An Interview with Jason Chan

Jason Chan is the artist who brought Bertie to cobalt-flaming life on the cover of Eyes Like Stars. We had a chance to ask him a few questions about his work.

Most of your process appears to be digital. Could you describe it briefly?
Yes, these days I work primarily in Adobe Photoshop using a WACOM tablet. For those not familiar with computer tablets, they are like drawing boards with a pen that you plug into your computer that allow you to interact with the computer more like you are using a pencil and paper instead of the mouse. With these tools, I can approach my work similarly to using paints, but with more flexibility and speed. Sometimes I will start a piece in pencil or paint and scan it in, but usually I work completely on the computer.
Cover Design Sketches
How did you come to be involved in working on the cover art for EYES LIKE STARS?
It was all word of mouth. The Art Director at Feiwel and Friends, Rich Deas, needed an artist in a rush. I was recommended to him by Irene Gallo, the Art Director at Tor. Rich took a look at my website and I guess he felt that my work would suit the story.
First pass of cover art
What sort of direction were you given for this particular project?
I was told the general premise of the book and given some ideas and some sample passages. Unfortunately, I did not get to read the book ahead of time as it was a short deadline. I was given some notes on the type of mood they wanted to see and I got back to them with some sketches. From there we were able to work out a cover idea pretty quickly.
Second pass of cover art
What was your favorite part about this particular image? Did anything prove particularly difficult?
This was a pretty fun image for me. The character is actually similar to a character I had illustrated on my own (with some differences), so it was right up my alley. The only thing that was difficult was the time we had to complete the image.
Will prints of the cover art be available for purchase?
That is definitely a possibility.
Third pass of cover art
When sketching/drawing for yourself, what are some of your favorite subjects or themes?
I enjoy drawing women, fantasy and science fiction, interesting looking people, and whatever else inspires me.
What's your favorite completed piece?
That's hard to say. I feel that different pieces have different strengths... That said, I do like how the piece “Third Eye” (revposter) turned out. I also like how “Zombie Playground” came out.
Any big project on the horizon that you're particularly excited about?
I'm just finishing up some things right now for Marvel Comics, which is pretty exciting for me. Outside of that, I'm always keeping busy and there's always something fun to work on.

Thanks again to Jason for giving us a little of his time. You can see more of Jason's work at his site and at his blog.

Jason Chan on Character Design, Part I:

Jason Chan on Character Design, Part II:

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