After a week-long well deserved love fest, we finally got a chance to interview the artist herself! Anne Cain :) And she’s got some interesting answers, as well as a great prize for one lucky poster.
~When did you first become interested in art? What mediums do you work in and have you had any sort of formal training?
I think I’ve been drawing since maybe the age of two—lol! Seriously, I’ve been in love with art longer than I can remember, and I enjoy working in a bunch of different mediums. Color pencils, oils, watercolors and pastels/conte are my favorite of the traditional sort, but I love digital art and photography. My associate’s degree has a focus on design and journalism/publication production, and I’m currently finishing up my BFA.
~How did you become involved in doing book covers? What attracted you to doing romance and erotic fiction covers?
My friend and co-author Barb Sheridan introduced me to the world of e-books, and then Samhain was the first publisher to pick me up to create covers for them. I absolutely love bringing to life an author’s world and characters through the cover art process, and it’s a career I find extremely rewarding as an artist. There are so many opportunities to be creative and have fun!
~You’ve won a lot of awards for your cover art work-can you give us a list? And don’t be humble-pimp your wins!
*laughs*! I always hate to sound like I’m tooting my own horn when it comes to awards because my joy comes from making the authors and readers happy. But an online friend pointed out that if someone takes the time to acknowledge my art with a kind word or an award, that’s something to really be proud about! And thankful, too! So here’s a short list with some of 2009’s highlights so far:
• Ariana Award – “Devil Take Me”
• TRS Ari cover art winner – “Into the Lair”
• 2009 Sammie Reader’s Choice Awards – quite a few of my covers were selected by readers, which really gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.
• Fantasm Award Finalist – There are some seriously talented artists on this list, and it’s an honor to be there with them.
~Do you have a favorite cover? I know, it’s like having a favorite child, but it’s just us-we won’t tell anyone…*G*
Eeeee!!! It’s always so hard to choose! My favorite ones always end up being the ones I’m working on at the moment, and I’ve got a few really awesome assignments that are in progress which I’m totally thrilled about. There’s an illustrated cover I finished earlier this year that took me a long while to get just right, but I love the finished product. It’s for the YA novel, “A Strong and Sudden Thaw”: http://annecain.deviantart.com/art/Art-Strong-and-Sudden-Thaw-111771993
~You’re also a writer, busy girl! Tell us about your fiction.
Dude! Being busy with art is fan-ta-bulous, but it’s seriously cut into my writing time! When I’m not working on an art masterpiece (yeah, right! *gigglesnorts*), I tend to write romances of the m/m variety. I love yaoi! Occasionally, I’ll work on a short story that isn’t gay romance, but I can’t resist the call of the Man-love for long.
~How did you start working with Barbara Sheridan? Was it difficult to get used to working with a writing partner?
Barb and I met through an online roll-playing game, and the characters we were writing totally evolved into this epic, dramatic and sizzling hot story that eventually became the Dragon’s Disciple series (http://www.dragonsdisciple.com). Barb is wonderful to work with—she’s awesome!—and we have so many similar interests, like our fascination with Japanese pop-culture and sexy J-rockers, that it’s a blast when we write together!
~M/m erotica has become enormously popular. What is it about Yaoi that first drew you to it? And tell us what differentiates Yaoi from other m/m erotic fiction.
Yaoi is this totally idealized interpretation of gay romance, and it’s very much a fantasy rather than reflection of the actual gay culture. It’s all about the aesthetics, and let’s face it—the concept of two gorgeous men in a loving relationship is hot! There’s a fun element to yaoi where authors and readers don’t necessarily have to worry about issues or plot themes a regular m/m novel might address. And I think it’s that element of beauty and fun, especially in the manga format, that really drew me in to the genre.
-What’s a typical day in the life of a cover artist? Is it all waking up looking adorably scruffy at noon, drinking French wine in front of the blank canvas while your houseboy feeds you chocolate and provides inspiration as you paint his body with a mink-tipped brush? (‘cause that’s how we like to imagine it).
Oh, man! If that was really what the lifestyle was like, I wouldn’t get any work done! LOLOL!! (The poor houseboy would never get a chance to relax either. *wink*) Seriously, the typical day is boring to the outside observer. I’ll spend around six to eight hours a day doing actual design work on projects (I try to have at least two in progress so that when my eyes get tired of one, I can ‘refresh’ them while working on another). I try to budget only one hour or two to answering emails on top of that, but I can never keep up with my inbox, darn it. And then there’s miscellaneous studio work I do on the side, which includes photography.
~If you could have any paranormal or superpower, what would it be?
I would LOVE to fly. And move things solely with the power of my mind. And be able to eat massive amounts of chocolate without cupcake-ing over the waistband of my jeans! *g*
~Flannel PJ’s or silk?
Believe it or not, I, the Tomboy, prefer silk. :o)
~Beer or girly drink with an umbrella?
Sam Adams, baby!
~Pool boy or gardener?
Pool boy. Mmm…speedos….
~boxers or briefs?
~Voyeur or exhibitionist?
Voyeur…the role of the artist is always to observe. ;)
~Innie or outie?
~Tattoos or piercings?
I am not so bold or interesting. In fact, I think I let my ear piercings close up. :/ I suck!
~Chocolate or vanilla?
~Kinky or vanilla?
~Thanks, Anne, for coming to visit and talking to us, and to our readers! Let everyone know where we can see more of your artwork, and find your books!
Thanks so much for having me, ladies! And thank YOU, dear reader, for making it through all my long-winded responses. :) Please check out my Deviant Art gallery for info on my art and writing and stuffs: http://annecain.deviantart.com AND, sometime this summer, I will be unveiling my new website at http://www.annecain-art.com
Oh, one more thing! Don’t forget the contest! I’ll be giving away a signed print of one of my covers to a lucky winner here at the Smutketeer’s blog. So please leave your comments. :)