Art Nouveau and Aryneth.

One of the most notable after-effects of a trip to the Art Institute is that it never fails to inspire me to try my hand at art again. Now, writing has always been an obvious choice for me. I love it, I’m fairly good at it, I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life. However, I’ve also dabbled a little bit in other artistic forays, including drawing and such…nothing much, but I like to think I have a decent enough hand.

Decent enough to produce my own cover art? Probably not. Then again, I’ve been wondering about that recently, in light of seeing some covers out there that easily make me think, “I could do that/better than that,” if I may be so bold. While I’ll most likely turn all my cover art to friends more capable, the thought of at least sketching a draft for them to go off of has crossed my mind, and, heck, maybe with a little work, I could make it good enough myself.

In considering the potential covers for Serpent in a Cage and subsequent Aryneth novels, an interesting thought came to mind. I want something a little unique and different, and, to this point, I had been considering just a really simple, stark design, much like the designs for the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. But that wouldn’t be very different, would it? I got to thinking that I’ve never really seen Art Nouveau style covers for much of anything, much less fantasy novels, and thought that would be such a cool design.

What do you think? I’m a huge fan of art nouveau, though I’ve never tried the style myself. Last night, after my foray into the Art Institute, I got out my pencils and papers, pulled up some reference images on my Kindle, and started to sketch a few potential designs for SiaC. The one I really took to still needs a lot of work, but I’m really stoked about this approach, the cover to SiaC featuring a stunning design with Auferrix and a serpent in a sweeping art nouveau style, not dissimilar from this image.

Do you think this design is a good move? Would you be intrigued by a fantasy cover in this style, or turned off? I know it’s becoming pretty popular to see all sorts of characters done up in art nouveau style (I even own a nouveau Samus Aran shirt). Is it too much of a fad, or is the style classic enough that it can rise above the current popularity? Any thoughts would be welcome. I thought of taking a picture of the sketch so far, but it’s no where near completion enough, I’m afraid.


  1. Art Nouveau is currently a hot style over the last year and a half. It brings a simplistc and stylish look that plays well with both Fantasy and Steampunk. So work up some sketches and if you still feel as strongly about it when you see it, if so, then do it.

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