Adela’s Curse – Artist Feature


Today I’m excited to feature my very own sister, Jocelyn Banschbach! She did the cover art for the book and if you’ve read the Aredor series, you’ll also find her artwork inside those books! 🙂 I’ve had her over for an interview before, but that was a year ago and there’s always something exciting to talk about. Before we get there, make sure to check out today’s stops on the tour.

Rachael Steele is giving  review #4 over on her blog!

Morgan Huneke has graciously invited me over for an interview. Read to find out which Merlin character I’d hang out with.

Faith Blum has excerpt #2 of the tour!

And E. Rawls is hosting a guest post on Making Magical Creatures Different

The Interview

We cool.

We cool.

My questions and other comments are in purple. 

I’ve interviewed you here before because you’re awesome. Duh. What have you been up to since? 

First, thank you for telling your loyal fans how awesome I am. More people need to know that there is someone like me in the world, so thank you for spreading the good news. =) I think the last time you interviewed me was around Spring Break of last year. So, last spring I transferred to Texas Tech.  I’m studying Animal Science, with a minor in Natural Resource Management, and I’m hoping to get into veterinarian school when I graduate.  Not sure if it’ll happen, but a girl’s gotta dream, right?  I now have 8 weeks left until I finish my junior year!! And then summer school. =( I do, however, have an internship this summer at a super cool wild animal sanctuary in CO.  I get to help take care of lions, tigers, bears (Oh My!), leopards, wolves, and even a camel.  Wish me luck and pray I don’t die. Though to quote Ruffnut: “I’m hoping for some scarring like on my shoulder or lower back.” (not really, but still)


Yeah, it’s only fun if you get a scar out of it. 😉 How did this design process differ from the drawings you did for the Aredor series?

Well, to start off with, I think you came up with most of the design.  Usually you give me an idea and I run with it, but this time you had a specific request.  And then secondly, there was the added pressure because this pic is actually the cover, the face of the book, the image that draws in unsuspecting minds and invites them into a whole new world.  But really, I think the design process was basically the same.  My art teacher and I have done so many pictures together, we have the process down to a T.  Figuring out the wings took a little while, but it was definitely worth it.  I had a lot of fun with the color and I am immensely proud of those wings and rocks.  My rocks are beautiful. They really are! Also, a big shout-out to my art teacher, because without her patience and talent, the fairy would be a stick figure.  Or really fat.  It’s a toss-up. *dies laughing*

The first sketch

The first sketch

Glad there were so many options for how Adela would end up. 😛 What is the most difficult aspect of working with colored pencil?

I think the most difficult aspect for me is finding the right colors and then keeping them straight once I’ve started using them.  Trying to remember exactly which shade of green I was using for the tree out of the 6 that I had chosen is exasperating.  Because if I use the wrong shade then people will wonder why the tree is suddenly growing grass and the grass is growing pine needles!  Classic mix up. I felt kind of bad because I stole half of my teacher’s colored pencils and stuck them in my drawer.  =0

Wow. Such a great student… Was there any specific challenge in making cover art as opposed to interior artwork?

Such shade.

Such shade.

After doing both, I think they’re both as challenging.  Cover art, like I mentioned above, has to really stick out to the viewer.  It has to look interesting enough for a person to take the time to read the synopsis.  But interior artwork has its own special attraction.  When people read books and they suddenly come across a picture, they usually stop for a moment and study the detail and, if the picture if referring to a moment in the future of the book, they wonder what it could possibly refer to.  Interior artwork must then be interesting enough for those readers to stop and ponder its mysteries, and yet not give enough detail so that they will want to quickly read on to the next page.

So true. Which media do you prefer working with?

I’m not sure.  Pen & Ink is wonderful because you have so much control over it.  I like seeing the crisp black lines on the page that, up close, they don’t look like much and then you step back and you’re like “Wow! I just created a miracle!”  Colored pencil is really fun, because every color that you add changes the picture so much.  You have to add the color in layers so when I’m using the colored pencils, I don’t feel as if I’m adding the color, I feel like I’m uncovering something and I can’t wait to find out what I’m going to see next.  Pen & Ink and Colored Pencils are both interesting media that I really love to work with.  They both have positives and negatives but they can create such dynamic and beautiful images.  I just know I don’t really like working with water color.

Final product!

Final product!

Rats. I wanted a water color picture next. Lol! The question we all want to know. How difficult is Claire M. Banschbach to work with?

Comic Con Shenanigans

Comic Con Shenanigans

She’s horrible, impatient, demanding, and unable to comprehend the brain of an artist!!!  That’s three exclamation marks so you know I mean business. =)  I lie though.  She’s not that bad.  She’s pretty easy going and if I tell her I’m going to finish the picture on a certain date but I don’t, she doesn’t get angry.  I think I’m spoiled because she’s my sister and she knows she can get me back in other ways.  Yeah, you are. 😉 Like not letting me read the latest in her new book, or telling me all about the different functions and problems of muscles. =) Heh heh!! She always manages to come up with the most difficult picture to format though.  Whenever I go to my art teacher with what she wants, we just shrug our shoulders, complain how hard this picture is going to be, and get to work.  It’s good though, because we need the challenge.

Little do you know that I’m angry all the time!! ;P Hey! If I wasn’t around to challenge you, then what? If you were going to produce fan art for one of your favorite fandoms, which would you choose?

Star Wars VII selfies

Star Wars VII selfies

This is difficult. I have several different fandoms: Supernatural, Firefly, Warehouse 13, Agent Carter, Star Wars, LOTR and The Hobbit (not the movie!), Brandon Sanderson’s The Reckoners Trilogy, Marissa Meyers The Lunar Chronicles, and then, of course, your books (particularly The Wildcat of Braeton [Emeth for the Win!!!] and another one you haven’t finished yet) So subtle with the hints to finish it.  However, as much as I love all these, I would probably chose to create fan art for my own adventures that take place in the copious number of magical realms of my head.  I travel to many different places and time periods, and take on different characters each time, I think it would be awesome to be able to draw it out since I don’t have the capability to write about it.

I expect this artwork to decorate our magical treehouse one day. Final question! You are stuck in a magic elevator with only three buttons. Floor 1 takes you to a library where you might get chased by an angry cyborg, Floor 2 takes you to a world where Up is Down, and Floor 3 is a mystery door. Which do you choose?

First, I would have to ask you how I got stuck on this magical elevator? Was I wondering around in our world one day and a fiendish someone from another universe pushed me in there as an experiment? I’m about to push you in. Or am I an incompetent bungler from the magical place that produces magical elevators and I accidentally got stuck in there?  Also, are there many magical elevators?  Do all of them always give you three options or are some of them like the doors in the Monsters Inc.? Just pick one! But to answer your question, I would choose . . . . . . . . . . . wait for it . . . . . . . . . . . Floor 3!!!  And why, you ask, do I choose Floor 3?  Because unless the cyborg has a golden arm, it would annoying trying to read books while getting chased. Stop giving away my story ideas! And I think I would have a lot of problems with the gravity in Floor 2.  Besides, Floor 3 is a surprise, and surprises lead to adventures (and who doesn’t like a good adventure?), and adventures lead to stories (if you don’t die), and stories . . . I don’t know where I was going with that but it was going to be awesome.  Anyway, On To Floor 3, Adventures Await!!!!!! Dunn Dunn Duuuuuunnn!!!

Big thanks to Jocelyn for taking time out of her schedule to be annoyed into answering questions. 🙂 She’s already talking covers for the next two books, so give her lots of encouragement so she won’t hate me when I start making demands, I mean, talking design. 😉

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