Meet Alicia Froelicher, a 22 year old illustrator from Atascadero, California. As a recent graduate from Academy of Art University in San Francisco, The Royal Rogue became one of her first major projects as a professional illustrator. However, don’t let her fresh resume deceive you. Froelicher doesn’t paint like a novice. In fact, her exceptional talent led Carlton to sign her on as the illustrator for Chivalry’s Code and the rest of the Rogue trilogy.
Elli: Alicia, tell us a little about how you came across The Royal Rogue book cover contest. What motivated you to enter?
Alicia Froelicher: I discovered the contest through a DeviantArt Journal by Saimain (a fantasy artist and former author also known as Adele Lorienne). I was motivated because I have never really done anything like book covers. When I researched Elizabeth through her website, I knew she wanted this to be the real thing. So, I entered. I gave it my best and crossed my fingers. As an artist, seeing people’s visions of what they want come to life excites me, and knowing that I could make some kind of difference was pretty inspiring. Also, I’m not going to lie, the subject was pretty cool.
E: Was it difficult to design a cover for a story you hadn’t read before?
A: To me, it is more stressful than difficult, especially since I hadn’t talked to Elizabeth before the contest or heard of The Royal Rogue. I took a whole day to learn all I could about her characters. After getting an understanding from Elizabeth’s character sheets—which I might add she personally drew!—my stress had lessened to chance The Royal Rogue‘s Cover Contest. In the end, I was very happy to combine her sketch work, which was her personal flair, and my style of drawing and digital painting to come up with a happy end result.
A: I was really happy to be coming back to work on another cover for the series, and cannot thank Elli enough for it. I found it was a very different process than the last time. I was in charge of a new look while keeping in touch with Elli’s character, Rayhan Mendeley, as she saw him. Luckily, I had a whole book for reference (woot!), a character sheet, and great communication between us to make the process go very smoothly. It made me even more motivated to get it right the first time around.
E:Tell us about your favorite character in the book, and why he/she stands out to you.
A: While Jaycent is pretty neat and unique character, I have to say Rayhan Mendeley is by far my favorite. The first chapter of Rogue where we see Rayhan’s personality, brief history, and his relationship with Arelee Denicarli, sealed the deal for me. I had a feeling Rayhan had a special story before Rogue that made me want more, which makes Chivalry’s Code something I am really looking forward to read.
E: Share a little about your art. What do you like designing? What’s your favorite subject matter?
A: I have a strong love for stories. My creativity started in grade school when we were learning about different mythologies. I had an intense passion to create, which soon turned into writing my own mythological stories, and other character driven plots. Around 14, I realized my grammar was downright awful and should never see the light of day so I discovered art. I now focus most of artistic time digitally painting character designs, environments, and story elements. I prefer a more painterly style, and if there was one genre I’d paint until I die, it would be Science Fiction and Fantasy.
E: Are there any particular artists that inspire you?
A: I get a lot of my artistic inspiration from video game concept art. I have a lot of inspirational artists and the list goes on and on, but if I had to pick the top one, it would be Matt Rhodes. Some will recognize his work from video games like Mass Effect to Dragon Age. The colors, textures, and quality just amaze me. When I was younger, it was Yoshitaka Amano (Final Fantasy), and Yoji Shinkawa (Metal Gear). They were a little looser on their strokes and more painterly.
E:What kind of commission work would you say you specialize in?
A: I pretty much follow along what most artists on DeviantArt do these days: character commissions. Character commission means taking a description or photo of a character from a client and making it a reality though your own style or a chosen style of art. I range from simple sketches, line-art, flat-colors, to full color of characters with environment commissions. All commissions are digital unless a client is really adamant about having a real painting and/or a print out. I charge more for those which makes digital usually the preferred method. Plus you get them right as you open your email!
E: Where can readers find your art and commission information?
My professional portfolio for concept art can be found at: http://aliciafroelicher.weebly.com
My DeviantArt page (AM-Nyeht) is where you’ll find the commission prices. I can also take commissions through e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.