Welcome to the official Ni Anluain Blog Tour
8th to 22nd December 2012
About two years ago I had the good fortune to be introduced to a digital artist by the name of Eithné O’Hanlon. For once she didn’t come from the USA or Australia but from Ireland. And we all know how the Irish and British have a special relationship. Eithné went on to produce the fabulous cover for my horror novel Diavolino. You all must know it by now but here it is just in case:
To tell you the truth, I’m hard to please when it comes to people, I generally prefer dogs, and I’m not one to be heard saying that someone is lovely or sweet or some such other gooey adjective. But, and I mean this, Eithné is genuinely sweet and lovely and feisty, and on top of that she is brilliant at what she does. So when I saw a call for a blog tour to help promote her, I jumped straight in. And I can say hand on heart – if you need a book cover or some other digital artwork, Eithné should be on your list! So, without further ado, let’s talk to her.
Steve: Top of the morning to you. How’s it all going over there in Eire these days? Things have changed a lot in 4 years.
Eithné: They have! For one, what I see in my head I can generally get down in Photoshop. There was a time when I could see it but not do it. Now I can generally fake it enough that it’s passable.
S: I know that you use both your English and Celtic names, but I’ve noticed that more and more you are being referred to simply as Ni Anluain. Is that something to do with super stardom like Prince or Bono?
E: Ohhh!!! Compared to Prince! I am so delighted! (We can ignore Bono – not a U2 fan – YES I know! I should be beaten at the stake!) I think it’s because on most sites I am lazy and “Eithne Ni Anluain” seems a mouth/type-full so I just cut it to the second name.
S: I guess you’ve done thousands of book covers since Diavolino. How about showing us a cross-section and telling us a bit about them?
E: I doubt thousands unfortunately, I would love to have a hundred or so but alas it can take time.
I’ve done a wide range of covers from CI Black’s Medusa series (Urban Fantasy) which is entirely done by me – including the model photography…
…to e-books using only stock photography like Jessica Bradshaw’s Hazy Shade of Winter (YA PNR).
The biggest by far was Renegade by Jessica Souders (YA Sci-Fi). Its a Tor cover and the first of my big ones. And it is a MASSIVE file! Was fun to do, lots of detail that I like, though finding costumes in Ireland can be more stressful than the rest all put together.
I’ve also done some MM romance for Embry Carlysle, but she’s my best friend so she can get to beat me up! There is one that’s not out yet that I cant wait to reveal. That is a downside to the publishing industry. You have done it, cant wait for the release and its put back another 3 months and you just want to shout “Look! I did that! Heh!!”
S: You do more than book covers, don’t you? What kind of things have you been producing, and can you show us some examples?
E: I do some “select” work for photographers. I say “select” as I’ve been taken advantage of by so many photographers that I only really work with three now. If any come asking for work they have to understand that I am not just everyone else and it IS my job and they should treat me with some respect as they would a model. Some just hurl abuse at you for making an eye slightly dark. I really can do without drama like that in my life. That and running after them for months looking to get paid. I just can’t be bothered, not worth turning on my computer for. I also do some private commissions for people. Children mostly in fantasy scenes. I don’t like to post them online as they are so personal. Finally, the charities. I like to payback. I do a lot of work for Holly’s Horse Haven which is a horse rescue center in my local area. I designed the Christmas Cards and they will be raffling the 3 prints off next week so keep an eye out on my FB page.
S: I learned to draw and paint in the days before computers. What you do seems like magic to me. Do you need super expensive software and hardware? I presume you are MAC rather than PC?
E: Oh yes – I am a MAC girl through and through. I’m currently upgrading my system but currently I run:
Mac Pro 2*2.26 Quad Core, 16GB Ram, ATI Radeon HD 512 MB (upgrading to 1GB), 2TB internal (upgrading to a 3TB startup disk, 2 TB Raid 0 all internal) and a 3TB external backup. Mac Cinema Display 30″, shitty second display for the web, mails, TV, Movies, and a Wacom I4. I call her “Hubble” as she could run the Hubble. I also have the full Master Suite 6 installed and not much else apart from basic stuff. The Master Suite is huge piece of kit. Having said that I only use 25% of photoshop, no idea what the rest does! Did I mention I’m a geek?
S: I understood the last word! I’d be glad if someone could explain why Word Press refuses to show my spacing and formatting when I can see it in edit mode. OK, can you pick a highlight, anything at all, of 2012?
E: 2012 wasn’t the best of years for me personally and work did suffer. That will hopefully change in the coming year! More positive Eithne and better work will hopefully get more clients. The highlight was doing a cover for Marjorie M. Liu (not released yet).
S: And low?
E: When my hard disk failed in June and was out of work for 5 weeks.
S: What’s 2013 hold for Ni Anluain?
E: Hopefully more work and lovely clients. I’m of the opinion that an author has spent so much time on their work that I in turn have to give them my all. So it doesn’t matter if its a cheap ‘n’ cheerful or a mass market with a budget to match, everyone will always get my best.
S: Yes, and I know they do. Christmas or new Year, which do you prefer?
E: Winter solstice! Bit of a heathen you see! But Christmas – just hibernate with the hot ports.
S: Oh, another heathen! How’s the dog?
W: FIDIOT or Spike is now a retired gentleman! For those who don’t know, my other life was/is training my working line German Shepherd for IPO or Schutzhund sport. He’s now 6 but I had to retire him in June due to an unrecoverable sports injury. It was a shame as we had qualified for the World Championships in Austria, but couldn’t go. The type of injury he sustained means I can’t even throw a ball for him – and he LOVES HIS BALL! Most of the pics I have of him are on my phone or trialing shots but I’ve included a couple. I’m not just Miss Whiplash helping train others!
S: It’s been great having you over again. Don’t leave it so long next time. Good luck to you and a Happy New Year!
E: Same to you dear!
Now, the all important places to find and follow (follow, not stalk!) our Ni Anluian:
Deviant art: http://nianluain.deviantart.com/
About Eithné Ni Anluain
Eithné is obsessed with fantasy. Some say that it is an unhealthy relationship she has with it. A rock is not just a rock, it’s a hiding place for faeries after all.
When not chasing said faeries she is a freelance illustrator specializing in fantasy cover art. She can
illustrate stock photography but also can take model photography, design sets and props, find costumes
Her symbol, the dragon, was designed by Eithné when she returned to art years ago and it is a part of her being, spiritually and artistically.
Clients range from mainstream NYC and London fantasy publishers, mainstream magazines and motion picture houses.
And now for you chance to win PRIZES!
Here’s a list of all the blogs taking part in this tour.
Make sure you visit them all! Then all you have to do is click on the link to Rafflecopter underneath to enter. Good luck!