Creating original artwork and music for books

SciFrac

WIP me into shape!
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Following on the heels of Behsam's post, I'm curious if anyone else creates their own original art and music for their books? Not necessarily for publication purposes, just for fun or inspiration? This may sound odd, but sometimes the places feel so real to me that I want to see them on paper or write a melodic theme for certain characters. I realize this is not part of the actual writing process, but it can help me solidify tone and vocabulary for certain scenes or chapters.

Anybody else do this?
 
I've toyed with the idea of drawing some of my aliens or characters but never got around to it. I can see how it might be useful, especially for description.

Music? I don't have a musical bone in my body, but I don't think original music would necessarily be better than what's already out there for setting tone. Still, anything that flexes the creative muscles can't be bad.
 
Following on the heels of Behsam's post, I'm curious if anyone else creates their own original art and music for their books? Not necessarily for publication purposes, just for fun or inspiration? This may sound odd, but sometimes the places feel so real to me that I want to see them on paper or write a melodic theme for certain characters. I realize this is not part of the actual writing process, but it can help me solidify tone and vocabulary for certain scenes or chapters.

Anybody else do this?

Yes!!

When I originally started my WIP in the late 90's, I was inspired to do a soundtrack-style album for it. I have literally just begun the process of re-recording it with better orchestral instruments, and will then get it produced. The assumption being that if my book is accepted for publishing, a digital version of the soundtrack can be purchased at a reasonably inexpensive price.

(I originally had it released on CD via mp3.com, before Universal killed that site off - every now and then it makes an appearance on Amazon).

I'm also playing with the idea of putting together a film-style trailer for the book, and do it really well - scenes from the book, with voices and trailer music.

My current thinking is to commission a professional comic-book artist to provide rough pencil drawings to feature in the trailer, and then licence a track to go over it. I'll then dub on a few voices myself, but will also have to get voice actors to provide support as well.

I think that, done right, it could work really well. Certainly blow most book trailers I've seen out of the water. :)

I do kind of get carried away sometimes, though. :D
 
Ha! That's great Brian, I've thought of doing something similar. I have lots of friends who are artists and musicians, and I really want to create a book app with sounds and visuals (for younger audiences). I love the idea of a fully immersive experience.

Where can I hear your music? That's fantastic. I'd love to hear what you have.
 
I'm not a musical person, so I'd never thought about creating any music for my writing. Creating art for them is another matter, though. I've got several sketchbooks full of character art and random sketches, plus maps and the like. It really helps me to write - and sometimes improve on - descriptions. I find it challenging to try and capture the character in my mind's eye on paper, even if I am a bit rusty.
 
Where can I hear your music? That's fantastic. I'd love to hear what you have.

At the moment I'm updating the instruments from Korg X5D sounds to the orchestral software instruments in Logic. Will take a while, and something of a challenge as strings especially need completely redoing. I'll put something up when finished, no doubt. :)
 
I'm a completely unmusical person (tone-deaf, to start with), but I have written some lyrics for songs that appear in one WIP. The MCs are into popular teen music, and a couple of their favorite band's hit songs make an appearance -- writing them myself, for a fictional band, avoids the copyright and royalty issues of using something that already exists.

Fortunately, I don't have to come up with a tune, or (gods forbid) sing them.
 
When my quadrilogy-thingy is an instant success when I'm 99, I have great plans for a rock opera using Muse's stuff. :D Does that count?

Oh, and Alc's drawings of aliens are very good, he nailed my Zelotyr-scene in one good.

Sadly, my only creative ability is writing... :(
 
Brian- can't wait. :)

Zebra- that's a great idea. I really like seeing cultural details like this in iter worlds.

I have great plans for a rock opera using Muse's stuff. :D

Sadly, my only creative ability is writing... :(

Springs- MUSE needs to do this! They are so operatic, I'm sure somebody will put their songs on Broadway someday.

And poppycock! You can make us laugh. That's artistic. :)
 
SciFrac, If you have strong inclinations towards a multimedia: graphic/audio, style of work, why limit yourself to just the novel format and pursuit this idea?

It could be allot of work, but you may find it more enjoyable.



I love watching book trailers. Some are pretty cheesy, but if done well, can really add a level of professionalism.

Brain, If you make one, please post!



Jeff
 
Yes, I like to do a bit of sketching and also a bit of music. My guitar is a steel-acoustic Smoothtalker. I also build my own drums which I decorate. Got a few sound tracks down. Was also thinking of getting some mates together and jamming our way through some of the story lines for an opera type thingy.

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Drumming with the locals down on the Transkei Wild Coast near Coffee Bay

smoothtalkersPic.jpg

For those that are interested, this is what the Smoothtalker guitars look like.

If there is any interest, and no objection, I could post some songs ...
 
Here's three coloured pencil drawings I did for my previous WIP. (Can you tell I'm not very confident with faces?)
 

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Those are very cool. Dont worry, I also do the occasional workaround when a problem area wont come right.
 
Thanks. I'd love to be able to draw faces well -- it might lead to me having some idea what my characters look like apart from egg-faced people in costumes. For my current WIP I had an artist (Jennie Gyllblad, who's very good, and whose webcomic is well worth a look) draw three character portraits, but good as they were, they didn't quite fit my vision and I had to do a lot of adjusting on Painter. I'd like to learn, but it's a very time-consuming skill to develop, and we all know what that time would be better spent doing ...
 
Excellent, HB! I thought that second picture was Geist for a moment and was wondering how long he'd had a ponytail! Got any more?
 
Got any more?

Alas, no. That's the sum total of my 2008 visually creative spurt.

Since Geist has been mentioned, here's his portrait drawn by Jennie Gyllblad and mucked about with by me. (Any resemblance to Sean Connery is entirely coincidental.)
 

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I'm not much of a musical talent so haven't tried anything there. I have dozens and dozens of "songs" (i.e. poems) that are part of my general worldbuilding library however, and on occasion my disgustingly talented musical genius little brother writes music for them.

On the visual front I have done quite a few sketches and things but I am not particularly artistically gifted either so that's been pretty limited, and mostly stuff I'd never dream of showing anyone else.

Most of my imagery is maps and heraldry, some of which is on my FB page:

http://www.facebook.com/dreamforge.co.nz/photos_albums

I am, on the other hand, a fairly experienced filmmaker with a lot of contacts in our rather talented industry here in NZ, and if I end up going down the self-publishing route I intend to shoot a series of marketing book trailers to stir up some interest.
 
I can't draw (or sing) to save my life, unfortunately. I am jealous of all of you who can put pen or pencil to paper and make recognisable images emerge!

Instead, every so often I trawl deviantart and Google images for pictures or photos that evoke my characters (keeping note, of course, of who the artist is! These things are for my own digital scrapbook, and rarely see the light of day). I wish I could create these myself.

Music is a different story. It features prominently in my WiP, but I plan to go through and remove all but the odd line of poetry/lyrics. No composer am I, however. Back in the misty, distant days of my youth, a friend took one of my poems and put it to music. Sitting in the audience at a rock concert, I heard the song for the first time while already knowing the lyrics... rather strange!



Gumboot - you don't happen to know the folks at Weta, do you? I have a cousin that works there ;P
 

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