Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Quarterly with an interview with Pelican Shakespeare cover artist,Manuja Waldia

Hello all,
Today I will spotlight the work of a new artist I came across,as you all know, I'm an
 avid Penguin Classics reader and collector,and each time Paul Buckley and co. release a new imprint,I'm the first to buy and register my interest,I'm also a Shakespeare fan since way back and have also read his complete works, Indeed I've finished and graduated from a Oxford University
online course on the same subject,

I was enlightened to find out a new take on the Penguin Pelican Shakespeare series was being undertaken,and when I first saw the new covers by the artist Manuja Waldia,I was enthralled and amazed at the detail and thoroughly beautiful covers she had executed,I emailed her and asked if she
would do a 1 question interview and she gladly did,

here it is :

“Hello Manuja ,Your work is very  striking and original and very much stands out from the shelves,
I learnt of your involvement in the Pelican Shakespeare series a few months ago,
And when I saw the first few covers,it won me over straight away,what was your  art and thought process for
Illustrating the covers and how did you approach each ?

her response:

“ I start with putting together a word map of various themes from the plot that I would like to explore as sketches. Some titles have a lot of imagery, while others have very abstract concepts. We want these covers to resonate with fans with varying familiarity with the texts. So, I try to pick the most significant themes in the plot. along which I also hide a few easter eggs for the hardcore fans. For example, the spine for King Lear shows a stabbed eyeball as Cornwall gouges Gloucester’s eyes out (“See't thou shalt never”) 
After the wordlist I move on to creating visuals around those words, which feels like drawing out jigsaw pieces. Then the final cover options are either built out of combing these jigsaw pieces in a composition, or we pick one of the pieces and I blow it up and add detail. The first approach is pretty evident in Macbeth, where the cover is an abstract composition made of various objects that stand for specific things from the plot. A lady’s tiara is pouring blood onto a nobleman’s crown which stands for Lady Macbeth egging on Macbeth to kill for power and love. A scepter and dagger cross each other, each signifying lust for power and violence respectively. The second approach is evident on the verso which shows Macbeth’s castle in Inverness. I had drawn a smaller castle as part of the initial wordlist and we developed it further to use as the back of the book.

Keep in mind,Manuja will be doing all 40 covers of the Pelican Shakespeare series,which is a tall order,I of course will be purchasing all of them,as I already have some copies she has already done and preordered the ones to follow publication.

To find out more about Manuja Waldia's work please check out her website

Thank you for participating and thank you dear reader for reading my article.

Tony Solomun

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Happy 2016,New Projects on the horizon

Hello all,
My apologies for not keeping up the blog,been very busy,
and in the meantime have been writing lots of poetry and
planning many new books,
I've got a new mini comic book that I'm finishing off right now,just 2-3 more paintings to finish that,
it will be 8 pages as usual,and my first in many years,
The script is written,it's dark,tho has light in between,

I've also started a new series,a opus if you will,called 'Humaine' ,
This is in the same vein as Honore de Balzac and his series,tho different in scope,
it will be retroactive in a way, so,my second novel Egypt Days of Antiquity will fit in frame for the series as will The Journey,

I'm also proud to say I've got two covers and three coming soon,that will be the cover art for my new books to be printed later on this year,done by Penguin Classics Illustrators ,very very proud,

back to writing and painting,

thank you for reading and I promise to update more

Tony Solomun

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Beautiful Confluence, new book of poetry,

Hello all,
I have many things being written,still am in awe that I got to collaborate in anyway whatsoever with the terrific typographer and modern artist Jessica Hische in the previous article,I enjoy doing
 The Quarterly,this has been my most successful and biggest opus to date,

In the meantime I got copies of my book of poetry
The Beautiful Confluence,
84 pages of poetry and extras,the cover art is by the magnificent Canadian French Artist Julie Doucet,
I'm speechless at the cover,perfection,and indeed I am super happy because Julie did the cover to Louisa May Alcott's Little Women book for Penguin Classics,
It has been my dream to have an artist who is connected with Penguin Classics to do a cover for one of my books and another dream and goal of mine is achieved now,

here is the cover,thank you again Julie Doucet for the cover,
For my readers I have about 30 number of copies, the cost of the book is free tho if you can please consider donating $1.99 to cover postage I would be very grateful,through my paypal,

I'm very proud of this book,lots of my best poetry I've written is included within ,
This book is also printed  by the same printing house Penguin Classics use,Clays Ltd,

Thanks for reading my blog,and get in touch with me if you would like to get a copy of the book,

Tony Solomun

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Quarterly with an interview with Jessica Hische

Hello all,Here is a new volume of The Quarterly,
Thank you for reading,

Jessica Hische is one of the most outstanding artists to emerge recently,She has taken the art world
by storm and has become in demand from many clients including Penguin Classics,
New York Times(my fave two things in the world) along with,Tiffany and Co as well as Oxfam and American Express, and the list goes on accordingly,

Jessica Is my age as well,and she continues to inspire and influence me on so many artistic levels,She has also been listed and awarded Illustration awards for her lettering and designs to go along with being named as one of the prestigious Forbes 30 under 30 list, (twice),

For a young artist she has achieved so much,and is the vanguard of the new generation of superstar artists,and certainly one of the best ( male or female) book designers in the world at the moment,
Her most significant  work to date was for the Penguin Classics Drop Cap Series,
For this she designed each letter of the alphabet for an Author's book from A to Z, 26 in all,

I wholeheartedly recommend you check them out and perhaps even purchasing some if not all of them,as I have,

I recently contacted Jessica for a 1 question interview and she gladly replied,here it is...

Jessica,You’ve achieved a vast amount of success as an artist in your work at such a relatively young age, and have some quite impressive clients you’ve worked with already 
and many well deserved accolades,the pinnacle to date is your outstanding Penguin Drop Caps series with Penguin Classics,My question to you is do you plan to expand into
other mediums of art such as drawing and Illustrating books in future or even writing a book in the near future ?’

to which she replied...

Hi Tony!

To answer your question: 

I work a lot on book covers, so while I haven't illustrated the interior of a book (usually authors work with more narrative illustrators for interior work), I'd happily do so for the right project. I've actually written a book about my process which is being released through Chronicle Books this year (first time as author!) but as I'm currently baking a small human, I foresee at least one children's book in my future once this small ball of inspiration and chaos is out and about. 

Thank you so much for participating,Jessica,all the very best,

for further information of Jessica's work check out

Thank you for reading,

Tony Solomun

A Great start to 2015,

Hello all,a Happy New Year to all my fellow writers and bloggers,
A Very busy start to 2015,I'm hoping this year goes even better for me,writing wise,
I've started on my Autobiography,
the first volume will cover my first 30 years,
Already I've written at least 7 pages this year,not sure how long it will pan out,though will be exhaustive and well  covered of my peculiar life in the making,

Also got to collaborate with one of my favourite artists this month,and we're only into the fifth day,

I will be posting a new volume of The Quarterly right after this,

Many plans and books to write,

Thank you for reading my work,

Tony Solomun

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Tony Solomun's Multiverse,printed and with a Cover by the Great Mike Allred

Hello all,I've been very busy writing and publishing books in the past few months,catching up now,
I'm proud to say that I finished printing
Tony Solomun's Multiverse,a book with prose and poetry,you name it with Public Domain characters coming in at 100 pages,

I've created so many characters in my own right over the years in series such as The Journey,that I wanted to try my hand at characters in the public domain,

in the past few weeks,printed by Clays Publishing,the same publisher which prints my favourite things in the world,Penguin Classics,I'm so happy I got to print with them,

The Cover is by Madman creator Mike Allred,one of my bestest friends,an inspiration and influence on my work and everyday life,
I was overjoyed when he agreed to do the cover commission for me,and even moreso when he agreed to include Madman on the cover,(Thanks Mike)

I would be happy to give out copies to anyone who wants this book,I'm only asking for a few dollars and will include extra books I've printed recently,I know selling books is getting tougher in the internet climate,though

I  will be gracious if those interested could contribute via paypal $2.50 or less to cover postage

,I'm not out there to make much of a profit,I am here to spread the printed word and get my work out into the world to read,so anyone interested,please contact me here or  on Facebook and Twitter where I'm on every day and I will be happy to send,

Thank you and here is the cover to the book by Mike Allred,looks super cool,beyond my dreams,
In the meantime I'm nearly finished writing for the year,a few more poems,and will be writing more articles of Tony Solomun's The Quarterly very soon,

Madman and the "exclamation bolt" is trade mark and 
copyright Michael Allred. 2014.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Journey and Tony Solomun's Multiverse

Hello all,my sincerest apologies for the lapse in blogposts,
I've been very busy writing and taking up art again,I promise not to let that much of a lapse again in blogs,

news on many fronts,

I printed 15 copies of
The Journey Corrected and Revised Edition,

They came out very well,this was my first main opus in writing,I started the anthology series in 2007 and finished the 159th short story in 2010,I am massively  proud of this work,it includes many
short stories and prose which I am glad to have written,and I even created 35 fully formed new characters.all up it is 170 pages,typeset in Adobe Garamond,the same font used for
 The Complete Pelican Shakespeare by Penguin Classics

I will post a story or two on the blog very soon,

a few of the copies I printed are already reserved,though I am very happy to give the rest of them for free,on the proviso if you can be generous enough to donate about $3 to cover postage,

In the meantime,I'm drawing again,still rusty,though am getting there,

and put into motion some exciting things for the other anthology I wrote called
 Tony Solomun's Multiverse,stil in the revising and correcting mode,though nearly done to send to the printers and typist,the cover artist is out of this world awesome,will post more when I can,

thank you for reading my blog,and will post again soon,