Artist brings words to life
By Jeanne Millsap Correspondent February 14, 2013 11:48AM
Eric Scott Fisher
Updated: March 16, 2013 6:09AM
Morris free-lance illustrator and animator Eric Scott Fisher has made a name for himself with his artwork that graces covers and inside pages of books — most of them literature for children and adolescents.
He recently published an illustration for an article in Apple Seeds, a children’s social studies magazine. He drew and “painted” scenes for a story about George Washington and his role as spymaster for his country.
His sketches of the short mystery “Light as Air and Death” by author Camille Alexa put him in the Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, a publication he enjoys so much he subscribes to it. The subject of the story was right up his artistic alley, about a cowboy being haunted by a boy he accidentally killed due to his itchy trigger finger.
“I love this kind of stuff,” Fisher said.
His biggest project involved illustrating a series of classics for middle school-aged children. Fisher completed 17 library-bound hardcover books for Calico Illustrated Classics with that project that included such books as, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” “Pride and Prejudice” and “Kidnapped.”
His artwork is colorful and vivid and full of life, except perhaps for the more serious books, such as “The Invisible Man” and “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” which he illustrates appropriately darker.
Fisher didn’t start out as a book illustrator. After high school, he thought he wanted to work on movies. He realized late in college that his degree in film was probably not for him.
“I found I was working more on illustrating than on film and that I was reading more than watching movies,” he said. “Working on set wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as sitting there at a drafting table.”
Fisher has also designed logos, commercial backdrops, cartoon characters and even a wall mural for a church in Australia.
But drawing for books is his favorite. He’s at home with books, being a lifelong classics reader himself. He always reads at least the chapter to which his assigned illustration pertains, and usually the entire book.
“I feel like I can make the character come to life better by getting into the book,” he said. “It helps me to know what the characters might be thinking in a scene.”
Now, also an author
Fisher has recently crossed over into the author category himself, writing his first book and publishing it for the Kindle. “Overunder” is the first in a series of six books he already has all mapped out. They revolve around a boy and his mother who fall through a schism in the earth right through to different times and cultures. They become explorers, he said.
“I really like good, solid, meaty stories that are good literature and tell a good tale,” he said. “When I’m really excited about a story I’m telling, there’s just really nothing like that.”
Although he is well-versed in the wet arts, Fisher does all his work on the computer, using CorelDraw software on a pressure-sensitive laptop. It’s much easier, he said, when it comes to e-mailing the finished product in and if there are changes to be made. By saving each section of the drawing as a separate layer, he can redo one part without having to draw the entire picture.
Fisher lives in Morris with his wife, Sarah Fisher, a glass bead artist, and their daughter. His work may be viewed at www.ericscottfisher.net as well as on his Facebook page.