Friday, January 23, 2015

Artwork Accepted for Cover of Spring SPACEPORTS & SPIDERSILK

I send off my latest artwork, a fun sci-fi piece, to the editor who requested something for her Spring 2015 issue.The editor's response:
"Very nice! I will write you an acceptance."
And I have already received the acceptance. So, it looks like my fun sci-fi artwork "Telling Tales" will be appearing on the cover of the Spring 2015 issue of Spaceports & Spidersilk. That means I will have art on both the spring and the fall issues! The editor previously accepted my monster artwork "Monster in the Ruin" for the fall.

Nice! Definitely not bad for an artist who has taken something of a hiatus from the world of genre publications. Even though I have declared I want to take a break from working on art for publications, I don't mind making the occasional  exception and doing a few pieces on request. It's certainly better than toiling away on a bunch of artworks for unsolicited submissions, only to have the products of that labour linger in submission limbo indefinitely.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Crazy-Net Argument: Rich Kids Should Read Ayn Rand to Learn How to be Rich!

Today's crazy-net argument: kids in school in a wealthy town should read Ayn Rand instead of reading a book about poverty because you want med students to be mentored by a medical doctor, not a PhD in "Urban Studies". In other words, kids in school in a wealthy town should read Ayn Rand so they can learn how to be rich.

Such an argument was made in a Facebook "discussion" (I use the term lightly) about this LA Times online article:
Should students read Ayn Rand instead of a book about poverty?

I guess broadening young minds by having them read about experiences outside of their own is a foreign concept to some people. Actually, it might just be a threat to the philosophy of Randian self-interest.

I bet one of the objectives of having kids in school in a wealthy town read a book about poverty is to have them read about things outside of their own experiences so they can explore a wider spectrum of ideas and possibly develop a broader outlook. I'm not sure having them read Ayn Rand would have the same outlook-broadening effect. As a matter of fact, I worry about the whole idea of indoctrination of kids in a certain philosophy/political mindset, which is probably what both the parent-in-question and the Facebook commenter truly want.

Personally, I am a fan of a well-rounded liberal arts education (say the member of Phi Beta Kappa). I went to college for science. I earned an A.S. and then went on to earn a B.S. in Biology. However, during my time at college, I took more than just science courses, and I'm glad I did. I took some creative writing courses and some history courses. Even when it came to taking science courses, I took more than just biology.

I worked in science for a while, as lab tech, but now I'm an artist/illustrator who creates art inspired by history, myth, and legend. I'm also a published poet and writer (published in small presses, but published nevertheless).

During my time working in science, I ran across some brilliant scientists who were woefully lacking in broader general knowledge. For instance, I knew a mycologist who, when it came to dinosaurs most third graders can identify, did not know the difference between Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops.

I truly believe that broader education leads to broader minds.
Conversely, an education focused too narrowly on one thing may lead to narrow-mindedness. Such narrow-mindedness may lead to prejudice and intolerance.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My Previous Cover Artworks

Since I just had a new cover artwork come out (on the cover of the January 2015 issue of Bards and Sages Quarterly), I thought I would take a look back at my past cover artworks on various zines:

"Under the Ice on Enceladus", cover art for Spaceports & Spidersilk, July 2014 Issue, June 2014.

"They Come in Peace", cover art for Spaceports & Spidersilk, January 2014.

"The Devourer Cometh", cover art for Disturbed Digest, Issue 3, December 2013.

Illustration for Michael Hodges' "Swampy Transitions", cover art for Plasma Frequency, Issue 9, December/January 2013/14, December 2013.

"Confronting the Dragon", cover art for Bards and Sages Quarterly, Volume V, Issue III, July 2013.

"Peg Powler", cover art for Spaceports & Spidersilk, July 2013.

"Over the Top", cover art for Youth Imagination, Issue 2, May 2013.

Illustration for Lindsey Duncan's "Mythocraft", cover art for Plasma Frequency, Issue 2, October/November 2012.

"Kamal Del and the Dark Elemental", door art for Spaceports & Spidersilk, Vol. 5, No. 3, September 2012.
(issue no longer available)

"Tree Climbing Crimbolain", cover art for Kids'Magination, Issue 11, May 2012.

"In the Dragon Realm", cover art for Kids'Magination Magazine, Issue 8, February 2012.

"An Invitation to Elfame", cover art for Bards and Sages Quarterly, January 2012.

"Crossing the Ertrixian Snowfields', door art for Spaceports & Spidersilk, December 2011.
(issue no longer available)

Cover art for How We Play Football in Alabama And Other Short Stories From Doug's World by Doug Hilton

"Conjuring the Dragon", cover art for OG's Speculative Fiction, Issue #32, September 2011.

"Mighty Steed, White Dragon", cover art for Kids'Magination, Issue 2, August 2011.

"Elf and Troll", cover art for Bards and Sages Quarterly, Volume III, Issue 3, July 2011.

"Meeting the Insectoids", cover art for Beyond Centauri, Issue 32, April 2011.

"Wandering Ole Willow", cover art for OG's Speculative Fiction, Issue #28, January 2011.

Cover art for Shelly Bryant's poetry collection Under the Ash, Sam's Dot Publishing, December 2010.

Cover art for David C. Kopaska-Merkel's poetry collection Brushfires, Sam's Dot Publishing, October 2010.

"A Leviathan Ascendant", cover art for Abandoned Towers, Issue #3, July 2009.
(issue no longer available)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

More Than a Poet!

Someone in a Facebook discussion about prose fiction said this to me:
"You're a poet, Richard. This is directed at non-poetry stuff."
Yes, I'm a published poet with over one hundred poetry publication credits under my belt. However, I'm also a published writer of prose, including prose fiction. I've seen a handful of stories published in various venues.

One of the reasons that I've seen only a handful of stories published is because I've written only a handful of stories. Most of the short stories I've written since I started seriously submitting material for publication back in 2007 have been published in zines.

As a matter of fact, my prose fiction appears on-line in my Redbubble portfolio. I gathered together all my published short fiction pieces (plus one previously unpublished drabble) here:
Richard Fay: Stories

In case you want to know where my stories have been published, since most have, here's the list:

Those From the Shadows..........Bete Noire, Issue #14, February 2014.

An Evil in Carnlinton..........Sorcerous Signals, Feb - Apr '14 Issue, February 2014; also Mystic Signals, Issue 20, 5th Anniversary Double Issue, February 2014.

Father Ryan's Fright..........Anotherealm, November 2013.

The Redcap of Glamtallon..........Cover of Darkness, Issue 14, March 2013.

Sing the Bones Alive..........Bards and Sages Quarterly, Volume V, Issue I, January 2013; also Bardic Tales and Sage Advice (Vol. VI), August 2014.

The Stars Weren't Really Right After All..........The Drabbler #19: Climate Change, September 2011.

The Abominable Snowman Snowless..........The Drabbler #19: Climate Change, September 2011. Honorable Mention in the 19th Sam's Dot Drabble Contest.

Vengeance of the Alpe..........Hungur, Issue 11, All Souls' Night 2010.; also Night to Dawn, Issue 21, April 2012

From Within the Earth..........MicroHorror, November 1, 2010.

The Trouble With Unsolicited Messages..........The Drabbler #11, June 2008. Honorable Mention in the 11th Sam's Dot Drabble Contest.

I'm a writer of non-fiction, too:
Richard Fay Non-Fiction Articles

Anyone wonder why I no longer like to participate in discussions about writing? When even friends say things like "You're a poet, Richard. This is directed at non-poetry stuff.", I feel less-than-welcome as a participant in discussions about writing prose fiction.

I'm so sick of this crap! Unfortunately, such crap is particularly prevalent in the writing world.

In this latest case, I don't believe my friend meant any offense, but I do feel just a bit offended.

Monday, January 12, 2015

"Morgan Le Fay" Cover Art for January 2015 BARDS AND SAGES QUARTERLY

My fantasy artwork "Morgan Le Fay" appears on the cover of the January 2015 issue of Bards and Sages Quarterly. I drew Morgan in the garb of a highborn medieval lady. That's how I draw sorceresses!

This piece is actually an updated version of a Morgan Le Fay composition I sold on a bookmark at a local medieval fair and a handful of local arts and crafts fairs. I had a series of bookmarks featuring figures from Arthurian legend. And, yes, they did sell. However, this updated Morgan is much improved over the old.

Check it out: Bards and Sages Quarterly (January 2015)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Back on DeviantArt...

An artist friend of mine sold a print through DeviantArt, which got me reconsidering my previous decision to leave the site. I did have art on DeviantArt for a while, but after going for quite some time with little activity and no sales, I deactivated my account. Well, I'm trying again. i'm back on DeviantArt, this time as AzureLionProductions. I already have something like thirty artworks in my AzureLionProductions DeviantArt gallery.

Now, the question will be, will I ever sell any prints?

Revised "Poleaxe of Edward IV"

I reworked my old illustration of Edward IV's poleaxe. Though the illustration was published in a zine and items featuring the image have sold through my stores, I was never completely happy with  certain aspects of it. The central spike was too short and the upper part of the haft too skinny. Being the perfectionist that I am, I have now lengthened the spike and widened the socket.

I have already added the revised image to my Redbubble portfolio:

I also removed the old version from my Zazzle store and added the new version to several items:

Now I have to add it to stuff in my Azure Lion Productions CafePress Shop.

Header Image for Cyberwizard Productions

"Fending Off the Cyberdragon"
Header image for  Cyberwizard Productions website
Copyright © 2015 Richard H. Fay

Crystalwizard asked me if I could come up with a header image for the new Cyberwizard Productions website. I figured I could, and when I saw the basic shape of the header, I immediately thought "dragon". Seeing as how I was doing a header for the Cyberwizard Productions site, I thought a robotic/cybernetic dragon would be appropriate. Crystalwizard requested that I include a wizard in the piece, which fit with one of the ideas I had for it. Thus, I created "Fending Off the Cyberdragon", which is now displayed as a header image on Cyberwizard Productions.

Crystalwizard's actual response to the artwork:
That is absolutely perfect, Richard :) I love it.
I also added the artwork to several items in my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store:


Monday, January 5, 2015

Added up My Numbers for 2014

I calculated my credits, debits, and net income for 2014. I won't embarrass myself by sharing the actual numbers. However, I will say this: though I made about $282 less this past year than the year before, I still did better in 2014 than I did in 2012 and 2011. Also, income from my stores has jumped from 34% to 72% of the overall total. I saw a 10% decrease in income from Zazzle, but a 82% increase in income from Redbubble and a 178% increase in income from CafePress. This tells me that I should continue to concentrate on my stores.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Illustration for Joyce Frohn's "Room 116"

Illustration for Joyce Frohn's "Room 116"
Published in THE LORELEI SIGNAL, Jul - Sept '14 Issue, July 2014.

Illustration for Benjamin Sperduto's "The Doom of Mournshire"

Illustration for the Mystic Signals exclusive story "The Doom of Mournshire" by Benjamin Sperduto.
Illustration originally appeared in the table of contents of The Lorelei Signal, Jul - Sept '14 Issue, July 2014.