Sunday, 23 January 2011

Welcome Cover Artist Gwen Phifer

Artist Gwen Phifer

I'd like to welcome new cover artist Gwen Phifer to the Desert Breeze Community. Enjoy this Q&A

STEPH: How long have you been a graphic artist?

GWEN: Well, my mom is an artist so I've always been messing with art supplies since I could hold something in my hands. I didn't seriously consider being an artist until around high school and I went to college to become an Illustrator. I've only "professionally" been on the market for about a year.

STEPH: Did you go to school for it? Which one?

GWEN: Yes, I went to Savannah College of Art and Design. I graduated in 2009 with a BA in Illustration.

STEPH: How did you find Desert Breeze?

GWEN: It was an interesting coincidence. My aunt is a writer that lives in WA and she saw the Desert Breeze call for artists on one of her forums and sent me the link. On a whim, I responded and the rest is history!

STEPH: What artistic medium do you like to work in?

GWEN: I love working in a mixed media technique with watercolors and acrylics, but in this day and age digital is the way to go. I have a Wacom tablet and that helps me recreate a lot of the textures and "feel" of physical media without the mess. Plus, the ctrl+Z button is a lifesaver.

STEPH: Is there a certain artist that's influenced you?

GWEN: Oh goodness, where to start... the Golden Age Illustrators best sum up my inspirations/influences- Rackham, the Wyeths, Pyle, Parrish, Jessie Willcox Smith. I could go on and on, but I think I'll stop there!

STEPH: Can you share some of your hobbies?

GWEN: I horseback ride, English rather than Western. I think it's become more of an obsession and less of a hobby. There's always something to learn and the barn has become one of my safe havens. It keeps me sane! I also read enough that it is definitely a hobby. I'm a huge Fantasy/Romance/Sci-Fi junkie.

STEPH: Tell us a little about the state you live in.

GWEN: I live on the outskirts of a little town in Upstate South Carolina. It's an interesting mix of "good ol' boy" roots and the explosion of culture that came with the BMW plant. Overall, we're probably just like anyone else. Except we can't drive in snow and we talk funny-like. ~.^

STEPH: Do you have an ebook reader?

GWEN: Sadly no. (I can hear the gasps of horror now!) But, I want one and I'm sure working for an e-publishing house will probably result in me getting one. Not that I'm complaining or anything. ^.^ I just have to save up for one. I'm thinking, Kindle?

STEPH: Can you send some of your art to share on the blog?

GWEN: "Dreams in Gold" is a mixed media piece of the story Rumpelstiltskin. The "Mycena Rosellas" are digital and part of a larger group of Mushroom Dancers. Last, "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod" is a digital spread illustration. On my website ( there's a whole lot more.

#STEPH For fun: Do you have a favorite sport? Favorite team?

GWEN: Not much of a sports fan, but I do like watching Equestrian eventing. (Like I said, probably an obsession at this point!)


  1. Wow. I'm impressed! Sounds like you're a great addition to DBP, Gwen. Welcome aboard.

  2. Hi Gwen and Steph,

    It was fun learning more about DBP's new talented cover artist!

    Thanks for a great interview, ladies!

  3. Hello Gwen. Now that your will be doing cover art for romance novels are you looking forward to adding some sexy Vikings, Highlanders and Cowboys to your portfolio?

  4. Hey Gwen, it's a small world. I know two folks who went to the same school as you did.

    Very nice art work up above! I hope you'll enjoy this new cover artist endevor~

  5. Oh my goodness! I just was able to find the blog and BAM there's my picture. ^.^ Thank you to Steph for putting this up- everything looks great! To the Viking Princess- I always look forward to adding to the portfolio! ~.^ To JoAnn- Yup, SCAD is a pretty big school. I didn't even know half the people that were in my own major!