Tag Archives: Michael C. Hayes

Spotlight: Michael C. Hayes (My Book Cover Artist)

15 May

Spotlight: Michael C. Hayes (My Book Cover Artist)


It is my privilege to introduce today a creative and just plain gifted artist, Michael C. Hayes.

His amazing artistry will inspire you. I have always said, art and writing go hand in hand just like poetry and music. I am honored to have one of Michael C. Hayes’ works grace the cover of my upcoming novel, The Fall of Lilith. I will do a cover reveal later on but for now I want to showcase this artist and his magnificent works of art.

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In Michael’s words . . .

If you had told me I would end up painting for a living when I was 17, I would have assumed you meant houses or cars. The idea of creating a representational image out of pigments suspended in linseed oil was so far removed from what I thought I was meant to do in life.

Most other artists I know tell stories of ceaselessly drawing as children and never stopping. Drawing was something I was dragged into against my will. Once I stopped grumbling about it and tried to make the best of the situation, I discovered an unrealized passion. It is funny how a seemingly insignificant high school elective can change your life for the better.

At that point in my life I was set on making the big bucks in the glamorous field of software engineering, so when I learned in order to graduate I had to take an art elective instead of a programming course, I was not happy. I chose animation as the elective; over the  course of that semester, I found that I enjoyed drawing. I was also introduced to a few 3d animation programs, for which I developed an affinity. I eventually decided that animation would be a lot more fun than writing code.

In the 5 years that followed, I studied at a local community college and later at Cogswell Polytechnical College, earning a degree with honors in Digital Arts and Animation. Throughout the years it became evermore apparent that 3D animation was not quite what I wanted to devote my career to. I was slowly spending more and more time and effort on my traditional drawing, painting, and sculpting courses and less time building wire frames on the computer. By the time I was ready to graduate my goals had once again changed. All the years of required art courses and a few influential and supportive professors had made their mark: I was undeniably hooked.

I moved back to San Diego after graduating in 2005 and enrolled at Watts Atelier of the Arts. Free from the constraints of term papers and physics tests, and in a wonderful artistic environment, I began spending almost every waking moment I could spare on a drawing bench or in front of an easel.  I often tell people the crammed 20 years worth of study into my short time at the atelier.  As a result of this effort, and a few extraordinary teachers, my artistic skills began to develop to professional level.

About halfway through 2008 I got my first professional gig working freelance on a game called “Legends of Norrath”.  In the years that followed I began to receive more and more work and took fewer and fewer classes, slowly transitioning from student to full time professional.  Since then I have had the good fortune to work for clients such as: Wizards of the Coast, Blizzard Entertainment, Sony Online Entertainment, LucasArts Entertainment, Night Shade Books, Palladium Books and others.  In the past few years I have received several ARC awards, a Chesley award and a nomination for a Spectrum award.

In late 2013 I decided to make some changes and pull away from the freelance world for awhile. Although I will still take those projects that are too good to pass up I plan to spend a few years focusing on my personal work.

There is so much more art to see. Check out more of Michael’s work and connect with him at the sites bellow:

DeviantArt

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

You can sign up for Michael’s newsletter here.

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