2016 was a tumultuous time in which: I traveled alone by truck to Louisiana and the Florida Keys (where my truck was infested with bedbugs), I traveled through seven European countries, took care of a recovering parent, lost a dear friend, reconnected with an old friend, fell in love, witnessed a horrifying election and all the while freelancing.
But now I'm back! Most recent news, I am proud to announce that I created the cover for a science fiction novel written by my favorite college biology professor. The book is The Stars of Eridani by Matthew Moran. The story is about the arrival of colonists on an habitable exo-planet and the clash between humanity and environment. A great story for naturalist and scifi fans.
I won't spoil the book but I can give background on the cover art. The alien creature in the foreground was inspired from sea anemones and a tiny bit of HP Lovecraft's Elder Things. To get the right proportions and values I sculpted a model out of clay. It took about four solid hours to make the 24 tentacles. I then back lit the model with predawn light and photographed it from different angles. The landing ship in the background is also a clay model however next time I'll build one in a 3d modeling program. Building a something that looks space worthy is not as easy as I thought.
The composition is a hidden homage to Andrew Wythe's Christina's World. I wanted to create a feeling of great distance between the newly arrived humans and the planet's inhabitant. The colonists have their backs to nature and to a creature with no back.