I’ve been producing watercolor cover illustrations for Retronauts all year, and I’ve only missed a single episode — not bad, considering. Practice makes… maybe not perfect, but better, and my artwork has definitely improved since I’ve been creating these images on a regular basis. In fact, I’d say the past few months have seen the best illustrations I’ve ever created. I’m not exactly bragging about that; there’s a reason I majored in art but ended up making my living writing, after all.
I’ve been pretty happy with several of the Retronauts covers I’ve created this year, but at the same time I’m frustrated by the fact that the three best images have been homages or pastiches to other works.
Such as “Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife”…
Back to the Future II…
And, now, Star Wars.
My technical skills are decent enough, but I am the worst at coming up with interesting compositions. I should probably figure that out.
I am not, however, bothered by the fact that these nerd-culture mashups have become a dime a dozen thanks to online T-shirt vendors and dudes selling posters of Tumblr doodles. I was doing this crap back in the ’90s on an early incarnation of this site, by god; I was creatively bankrupt before it was cool.
Anyway. The new episode of Retronauts — that last cover there — is pretty good and you should listen to it.