Happy Valentine’s Day from b2b & Jon Paul Ferrara!


Today, b2b is in seventh heaven because Jon Paul had agreed to stop by and share his new cover art and a bit of himself with us.

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*To enlarge, click on the image. You’ll love it more enlarged ;)

When it comes to romance book illustrations, this man is on fire! He is the best, and if you’re lucky to have one of your books illustrated by him, you know what I’m talking about. His illustrations are not just mesmerizing but can tell the story that’s within the pages of the books he’s doing the cover art for. Seriously, I could go on and on about how much I love his illustrations, but I won’t because they speak for themselves.

Ever wonder where the starting point is when it comes to illustrations? Check these out!

Behind the Scenes. Photo reference to the left, art to the right.




The blue dress illustration… which piece do you like better on a cover The full art on the right or the cropped version on the left?


Entertainment Weekly Magazine approached me last year to do an illustration for the inside of their magazine. It was in the Oct 24th issue and it is an eight page article about how big the Romance Industry is. My art was a double page spread. Models: John DeSalvo and Colleen


This is my version on the right. Before and After…”Woman photoshopped to fit the definition of beauty in 25 countries.”

Five Questions With Jon Paul Ferrara

Melanie: Jon, as you know, today a lot of fans of EL James’ ’50 Shades of Gray’ will be taking their significant others to the opening of the movie, so my first question is: Tell us your favorite book to movie/series?

Jon Paul Ferrara: Without question The Thorn Birds  ;)

Melanie: Oh, that’s a good one! I loved the series, but never read the book.

My next question is in regards to book illustrations. What’s your favorite book illustration that is not done by you?

Jon Paul Ferrara: ‘The Midnight Fury’ by Susan Ellen Gross. I was only twenty-one when I saw the illustration of it which was done by Pino Daeni. I fell in love with the art when I saw it in person at Pino’s studio before I got in the industry. I have a copy of the book next to me when I work. It symbolize the inspiration of what made me want to be a romance illustrator in the first place.

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Melanie: This one looks familiar! I have a very similar illustration you sent me with you in it. It is my favorite!

Who is your favorite musical artist?

Jon Paul Ferrara: It’s Paul McCartney and his version with the Beatles “And I Love Her”

Melanie: What are you favorite song lyrics?

Jon Paul Ferrara: Buddy Holly’s ‘True Love Ways’


Melanie: Gotta a favorite poet, or two?

Jon Paul Ferrara: I’m a romantic at heart Melanie, you know that! I love reading Ralph Waldo Emerson and John Keats. And how about we put your readers on the spot too, and see if they’ll answer at least 3 out of the 5 you just asked me? Anyone wants one of my signed illustrations can jump right in ;)


Melanie: Dude, thanks so-so-so much for stopping by today and sharing this Valentin’s Day with us.


If I were commissioned to do your portrait, which piece do you see yourself in? I’m curious to see what your choice would be ;)


To learn more about Jon Paul, please visit his website or FB page and in the meantime check this fan made You Tube video. I loved it!

To ALL Romance Novel Cover Artists: Happy Valentine’s Day!

To celebrate this day of Love and Romance I’ve decided to share with you all my love of Romance Book Cover Art and Artists. I wonder if any of you take a peek at the inside of a cover to find out who did the cover art for that book. Have you ever wondered what it takes to bring us such beauty, movement and magic? What is the process and how long does it take? Who chooses the models? Where do they get their costumes? How long does it take to finish the project?Jon Paul Ferrara is one of my favorite Dude’s and he says “It all starts with an art director sending me a fact sheet of a general description of the characters of the story and the time period the story takes place in. Some art directors will send along a small sketch with notes on what they specifically are looking for. I would have to say 80 percent of my work is historical which I love the most, for I love history. Once I’ve read through the material I start my research (funny, things have change since the Internet) for years ago I use to live in libraries, though now with the information highway which is the Internet, a good percentage of my research is done there. Though being a historical illustrator for 25 years now I have built up  a collection of books … literally over a thousand books i have in my library … mostly art books and history books with a good section on costumes through the ages. I also collect movies on DVD to study from also, actually the first video I purchased and I attribute to part of me being a romance illustrator was “Somewhere in Time” love the time period and loved the film… I love directors like Franco Zeffirelli Martin Scorsese, Francis Coppola etc…. Once all my references are in place for the cover at hand, I begin my search for models I feel that will fit the characters in the story. I work with all the major model agencies in NY… Wilhelmina, Ford, Ikon, CESD, etc.. From there I use two studios in NY to do the shoots… Media Photo and Shirley Greene studios and now in the last 5-7 years I’ve been doing my own photography also… Photography has always been a love of mine, so I had a professional photo studio built in my house where the models come out to me… My studio is in Northern New Jersey. I have to say I love doing my own photography for I have complete control from beginning to end of the creative process. Once the photos are taken, it is usually a combination of several photos I use … you would never know it… I take body parts from one photo and use them in another so I get the perfect motion and feeling that I am looking for … composing is like being a sculptor… I look for lines and angles that run through the bodies to give a feeling of motion and passion that other wise might be static if I use only one photo. One of my female models jokes with me and says, “no one needs a cosmetic surgeon when we have you around Jon Paul “(lol)…When I am putting photos together like this … that is when my years of studying anatomy come into play … for if I didn’t have that knowledge it would never work or look right … from there then I start the painting … in today’s ever changing publishing world you have to work digitally in order to survive…Most publishers will not wait for an oil painting when you can work digitally so much faster, for you don’t have to wait for trying times and changes are easier..I have to say I do mix it up by combining traditional and digital to keep my traditional look so to speak and not computer looking. I am basically a trained oil painter that changed digitally for publishing purposes, though in my Gallery work I am 100 percent traditional.” For the rest of his interview please visit Isn’t It romantic website here:  http://romancebooks.splinder.com/post/22418327 or go to his website here: http://www.jonpaulstudios.com/

I’ve recently read an interview with Romance Cover Artist James Griffin who said this of his favorite covers “I always seem to like the latest one best, but there are  a few covers that I’m proud of. Of the 3500 or so book covers I have created there James Griffin, are some that stand out to me as being satisfying for artistic reasons. One that is always a favorite is the front and step back covers for When the Duke Returns, by Eloisa James.” For the rest of the interview please visit Happily After website here: http://happily-forever-after.blogspot.com/2011/02/interview-with-romance-cover-artist.html. Please check it out. He takes us on a great journey and answers some of the above questions. You can also visit him on his blog here: http://paintlayers.blogspot.com/

Alan Ayers is another artist that I admire as well. Check him out at his website here:    http://www.alanayers.com/Romance/romance.html

To see Elaine Gignilliat’s wonderful work you can visit here: http://www.romancebookcoverart.com/ and for Chris Cocozza don’t forget to stop by and say hello here: http://chriscocozza.com/

And last but certainly not the least we have Max Ginsberg and you can check his art here: http://www.ginsburgillustration.com/index.html

We’re often familiar with Cover Models, but it is rare for me to hear anything about the Cover Artists. I found out that even the Authors are not sure who did their cover Art, but they love the result!  They are men and women that deserve our praise and today I would like to wish them a Happy Valentine’s Day and humbly thank them for their AMAZING work and let them know how much they’re appreciated!

Please visit them when you get a chance and I hope you enjoy their work as much as I have!