Sunday, August 25, 2013

Illustrating Your Books--The Invisible Dragon's Take

Author Peter Maxian, of the Invisible Dragon books, has written several illustrated stories.  What makes these so unusual is that many of his books are more along the genre beautifully depicted, almost poetic, daydreams for adults.  These all have very dream-like photos to accompany them.  I asked Peter how he got the idea of illustrating these with modified photos. 

Below is what Peter has to share on the subject.  Some of this information originally appeared on the "books" page of his website.  The photo shown is from his author page on Amazon.
How did you come up with the idea of using modified photos to illustrate your books?

I wrote 15 stories about Ryn, the son of some friends of mine. Everyone who read those stories said they would make a perfect children's illustrated book. I asked a few artists to do illustrations, but no-one came up with anything satisfactory. So I created digital illustrations myself for the stories I wanted to publish.

Creating pictures that portray an invisible dragon is not easy.

How does an artist paint the invisible?
I have asked artists here in Vienna where I live, but no-one could do it. 

So how did I paint the invisible? 

I created the illustrations by listening to my heart, and daydreaming of the invisible dragon.

Like magic, I re-created the "magical realism" landscape of the stories by enhancing photographs, and the dragon is a lighting effect. While working at a computer, the right effects all came together to tell the dragon's story in pictures. 

One theme of the invisible dragon stories is that we can "see" the invisible in our heart and our dreams. (The same theme is in "The Little Prince" by Antoine de St Exupery.)

I could "see" the invisible dragon, and he appeared in illustrations on my computer...

Christina's Note:  I should also mention that Peter is the author of the Christina BraveStar book, based on me, which, I think is quite cool and highly entertaining.  I told Peter that his writing a book about me makes me feel like a movie star, and I'm relatively sure that's partly where the name "BraveStar" comes from. (Photo is from the Peter's website, and is a modified photo of me on top of the French Alps. This photo appears on the cover of the previously mentioned book.) For more information, check out the book :)

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