Artful Magic by R. M Wilburn for Magpie & Dilly Giveaway

I’m excited to feature R. M. Wilburn’s latest book, Magpie & Dilly in the Indie Author Giveaway Hop. As a special treat today, she’s going to share some of her magic artistry of the digital kind. Do you think you couldn’t possibly illustrate a book? You should think again!

Without further ado, I present: Artful Magic  by R. M. Wilburn

Authors, have you ever considered illustrating your books? Or designing your own cover art?
If you’re like I was not so very long ago, then probably not, even though you can clearly picture awesome scenes in your head. Most of the time, transferring what’s inside your noggin to that terrifyingly blank piece of paper is far too daunting to even consider, but trust that a new era is upon us!  It is most certainly the age of digital art, or what I like to call artful magic.  
I believe it’s safe to say that, as writers, most of us are rather visual in how we process information.  We see our stories play out before our minds’ eyes and we hear our characters speak.  Although I  certainly am not equipped to help you with those voices in your head, I feel I am fully prepared to offer assistance with the visual aspects of your delusions. (Kidding…sort of…)
Not so very long ago, a person had to have actual artistic talent to be  considered an artist, but in this new age in which we find ourselves, virtually anyone with the ability to put pencil to paper can be an artist as long as they are also able to turn on a computer with a graphics editor and scan in their sketch.  In this manner, I turn a simple pencil drawing into a full color, multi-layer painting (or “photo”) in virtually any size I wish.  Granted, I do admit to having a small bit of drawing talent, but the real magic is in the graphics editing software I’ve recently stumbled upon. 

Before you jump so athletically to any
erroneous conclusions, please allow me be clear, or at the very least accurate:  Adobe Photoshop is not new; nor is Adobe Illustrator.  These are the  programs I’ve recently grown to love and I even get a little melancholy (and  sometimes…twitchy) when access is not
available.  (Any conclusions you jump to here likely will not be erroneous.)  Both programs have been around for years, Photoshop particularly.  In my opinion it is the premier photo editing software available today.  Little did I know a year ago that it is also one of the very best art editing programs as well!
It was in fact a year ago that I discovered Adobe’s addictive offerings when I happened across an ad for one of their latest suites of programs, CS5 Design Premium.  It is truly a monster-size pack of programs with which I sincerely believe I can achieve world domination once I am fully competent in each.  (Programs are sold separately as well if you are only interested in dominating…say, your neighborhood, or small town perhaps.) 
However, I hardly wish to lead you astray here, so I do stress that Adobe’s software is indeed ginormously involved! But…like many of you, I am a writer and as such, I am ridiculously determined to see my work take wing. So, what (you are no doubt wondering) is my means to this end? This notion of world domination, or at the very least some (mostly) favorable attention from someone other than my mother?  
Online courses, of course. This is a remarkably simple and inexpensive way to learn how to develop your drawings, step-by-tender-loving-step, and turn them into the art that you previously only saw prancing around inside your melon. Also, in this wondrous and wonderful digital age, FREE tutorials are available virtually everywhere you look! Adobe offers many free classes and I can’t even begin to count the number of tutorials on YouTube. Before taking the plunge, have a look for yourself. Simply search for “photoshop tutorials” or something similar and you’ll be stunned at the vast numbers of digital artists out there willing to help. Incredibly, it’s not so different than our indie author movement.  When we help each other, we in fact help ourselves.

And so! To get you started on the path to Adobe addiction, these are the simple steps I recommend:  1. Enroll in an online class (ex: specifically for the version of Photoshop that you intend to purchase; and 2. Use your new student ID to buy the Student and Teacher Edition of Photoshop (Amazon was cheapest when I bought mine last year) at an incredible discount!

So, there you have it in a rather large-ish and lumpy nutshell:  an achievable means of emptying your noggin of those scenes your characters insist on parading before your minds’ eye and producing them as artful magic! Good luck with your efforts and by all  means, do dream big!
Besides the lovely drawings littered about this post, examples of my own artful magic can be found on my blog Ponderous Things, or on my website
(To be clear, none of my novels are illustrated aside from my own cover art.  The drawings I am currently featuring on my blog and website are part of a new, experimental project I’ve tentatively titled Mary Morgan’s Journal.)

Thank you so much, Mickey! Now it’s up to me to make sure you readers find the giveaway post because you don’t want to miss the chance to win Magpie & DillyIf you don’t see the  post right below, please click this link to see the captivating character interview and enter the giveaway. After reading the interview, I was so excited to read Magpie & Dilly that I requested a review copy. Hint, hint.

If you came for the Kindle Fire Giveaway, I’m sorry to say it’s been delayed due to an illness of the giveaway host, but I will post it as soon as I get word. So here’s one from Kindle Nation Daily still open for the weekend, through June 17th. The link will open in  new tab because I do not want you to forget to enter R. M. Wilburn’s giveaway. Happy reading!

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Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.


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