Sunday, October 30, 2011

C.S. Kunkle, Artist of the Macabre

Wild Bill by C.S. Kunkle

Copyright © 2009-2011 C.S. Kunkle, Ann Charles, Jacquie Rogers

Romancing the West celebrates Halloween with talented artist C.S. Kunkle!

Mr. Horror Art himself is certainly a perfect fit for our Halloween festivities.  Author Ann Charles loves his work because, um, she nagged him to create her book cover art, and illustrate her books as well.  To prove she was absolutely right to nag, here are the book covers, all by C.S. Kunkle.  One lucky Romancing The West commenter will win an autographed print copy of Optical Delusions in Deadwood by Ann Charles, which he illustrated and of course he also created the awesome cover art.

Book Covers by C.S. Kunkle
RTW: Tell us about your beginning years and education?
CSK: As far as education, just grade school and high school art class.  After that, it was just a matter of developing my own style.  I messed around with just about every medium out there, thinking I would just stumble on to what would be my signature medium.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Ten years went by and I was still floundering.  I hadn’t improved, nor had I developed a style.  I had to decide if this was something I wanted to seriously pursue or if I was just wasting my time. So, I took a solid year and practically chained myself to my drawing table.  I would be drawing for 8 to 10 hours a day, if possible.  When I wasn’t at my day job, I was sitting at my table.
I found out two important things that year:
  1. I wanted to be an artist and draw/paint for a living.
    Sword by C.S. Kunkle
  3. I was going to have to put in the time if I wanted to be great at it.
RTW:  What do you see as both the benefits and liabilities for artists of working with authors on cross-promotional projects?
CSK:  The benefit of cross promotion, as I see it, is it’s a win-win situation for both the author and the artist.  If someone really likes my work and sees I’m working with a specific author, maybe they buy the book to see my drawings, and read the book as well.  The liability, I don’t really want to think about, but I suppose egos could get in the way.

RTW: Do you have any advice for artists?
Werewolf by C.S. Kunkle
CSK: I watched an interview with writer/artist/director Clive Barker some years back, and something he said stuck with me. “No matter how strange or unusual an idea might be, put it on paper.”  I’ve done that ever since and have created some of my best work.

Just stay true to your art.  A lot of my drawings and designs are a bit on the morbid or creepy side.  I knew there were people out there that would enjoy them, so I stayed with that genre.  Now I’ve just begun to scratch the surface of my fan base, and I know it will continue to grow.
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Check out C.S. Kunkle at his website or on Facebook; or feel free to email him.   Even though he loves to draw creepy monsters, he’s really a nice guy. His art is available for sale (see website), and he also signs prints at Ann Charles’ booksignings.

One lucky commenter will win an autographed copy of Optical Delusions in Deadwood by Ann Charles. Enjoy great cover art and a read, too! Please be sure to leave your email address when you comment; otherwise, we'll have to draw another winner.


  1. The Werewolf is one of my all-time favs! Freaky eyes. :)

    Ann Charles

  2. It's hard to pick a favorite because all his art is spectacular. I happen to like Cap'n Jack, although I didn't post that one today.

  3. Wow, the art is fantastic. My favorites are the werewolf and the cop with the gun. I can see why she tormented him about doing her covers.

  4. I love your artwork. The last one on this page is of the Walking Dead, right? My son got me interested in the show and now I'm hooked. lol There werewolf is fantatic, too. Shows a bit a personality there.

    Question: When you create one of your awesome book covers for Ann, do you start with a drawing board with pencils? Pens? Inks? Give us the inside story of creating a book cover.

    There really stunning, by the way. :)

  5. love your work...what a small world...i'm a big fan of walking dead and we have the same names


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