Book Cover Design, Illustration & Concept Art

Contact & FAQ

Contact Rianna Stahl

If you'd like her to do some concept art for you, or paint an illustration, let her know 🙂 Questions are also welcome.


Commission Pricing

Rianna charges $15.00 USD per hour for concept art and illustrations. Sketches typically take 30 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, and concept art anything from an 1 hour 30 minutes to 8 hours hours on average due to draft bounces.

The same goes for illustrations. To make the process more efficient, the composition will be decided on through thumbnail sketches first.

Writing & Illustration

Q: What is your creative background, and what drew you to writing and illustrating?

I’ve always loved the idea of making fantasy movies, but that requires a large team and funding, which is why I write and paint instead. They’re a much cheaper medium, which I can do in the comfort of my own home—and it also allows me to play with words like poetry.

While in high-school, I became interested in RPG videogames for their ability to explore moral consequence, and trained myself as a concept artist. I volunteered on a few indie development projects, but eventually found myself gravitating towards Lead Creative Script Writing and Game Design / Creative Directing instead. Since then I’ve been working on writing and illustrating my own books, while making a bit of cash on the side.

Oh, I also had a really brief stint at Weta Workshop in New Zealand, helping make props for Xhang Yimou’s film “The Great Wall”.

Q: Who are your artistic inspirations?

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman wrote stories that completely changed my childhood, and have been my heroes ever since. I also admire the work of directors Guillermo Del Toro, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who create some beautiful fantasy-dramas, with superb cinematic technique. Authors Andrzej Sapkowski and Ursula K. Le Guin are huge inspirations as well.

Painting wise, I love the works of Isvoc (the dragon queen), Kelogsloops, and ClockBirds (for their use of colour, and beautiful imagery), as well as that of Charles Vess. Also Tomm Moore and Dean DeBlois for their fantastic animated films!

There are so many others that I can’t even begin to list! Patrick Ness, for his work on A Monster Calls. David Kemper for the amazing Farscape... Thank you, all!

Q: Are you self-taught?

Yes. I like studying works I find interesting, and learning through observation and experimentation. Now that I’m more confident in myself I’m starting to reach out and broaden my horizons, by studying the technique of artists I love. For painting, this is mostly done through “speedpaint” videos.

Q: Do you use references for your drawings?

Not often. I’m trying to use them more now as they make painting more realistically, and faster, easier—but sometimes it’s just fun to draw something abstract or surreal from one’s own imagination.

Q: Do you have any advice for someone getting started creatively?

Find what you love most, and follow that. Listen to your inner self, and stand out by being whoever you are. You have your own unique strengths and weaknesses to bring to this world.

If you want to study people you admire, do that. Avoid changing yourself into someone you’re not for the sake of popular opinion—unless you’re conscious of the sacrifice, and ok with it.

Q: What is the typical process for creating an illustration?

Usually I’m doing something else entirely when a vision will come out of the blue and annoy me until I sketch it down 😉

When I’m ready to take it further, I usually scan it in then go over the line-work digitally, before I begin painting. If you’re interested in my process you can visit my YouTube channel for “speedpaint” videos.

Hardware & Software

Q: What materials do you use for digital painting?

I use a graphics tablet (Wacom Cintiq 13HD), and Adobe Photoshop CS6. Also a scanner and my camera if I need to get physical sketches onto the screen.

Q: What do you use to record and edit your “speedpaint” videos?

I record my painting videos in Open Broadcast Software, or OBS. I edit them in Adobe Premiere Pro, which is where I speed them up, add music, text, and audio voiceovers (for the recording I just use the microphone on my Apple laptop).

Q: How do you format your books for print and digital display?

I write them in Microsoft Word and format them in Adobe InDesign for print and .PDF display.

For other file formats I export a HTML file and use Callibre to clean it up, before editing the final export code directly in Adobe Dreamweaver (but one can do the latter in any plain text editor).