Interview with Gene Mollica, Photo Illustrator

Invested_Ivana_100As 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. 😉

Gene MollicaGene Mollica
Gene Mollica Studio, LLC.
website | facebook | twitter | instagram | email

From his websiteI’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

16280689 Blood and Magic Ash and Silver

Wayfinder Best Served Cold Crimson Campaign

Libriomancer Jason Hough Jean Johnson

Jill Kismet graveyard

03:21 – C.S. Harris and the beginning of photo composite

Why Mermaids Sing Who Buries The Dead

05:04 –  Shooting photography for covers

Studio 1 Studio 2 Studio 3
courtesy Gene’s Instagram account

06:22 – Very little hand painting in the covers

Staked Tattoo
Tattoo detail from Staked cover

libriomancerart
necklace and spider detail from Libriomancer cover

08:26 Building Models

Orrery Cover Orrery
detail from Unbound, and model

10:07 — Photographer, Illustrator, Designer

Wikipedia on

13:23 – Chapter Openers

Chapter Header
detail of chapter opener from Libriomancer

13:46 – Cover Package

Revisionary Art Revisionary cover
from this…………………..to this

17:33 – Costuming

Deborah Gerard, Time Traveler Outfitters

Time Traveler

Leatherwork
Courtesy Time Traveler Outfitters FB page

Frey art
cover art for Frey by Melissa Wright

Unbound full art The Barrow Art
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

Miss Hyde 24805699 Jekyll Dress
Dress photo courtesy of Time Traveler Outfitters FB page

 29:31 – Working with independent authors

One Wilde Night Getting Wilde Wilde Card

Born to be Wilde

(and a couple of Ivana’s favorites not mentioned in the interview)

Fistful of Evil fistful of fire

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

Hottie1 Hottie2 Hottie3

hottie4 hottie5 hottie6
The “Hoodie Hottie” – the most desirable man in Romance 😉

38:33 — Thomas Sniegoski and the bone gun

bone gun detail 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!

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About Invested Ivana

I read fiction for entertainment and to escape my own world; so, I don’t want to read about “real” things. I read non-fiction to learn and be inspired. For the last several years, I’ve read mostly Urban Fantasy and other things supernatural. I also enjoy Historical Fiction. I love books that go deep into characters and worlds. I really want to know the characters, to be able to invest emotionally in them and their challenges. I like learning about cultures, so understanding the world is important to me as well.

Posted on February 6, 2016, in Cover Artist Series, Interview. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I dig the article, I just hired my cover artist for my new book. This artwork is absolutely fabulous!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome post, I love Gene Mollica’s work!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nervous Nell Justice

    I love cover art! It’s the most informative part of the book without actually reading the book!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love Gene’s work and lucky enough to have him design one of my covers

    Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Interview with Deranged Doctor Designs | One Book Two

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