Vincent Sammy

Cover Art by Vincent Sammy

Something Wicked Issue 11 - Cover by Vincent Sammy


Can you give us an idea of what goes into creating a cover like this?

Creating a cover-piece usually depends on whether I have a story to work from, or whether I am given free reign in deciding what content can go on the cover. Both are challenging in there own way as the one limits you to the subject matter and you need to try an establish the best possible visual angle from the story, while the other has the challenge of trying to come up with an image that is as new and fresh as possible. So when creating the current cover (Issue 11) that is based on the story “The Silver City and the Green Place”, I first took a day to think it over in my head. I try and visualise what the cover would look like on the shelf of a magazine rack or as a smaller icon on a website, and then I dive in and try and capture the feeling of that image on to paper.


When working on Something Wicked covers we give you the story do read, but how do you decide which facet or section of the story to base your art on?

I usually look for the most unique and visually striking aspect of the story. In this case it was the synthetic cereal the character eats that turns her lips blue. Then in order to get the blue as striking as possible, I decided to mute the rest of the colours as much as possible, except for the eyes. And to add the counter balance to the blue, I added the red butterfly. I like symbolism in images, so the butterfly depicts the birth of something new and beautiful and fragile, but the colour also adds an edge of a possible danger. In general I like images to look ordinary and with an edge of realism, but at closer inspection, also to have an unsettling feel about it.


Your portraiture is awesome, do you use models or do the images create themselves?

I usually apply the FRANKENSTEIN method, which I suppose is applicable especially for a horror magazine. After I have decided on what I want the picture to look like, I do a rough sketch in pencil. Then I find bits and pieces of photographic references that will make up the image, such as the eyes, the overall face and hair and the butterfly etc. These are than visually “stitched” together to form the final image.


What other types of illustrations do you do? (eg comics, adverts, graphic design)?

I also do comic book illustration and writing, although my approach to this is somewhat off the beaten track I assume, as many people don’t always understand it. I work as a full time graphic designer at an ISP doing web, print and marketing design. But my first love will always be illustration.


How do you start a piece?

As I mentioned before, I start by first digesting ideas in my head for a day or two, than drawing the rough of what I envisage the piece to be. I than collect the necessary reference material and complete the full finished pencils. I have to be 100% happy with my finished pencil work, because if it even looks slightly off from what I want it to resemble I will ditch it and start over again. If the foundation is flawed, so will the final product.


What mediums do you work in and what is your favourite?

I work primarily in watercolour paints (the cheap kind too, because I hate still squeezing and mixing those expensive tube kinds). Once the pencils are done I start painting. This usually takes up the bulk of the time I spend on the image. Once this is complete, I scan it into my computer and finalise the image by enhancing colours and adding any other effects and elements I feel is necessary.


Do you have a favourite subject?

I guess, as clichéd as it is, I prefer drawing female characters. I also like strange and vintage objects as well as insects.


What are you working on now?

I am working on ECHO GEAR. Its one of those overly complicated stories I write that is part illustration project, part comic, part novel, part poetry and totally unmarketable :). Mostly a South African scifi, steampunk (or analogue punk?), psychosocial cultural vehicle of over-complex theories and over -complicated ideas…or something of the sort. Like I said…I don’t think I can market it 🙂


Where can we find more of your work?

I have a profile up on deviant art that contains a lot of my illustration work at

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