Faith of the Fallen
Faith of the Fallen – Book cover – Oils on Masonite – 24” x 24”
This was a challenge, right from the start. I like a challenge. I live for a challenge. Heck, sometimes even the simple things are a challenge. …But…This…This was no simple thing. No, Terry had the notion that I could illustrate the nobility of the human spirit. It was the theme of the book. It belonged on the cover. …This required actual thinking…I pondered. I considered. I spoke with Terry. He pondered. He considered. We talked some more. I drew roughs. We talked. I drew more roughs. We talked more. (Apologizes to Hemingway) We knew we were on the scent of something that had potential and persevered. We talked long into several more nights. We went back and forth on all the different ways to do this thing. I drew more roughs and in the bleak grey morning light that follows an “all-nighter,” one appeared that seemed right to us. …And then, we had to convince the publisher of the wisdom our vision….
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“Now that I had full intellectual control of the cover art for my novels, Keith and I wanted to do something far more dramatic for the next, very special book. Our desire was for an uncompromising expression of excellence. It was on this cover that our collaboration became even more involved. The scene in the book had not yet been written, but I had a very clear concept of what I wanted it to illustrate: a statue in white marble that manifested nothing short of the nobility of man.
“Oh, sure,” Keith said. “That sounds easy.”
I explained the purpose of the statue, its relevance to the story, and the nature of what it had to represent. We worked together for weeks on the layout and details of the scene. Because the statue of this man and woman was so vertical, it presented difficult compositional obstacles. Keith came up with the idea of a sun dial surrounding the figures. This proved to be the final piece of the puzzle that made the art work. I later wrote it into the story so that it played a proper and meaningful role.
This cover concept created a wave of turmoil. My publisher pressured me to add little monsters dancing around the base of the statue—even though there were none in the book—because they believed that fantasy covers required such cliched elements. Next they wanted a mystical fog creeping in. It was a difficult situation. I finally exerted my prerogative and asked Keith to paint the scene the way he and I envisioned it—without misleading monsters or mysterious mist.
Keep in mind that this degree of artistic freedom and extent of collaboration is virtually unheard of. We were in uncharted waters. But Keith and I felt very strongly that what we were trying to accomplish was worth the effort.
The finished illustration stands in silent opposition to everything that has come before in the field of fantasy. It embraces what is at the heart of my work: the heroic individual. This cover truly illustrates the nobility of man.”