Interview with Claudia from Phatpuppy Art- A Digital artist specializing in book cover art!

A little about Claudia and her work:

I'm a 45 year old wife and homeschooling mom to 4 great children. 

After the birth of my 4th child at 37.. even though busy with being a wife and mom.... I wanted to do something to fulfill something inside of me personally -- and I literally fell into it, when having to help my daughter with something on one of her photographs used for her singing career. lol

For me my art is like keeping a journal - each art piece represents a time in my life, whether good or bad, and it's clearly reflected, for me anyways, in my work. :)

One of my favourite works is "Blind to Beauty".  Because it represents a time in my life where I did feel hopeless..... and the miracle that came from it.... To sum it up - I had been suddenly struck blind - told I would not live by doctors, scheduled for a surgery to try to abate the progress of the disease -- and less than 8 hours before surgery had a bonafide miracle..... (that's the condensed version)

An important message to convey in my work --   Always hope -- I am a very strong faith - and even though I may at times do darker images - I always try to put the element of light to leave a glimmer of hope....for me, especially in today's times, this is sorely lacking. I find that so many young people seem to gravitate towards the dark, seemingly gloomy and hopeless images... although they may be emotional pieces I see out there - they still lack hope.  :(

Fantasy art is just another type - and I usually, with the help of Danny Elfman music, I can get transported there mentally rather easily. lol   It's different for me in that it's colder....... not necessarily what I prefer to do... but often what authors want when commissioning me for covers -- yet I still LOVE making them.
Most challenging is how to introduce new styles of art to my watcher base -- people have a harder time accepting a new style if they really like you for one type... But to be honest, the dark Gothic stuff is wildly popular, but also in my opinion, totally overdone.

The equipment I use --  I stay fairly up to date - but don't go too crazy.  I have a mind blowing computer with 16 gigs of Ram and a monitor that is 22 inches that I actually paint directly on.... so my monitor is my canvas.  I have an electric desk that goes up and down so I sit or stand while working.... 

I have been blessed in that I do work in film now -- doing storyboarding for films in production.  I love the creative process.  My daughter is now in film and television makeup so it's fun to work with her on projects.

Also to other aspiring artists -   I have never promoted or marketed ever for my cover arts ... other than art sites where my work appears. People will find you. :)

Now you are a digital artist. Could you explain a little about what it is and what you do?

 I am a mixed media artist  and I hope to just continue what I'm doing  -- hopefully it's uplifting to people. This means I use digital paint and photographs together to create a unique art piece

Your work is amazing! I love all your cover arts! The work for Slumber and Ripple to name a few I love! How do you go about creating the visual art of the covers, I know the author can just buy one of your pieces to commission for a cover. But where do you get the ideas for the pieces to begin with?

Thank you so much for the kind words about my work.... my ideas come from everywhere - anywhere - sometimes in the obvious places, i.e., music, books, movies... but sometimes they come from quiet stillness... and just letting my mind rest. :)

I know it might be hard to choose but which has been one of your favourite covers to do?

My favourite covers - hmmmm... I might have to say "Honalee" for Amanda Hocking.  Amanda is a joy to work with - and she saw something special in that piece.. I was really honored.

Honalee Cover Art

I was just looking at your before and after work and I love how it shows how much work and detail you put into them. You are so talented! This is one of my particular faves!

Before/After Blue 

How long does it take you to do it from before to after?

Depends- some if i have a clear idea of what I'm going for - it can be fairly quick - other times, even though I may think I know - it ends up falling short - I get frustrated and I have to work on it an extra long time... like 8 or more hours. lol

Your Haiku Images images are stunning as

This piece is just mind blowingly beautiful! It looks like so much hard work has went into it and it must have taken you such a long time

This is my one of my most favourite art pieces - and I pray someone will want this one for a cover art.  I was upset because I couldn't go to meet Tim Burton in person at some big event here in Los Angeles - my daughter, Catie, went instead - she got to meet him and talk with him.... this cover art was dedicated to him. :)

Thanks to Claudia for this awesome interview, you can check out her amazing art at and check out her facebook fanpage

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