If you’ve read any of my blog over the past few days, you know that I have an eye-wateringly-amazing, jealousy-inducing, kick-butt book cover for my novel, What You Wish For. Standby for another gratuitous image of it:
The cover was created by Magali Fréchette, and working with her was such a pleasure that I’d recommend everyone do it. 🙂 I’ve invited her onto my blog, today, to answer a few questions and show off some more of her amazing artwork. Magali has brought along two of her favourite artworks from each year, 2010 to 2015. In truth, I could have created a whole series of blogposts, but have decided to offer everything to you in one feast-for-the-eyes post. 🙂
Me: Your work is very striking. What attracted you to photo manipulation?
Magali: Well, first of all, thank you very much for the compliment! Secondly, I guess what attracted me to that particular art form were the tutorials, as strange as that sounds. Back in 2005, I had Photoshop CS installed on my computer (an old one given to me by my cousin), and after playing around with it, I soon discovered it wasn’t at all like Paint (an understatement lol), so I used it here and there (especially for Neopets – yes, I was one of ‘those’ lol), without actually knowing what I was doing. Then, in 2007, things happened in my life that caused me to bury myself in my computer to escape everything around me whenever I wasn’t taking care of my son, and I soon went back to my photoshop to pass the time, to keep my mind busy. After a while though, I looked up ‘photoshop tutorials’ on google, and was in awe of the things that could be done with this program. I started trying to follow a few basic tutorials, but soon found that without knowing any of the terminology, my results were pretty…well, not pretty lol. Though when I was able to create my first photo manipulation I was proud of, I just knew it would always be a part of my life from then on.
Me: How long did it take you to learn the techniques?
Magali: I’ve been really focusing on the technique since 2007, and I’m still learning it! I’m not saying this to discourage anyone, but I think that you never really stop learning when it comes to art – especially when new photoshop versions become available (I’d go into a rant about not being able to buy the software anymore, but that would be the entire blog post, so I won’t lol) and new tools are added. I bought the Photoshop CS3 back in 2008 (cost of almost 800$), and it’s one of the few purchases in my life that I’ve never regretted! It’s strange though, since I have some artwork pieces that are still my favorite to this day, done back in 2007, and some I find ‘ok’ and those are 2015 – so I think that most of all, the technique comes from (and bare with me as the cliche comes) the heart, or wherever creativity comes from. If I really have something in mind, or inspiration really strikes me, the artwork will usually be pretty good, but if it feels forced, or I’m just not ‘feeling it’, then I don’t feel I get as much of a good result. There are no pieces I particularly love – I like my artworks, but I never love them because there’s always something more I could have done, but I’m told this is normal with all artistic people – and it’s true – even in my writing, nothing is ever good enough.
Me: What do you enjoy most about it?
Magali: That depends on why I’m creating the artwork. If it’s for myself, what I enjoy the most is losing myself in it, not thinking of anything I don’t want to think about. As I mentioned above, it was a way to escape, and it still is, to some extent, but now it’s whenever I want to, and less of a need. If the artwork is for a client, what I enjoy the most is when, at the end, I send the final sample, and they’re happy with it – that’s why I enjoy freelancing and working with clients – creating something I really, really want them to like is such a happy feeling.
Me: What’s the one thing you wish people knew about your work?
Magali: That each piece has a certain part of me inside? That sounds so corny lol, but it’s true of every piece of art, in a way. Some pieces take hours and hours (I think my longest piece took a little over 120 hours in total), while some take (and I’m not kidding) about twenty minutes. All in all though, each piece is my own, so when people steal them, or upload them without a link to the original (or even sell my art), it hurts. I know a lot of people say it creates free exposure, but we can’t pay bills with exposure. Most of us just ask for a link-back, and that people don’t sell art that doesn’t belong to them, that’s all.
Me: Have you got any pieces you’re particularly proud of?
Magali: I have a few I’m proud of because I like how they turned out, but my forever ‘baby’ will always be my artwork piece called “Sage” – it was done toward the end of 2007, and it was the first piece I created after learning what layers were (yes, I used to create entire pieces with a single layer for almost a year *sigh*). Two projects I’m particularly proud of as well were both my series of calendars – took me a really long time, and I tried to make it as unique and fun as possible. One is called “Fairy” and has a different fairy for each month, along with the month’s gemstone color, the other one is called “Fairy Horses” (the originality of my titles is painful lol) that features two horses per month, each with their astrological sign (since signs repeat into two months though, the horses repeat, but never in the same pose – just the same horse, so you can imagine how long I had to search for stock). As a side note, my most stolen artwork is “Night Cat” – so I guess people like this one a lot (not really funny, but interesting lol)
Me: What sort of art do you do besides book covers?
Magali: Do book jackets count? lol No, no, I create other artworks as well! Photo touchups/retouching (if you click on the artworks and roll your mouse over them, you’ll see the changes), banners, headers, icons, wallpapers, T-Shirt designs, and I recently started dabbling into making bookmarks so that authors can distribute them at book signings (like a little business cards for their books!). Some of my freelancing includes creating artworks that are used at book signings (printed as posters to attack attention), on websites, to promote books, things like that. I also create what I like to call ‘basic artworks’ which come in many different sizes – most of these are for sale.
Me: Do you have any websites people can look at if they’re interested in hiring you as their artist?
Magali: I recently finished my website for my Art Services, and there’s also my DeviantArt account where all my artworks are uploaded, and most are available to buy as prints/mugs/canvas/mousepads/etc.
To see any of these beautiful pictures in much closer detail please click on them to be taken straight to Magali’s page.