New Banner Art Revealed

J. M. DeSantis Blog Post

About every two years I replace the image on the standing banner I bring to conventions. It all started with my original 2011 purchase which featured my painting Goddess of Sand–this was the very banner of which people kept asking about the Indian woman depicted and which prompted the creation of Chadhiyana. Chadhiyana, of course, has been featured on my banners ever since. If you’ve been following me on social media, you’ve seen shots of art work for my new banner as it came together. On Monday, I finished it and as promised, it’s time to show it off.

J. M. DeSantis 2015 Banner ArtWith the first issue Chadhiyana: In the Company of Shadows scheduled to release on July 13, the number of conventions I have coming up and other projects which I’m working on, I thought it was high time I created a new banner image. Additionally, my most recent banner featured the original cover image for Chadhiyana: In the Company of Shadows, which was coloured entirely in blues and oranges. While I love that piece and it did get positive attention, I noticed I wasn’t getting as many people coming up to my table and asking about the “Indian female warrior” or commenting on how nice it is to see a strong woman of colour in a lead role. The complementary colour scheme hid Chadhiyana’s skin tone, and I felt that was doing her and the book a great disservice. A new image was needed–in full colour this time.

What’s unique about this piece (for those interested) is that I created the illustration specifically for this banner, rather than incorporating images onto the banner (as I’d done previously). More, it is one of only two pieces I’ve created in which I used both acrylic paints and watercolours together in the same piece (the other being the Jimi Hendrix piece I painted years ago). I wanted to do this to show off the various mediums, techniques and styles I use, but also to have Chadhiyana stand out, as she is the only character rendered in acrylics and coloured pencils–the others are in watercolours and inks.

That said, although Chadhiyana is my main focus (and the focus of the banner), I wanted to show a few other characters besides (both related to Chadhiyana and otherwise). So, the top area includes the witch from the graphic novel as well as Ishalaraad, Kaalah ad-Fataar and an image of Chadhiyana in her Tal-Ifatiir costume. The bottom region I dedicated to my horror and humour work, and so the gentlemanly Cthulhu (from my Cthuhlu Taking Tea piece–expect to see more of him) as well as Count Orlok of Nosferatu (my favourite vampyre who I just can’t seem to stop drawing) made it onto the final image. Also, at the bottom is one of the ghosts from my children’s book, which I keep alluding to, and which hopefully will see publication in the near future.

Altogether, I think the banner shows the breath of subject matter and media in which I work. I’m hoping it will really grab people’s attention over the next couple of years as I continue to make appearances with it. After all, the purpose of a banner is to catch people’s eye as they walk by, but to also act as a landmark for finding someone. I’m hoping this new banner will effectively do both, as I think it’s unique.

If you’re going to be at the Garden State Comic Con, Boston Comic Con or Inbeon Con this summer, look for this image (though I’m hoping it will stand out from the crowd and you won’t have to look hard). With that done, I can get back to directly working on Chadhiyana. After all, we’re only a week and half away from the release of issue one of Chadhiyana: In the Company of Shadows. It’s an exciting time, and it’s going to be an exciting summer.


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