Some of you may know I also do cover art for Beautiful Trouble Publishing, Changeling Press, and as a freelance artist. What you may not know is that, sometimes, my books actually start out as "cover art," or wallpaper.
For every cover I do, at least one image is either rejected or altered enough by either me or the customer that I end up with a desktop pretty. Sometimes, those pretties inspire stories of their own. One of my most popular series started out as a desktop pretty several years ago.
Alternately, I've done pretties for authors as inspirational art. They tell me to make a hunky dude with a sexy chick in an interesting situation and those images end up as characters. As an author, you never know where the inspiration will strike you. Images are always a good start. It really is true that a picture is worth a thousand words. Sometimes, more than twenty thousand words actually. :-)
And the best thing? Once the story is done, I've got a cover that's almost finished, tailored to my book AND I've got promotional art to give away and use until the cover is finished. It's definitely a positive creative outlet and works for me on many different levels for many different things. I don’t recommend it. Mainly because if you get good, I'll be out of a job. *grin*
[Jeanie and Jayha wait until Marteeka leaves the room to check the score of the Kentucky game. They sneak into Marteeka’s office and ogle the pretty artwork there before adding their two cents. Jayha has to stop The Jeanie from licking the screen at the hotness that Marteeka has as her screen saver.] “Marteeka’s art has created an entire series. In fact, they’re the subject of BTP’s challenge stories. We beg, plead and threaten before finally begging some more for Marteeka to make us something. When she does, we make it the basis for a challenge story and dare our writers to come up with a story worthy of the cover. [Hearing Marteeka come back, Jeanie and Jayha wipe the drool off the laptop and scurry out of the room.]