I first encountered master of the dark arts Sam Shearon a year or two ago when I started listening to a metal band called A Pale Horse Named Death (APHND is still one of my favourite new finds in music). Now Sam was the one responsible for APHND's cover art, but he's also done work for the likes of Rob Zombie and a range of others. More recently he's been getting involved in book cover design, and he's stopped by my blog today to share a little of his latest news.
ND: Welcome, Sam, what've you been up to recently? Tell us a little more about the client.
SS: I've just finished illustrating HP Lovecraft's The Call of Cthulhu & Other Mythos Tales hard back book through IDW Publishing. It's a book of six HP Lovecraft classic horror stories - each with several full-colour illustrations created by me numbering more than 20 in total, including the wraparound cover. I'm also currently illustrating The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
ND: Were there any design considerations you had to keep in mind? Any unique challenges to the brief?
SS: With regards to ...Dorian Gray, it's a relatively short novel and the only one Oscar Wilde ever wrote apparently.
I read through it with a view to being as loyal as I could with my illustrations and found it to be very surprising that the character Dorian is blonde with blue eyes... so naturally it'll probably be quite surprising to most people also when they see the illustrations and cover itself... as most if not all film adaptations depict him as having dark hair.
ND: What went into the production? Any interesting side notes to the creative process?
SS: With both The Call of Cthulhu and The Picture of Dorian Gray, I had to dive into the visual history books to really flesh out the feel of each era.
The buildings, the clothes, the decor the artifacts and even the hairstyles!
I'm fascinated by the early eras of science fiction and horror... particularly the Victorian era, which has become a hugely popular subject these last few years in the alternative entertainment genres. So naturally I was thrilled to dig through my own collections and include some personal artifacts and photography into the work - thus aside from being the illustrator I was able to weave a little piece of me into some of the images.
The Call of Cthulhu is available online to order now
The Picture of Dorian Gray is released in September - both through IDW.
Now go forth and like Sam Shearon's Facebook page and tell him I sent you. If you like dark art, you'll be enthralled.