I have the absolute pleasure to reveal Tara Bush's new artwork for Steven J Dines' debut collection, Look Where You Are Going Not Where You have Been, book 9 of the Harvester Series.
I had seen Tara's work before, on the cover of Black Static, and immediately I was hooked. The way she manages to capture emotions and moods is simply incredible. It was Steven who introduced me to Tara. He believed that she was the right artist for his collection. And boy, was he right!
Since Tara delivered the work, I've stared at the woman in the cover for a long time, and then on and off as I started to prepare the cover, the blogs, the catalogues. And every time I look at her, I discover something new. A line, a shade of color, the position of one single hair, a reflection in her eyes. My journey into Steven's book has already begun, with the woman on the cover.
I love it. In fact, I love her work so much that I went straight back to her for a new project - but that, is a story for another time.
Here is the brief that Steven shared with Tara:
"For the cover art, I asked for Tara specifically because I wanted the image to stand out from the crowd and I knew from her previous work that she is exceptional at producing haunting portraits. There is a realism and detail in her work (look at those bloodshot eyes!) that perfectly matches the stories in the book. In terms of the design, we agreed upon a close-up of a woman with her pain, grief, and sadness literally staining her face in the form of those mascara tears (a central image from one of the stories in the collection). I asked for the subject to be turned in one direction while simultaneously being 'pulled' back by a child's (or doll's) hand reaching for her shoulder. The stairs are an important location in several of the stories too, so I also asked for those to be included somehow. What Tara produced was beyond my expectations, and to do so under exceptionally difficult circumstances makes it even more poignant. I am so touched and grateful that Tara was able to come through for both me and Luna Press. Thank you, Tara!"
I've asked Tara to share a little of her journey with us:
"Back in the summer of 2020, I was approached by Steven Dines to create the cover artwork for his debut collection, Look Where You Are Going Not Where You Have Been for Luna Press Publishing, and knowing how powerful Steven’s writing is…saying no just wasn’t an option!
The art direction for Steven’s book was detailed, yet loose enough to leave room for artistic interpretation. The starting point was a reference photo, and on this book…a unique photo was the beginning. I always like to start with the eyes to get the right expression and this was very important on this project, as a subtle, yet strong way to convey emotion.
I knew early on I wanted to use the colours and tones to portray emotion and feelings, and during the process, I allowed the colours to wash organically over the face. Colour was mainly applied digitally, enabling me to keep the detail of the underdrawing. I knew I wanted yellow tones in the image and the blue washes felt right as the artwork was nearing an end.
The result is a combination of traditional and digital, which I think can work in harmony with each other. Steven’s writing is so evocative and haunting, that it really helps translate those deep emotions to the page for an artist."
Tara is a BSFA nominated artist & illustrator based in Saddleworth. Her influences include; surrealist photography, contemporary fantasy art, and indie horror films. She uses a mixture of traditional and digital media, exploring the blur between fine art and illustration. As an illustrator, she has produced art for: TTA Press, SST Publications, and Unsung Stories amongst others. As an artist, she creates bespoke portraits and original artwork for commission. Website: (www.tarabush.co.uk) Twitter (https://twitter.com/taraannebush)
Keep an eye on Tara's work, follow her on Twitter. You will be seeing more and more of her fabulous work.
Look Where You Are Going Not Where You Have Been will be out in September, in time for Fantasycon. And of course, ARCs will be available before then, so sign up for our newsletter!