shannon associates: YA cover art represent!

It’s difficult for me to point at one specific aspect of a cover and say, “That is what makes it outstanding.” There are so many artistic elements working together, even in the most simplistic of covers. It’s not every day that I step back from a novel’s face and say, “This cover only works because it’s got great type design.” Because as you know, a crap font can completely ruin cover, plain and simple.

But I can make a special argument for the commissioned artist. It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of illustrated cover art. And I’m a sucker for any high-concept design. The type of artwork that almost ashamedly feels blemished when you add a title and an author name. The type of artwork that you would have looked at in a completely different light, had you known it existed in the world before being tied to a fictitious character.

The kind of art that the folks over at Shannon Associates represent.

Below are a few pieces that I’ve selected with permission from the kind folks over at Shannon Associates. I’m pretty sure you’ve seen ’em around before. They’re hot-linked to each artist at SA’s site, but please PLEASE do check out their other artists as well. It was hard enough listing only the pieces that I recognized!

© Juliana Kolesova (Art for Plain Kate)

© Neil Swaab (Art for I'll Be There)

(Neil even stopped by the blog and did an interview in August.)

© Cliff Nielsen (Art for Clockwork Angel)

© Cliff Nielsen (Art for Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side)

(I never noticed that gross right hand until I saw this piece sans title.)

© Cliff Nielsen (Art for Heat)

© Ingrid Baars (Art for Clarity)

This piece surprised me most out of all of the YA cover finds, because when I first saw the cover for Kim Harrington’s Clarity, it freaked me out a bit. Seeing Baars’ art with the rest of her work, however, made me understand her craft a lot better.


17 thoughts on “shannon associates: YA cover art represent!

  1. It’s so interesting to see these covers without the title/author print on there. I agree that a crappy font type can totally ruin a book. It can cheapen it as well, regardless how amazing the art is.

  2. It’s funny because you can easily recognize all of these covers but it’s a totally different look without the font on there. (and I totally didn’t notice that creepy hand either!)

  3. Totally agree with Ginger and Tara. Which begs the question: who decides what font to use for the title / author name, etc? Is it Shannon Associates, or do they simply pass along the artwork and let the publisher manipulate it from there onward?

    In any case, these are some supremely beautiful pieces of art.

    • Shannon Associates represents the artist’s work, so I’d assume it starts with the publisher commissioning a freelance artist, who works with the pub’s art director (who will mold the final cover design), and SA features that artist’s work because they’re his or her representation.

      And, YES. Stunning work.

  4. I love this post. Now I have a huge website to explore and find new favorite artists. I did a Top Ten Tuesday post last week about beautiful covers and sometimes it’s so hard to find the artist without having the physical book in hand!

    • I feel your pain! Oftentimes I have to contact the author who’ll then pass me along to an editor so I can properly credit the designer.

      I don’t recommend looking at SA’s artists’ work when you’re trying to go to sleep. You’ll be on the website forEVER. =)

  5. Beautiful! It’s funny how different these artworks look without the title and author, they look a lot better on their own. Although I did think the covers for Plain Kate and I’ll Be There were lovely when I first saw them, even with the text included.

  6. Love this group of cover art! Especially the very first cover. And the dance cover (minus the hand, lol). Your blog makes me happy 😉 Getting to look at books in a way I don’t normally do…I have to admit since switching to Ebooks I don’t do a lot of cover shopping!

    • The first cover is definitely my favorite. And I hear ya on the ebooks thing: although it makes it much more difficult to find ebook covers that I actually like. I’ve only reviewed one on TCG since day one!

  7. This is quite simply in a word; amazing. y’know, it’s so strange to just see the cover art without the title and author name, and i’ve got to admit, there is something beautiful about seeing the photos untouched. I am now crazy girl stalking the shannon assosiates website. OMG did you see the PONY?? AHHHHHHHH!!!!!

  8. I worked on a couple of novel covers with Juliana. She’s absolutely amazing and so very talented!

    You have a very lovely blog. We all judge books by their covers, don’t we? 🙂

Sharing is Caring

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s