favor, making it a priority through contrast and blocking since the earliest sketches. Luckily John had a pretty well defined idea for what he wanted on the piece that was relatively easy to fit into a dynamic composition and I believe the final result really worked out.
About Rodrigo Vega
Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a child I grew up with a passion for animals, dinosaurs, creatures and the art, games and toys depicting them that stayed with me for my entire life. I cut my teeth as an illustrator at the age of 16, while still at school, working at the Bernardino Rivadavia Natural Sciences Argentine Museum. I continued to work in scientific illustrations through many years to come and published in a variety of instalations and publications including the National Geographic Magazine. Over time I started favoring game art and media, and majored in game design. I worked on a host of independent games and even some small assignments for notable titles such as Paizo's Pathfinder and Riot's League of Legends. Today I still take jobs in scientific and educational material, editorial fiction illustration and concept art, illustration and 3D texturing for all sorts of games and entertainment media while still pushing to develop my own original IPs for personal projects.
You can see more of Rodrigo Vega's art, here.
Ocean of Stars will be out 12 April 2022. Pre-orders will open at the end of February.