Monday, July 29, 2013

5 Questions with Keith Minnion - Artist Edition

I became an instant fan of Keith Minnion's art when I first saw it gracing the covers of Greg Gifune's magazine The Edge - Tales of Suspense. Afterwards, I saw much of his work appear in the magazines Cemetery Dance and Weird Tales. His work is distinctive. It can be subtle. It is often highly detailed. But it always evokes the perfect mood for whatever tale he illustrates. To top it off, Keith is also a fine writer.

Pencil drawing for Loren Rhodes story "Still Life with Shattered Glass" in CD #54

1 - What have you been working on lately?

At the moment my entire house is packed up in boxes (studio stuff too) for a move to a new house in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, so I have no deadline illustration commissions work currently on the board. I do have cover/interior/etc. work coming out soon for a massive story collection of Tim Curran’s work for Tasmaniac called “Cemetery Wine”; also an illustration in CD (Cemetery Dance) #70; and I just agreed to do all of the interior illustrations for a big horror anthology coming out next year. On the fiction side I have a story that just came out in the “Eulogies-II” anthology, and I have a rather long horror story coming out soon in “Postscripts.” I am also working on a military thriller novel, a horror novella, and a middle-grade juvenile fantasy novel – all of which I can continue to hack away at because their respective notebooks are NOT packed, and my iMAC remains plugged in until moving day!

Acrylic polymer and ink for Ronald Kelly's Undertaker's Moon
2 - Who’s your favorite artist and/or what’s your favorite piece?

Favorite artists:

I love a very broad range of painters, so I have quite a few. Abstract expressionist? Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still. Minimalist? Robert Ryman and Robert Mangold. Impressionist? Maurice Prendergast and Childe Hassam. Symbolist/Decadent? Edward Burne-Jones. Realist? Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper. Illustrator? N.C. Wyeth, Joseph Clement Cole, Virgil Finlay, and Roger Dean. All of who in no particular pecking order.

Favorite piece:

Has to be two: Early Sunday Morning by Edward Hopper, and Siri by Andrew Wyeth.

3 - What’s your favorite aspect of creating art?

For my illustration work, it is doing all the grunt research to insure the final image is completely correct in every detail. I prefer to illustrate a scene that the writer does NOT describe (why duplicate something the reader will do better in their mind’s eye anyway?). This way I can ADD something new to the story and the reading experience.

Pencil drawing for Bentley Little's story "The Move" in CD #34

4 - Any good anecdotes about being in the business?

This is from the 1990s: Rich Chizmar sending me three manuscripts to illustrate for the next CD issue with the note: Can I have these next week? Then sending me three more stories a few days later, same deadline. Wait, I asked, isn't this all of the stories for this issue? Yep, he replied. You can have the cover too if you have something handy. Very cool.

Acrylic and ink for Ray Garton's Graven Image

5 - What was the most helpful craft advice you've ever received?

Don’t run with scissors. And always use the best tools and materials you can afford – that is 80% of the battle right there. And ALWAYS beat the deadline!

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