Interview with Gene Mollica, Photo Illustrator
As part of our monthly series on book cover art, I had the honor of interviewing Gene Mollica of Gene Mollica Studio. Gene talks about his history with the publishing industry, the process of creating book covers, costuming, and why working with independent authors is such a joy.
This time, we recorded the interview so you could hear it all for yourself! Sadly, I should have known that someone who works with a VISUAL MEDIUM should probably be videoed — Gene kept trying to show things to the audience when we were just recording audio. Ah, well; I learned for next time. And I’ve put lots of pictures below so you can follow along with the interview. 😉
From his website: I’m a photo-illustrator specializing in fantastical and otherworldly images for the entertainment industry, most frequently for book covers. Originally a painter (RISD grad ‘90), I made the switch to digital media in graduate school (School of Visual Arts ‘01). It was a daunting transition at first but now it’s an equally obsessive process. Creating images that the authors feel translates their original vision and offering a window into that world for the reader is as much fun as I’ve ever had.
My work has appeared on the covers of books by authors like L.A. Banks, Patricia Briggs, Jennifer Lee Carrell, C.S. Harris, Barb Hendee, Conn Iggulden, Caitlin Kiernan, J.F. Lewis, Richelle Mead, C.E. Murphy, Brian Ruckley, and Thomas Sniegoski among many amazing others.
I live and work in Maplewood NJ with my wife, daughter.
02:18 – Cover Art By Gene
03:21 – C.S. Harris and the beginning of photo composite
05:04 – Shooting photography for covers
courtesy Gene’s Instagram account
06:22 – Very little hand painting in the covers
Tattoo detail from Staked cover
necklace and spider detail from Libriomancer cover
08:26 Building Models
detail from Unbound, and model
10:07 — Photographer, Illustrator, Designer
13:23 – Chapter Openers
detail of chapter opener from Libriomancer
13:46 – Cover Package
from this…………………..to this
17:33 – Costuming
Deborah Gerard, Time Traveler Outfitters
Courtesy Time Traveler Outfitters FB page
cover art for Frey by Melissa Wright
custom leather coats made for Unbound and The Barrow
“…if you’re going to photograph something, you wanna photograph something beautiful.” -Gene Mollica
22:52 – Reusing Costumes
Dress photo courtesy of Time Traveler Outfitters FB page
29:31 – Working with independent authors
(and a couple of Ivana’s favorites not mentioned in the interview)
33:35 – Using Stock Photography
“If you’re going to take the time to write a whole novel, you might as well have your characters on the cover.” — Gene Mollica
The “Hoodie Hottie” – the most desirable man in Romance 😉
38:33 — Thomas Sniegoski and the bone gun
bone gun detail and model from Walking In The Midst of Fire
image of bone gun model courtesy of Whisper Studio
Gene is incredibly generous to share his time with us, and I learned a TON. Gene, so sorry for introducing you as a Designer; now I know better. Thank you so much for the great education and the beautiful art!