Saturday, February 13, 2010

Indroducing: Steve Viner, Shaman Circus Cover Artist

I think it's high time I introduce you to Steve Viner, the Cover Artist from Shaman Circus. Steve and I met through  Connie Stadler of Virginia, an author I whose poetry chapbook, Tinted Steam, I was publishing through my small press, Shadow Archer Press.  Connie had seen his work, contacted him where he lives in England and requested he design the cover for her book. I was so impressed with Steve's work both on Connie's book and his website that I've worked with him on Fissure #5 and three more chapbooks, The Holy Hermaphrodite by Anthony Hitchin, The Winter King by Michael Aaron Casares and The Moulding of Seers, which also featured interior artwork to illustrate the poetry of Petra Whitley. 
I knew he was the man for Shaman Circus.  For those of you familiar with the work of Dave McKean who desgined many of the covers for Neil Gaiman's Sandman series, in addition to lots of other work with Gaiman, you'll see that McKean is one of Steve greatest influences.  

Now one things that's interesting is that Steve starts with found objects or paintings and then morphs the artwork digitally.  So here's the original painting he produced of Baron Semedi for the Shaman Circus cover. You'll see how much it changes during his many layered process of digitally altering the image.

Then this was the second idea for the cover. He's added various features to the backgroun and lightened the image but didn't transform it as mucvh as he usually does with his figures.

so he went back to the drawimg board - his mac and other equipment and  took it into another dimension giving the image of the voudou spirit a less human and more sumbolic and dynamic look which to me portrays the mystery and power of the character. 
Pretty amazing, if you ask me.

Here'a s bit more about Steve.
Dorset, UK) Steve lives with his wife, Donna, and daughter, Athene and they are now expecting a second child. He is  predominately a digital artist, using various found and made objects to create dark gothic images. He is currently working on illustrating a children's book with Petra and has had a successful exhibition, which surprisingly due to the artistic content, went well with a broad cross-section of attendees. In addition to Fissure and Shadow Archer Press, Steve's art has been featured on the cover of the first issue of Deep Tissue and published in Osprey, The Glasgow Review, Unlikely 2.0.


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