He’s designed covers for Ronnie Shaw. For the cover for Red, the designer captured the inner city of Ronnie’s childhood in Atlanta. A redhead is sitting on the steps, waiting for Ronnie to come out to play. She’s a foxy lady. The Yellow Bus Boys, Go Blue, another book out due by Ronnie Shaw, captures the young and innocent America of the author’s youth. It’s a blue school bus on the open road. Steve Cartwright, a fellow writer and friend of Palko Designs and Ronnie, says this panoramic cover is one of his favorites.
The designer behind Palko Designs can be seen playing most nights on Twitter. Recently he modified a favourite picture of Ronnie’s, Snow White and The Seven Dwarf. Greg replaced the heads of the dwarfs with pictures of authors who hang out in Ronnie’s twitter group. I wasn’t spared. Cleo, a postcaster from Holland, recently appeared as a dwarf pole dancer also, with her head superimposed over the midgets. It was an inhouse joke, and if you want to listen to Greg on her show, here’s the link. Find out more about the white hippy chick and goddess in this podcast. Apparently they were both drunk on this particular show, said Greg.
Greg is playful and his art work is seamless in its deceit. That’s when he’s playing harmless prankster. The New Jersey graphic designer also created the cover for Libby Fox’s Black for Last. He captured the emotional and sexual yearnings of a British nurse. In her words, she said the cover was exciting, innovative, and vibrant.
Greg’s passion is horror. He’s been commissioned covers. Ronnie Shaw recently wrote The Dead and Dying. After a few exchange of emails, and skyping, Greg conceptualised the cover too well. It’s as though Greg was in the story to get the insight needed to visually portray it. “Properly executing a graphic is dire, but if the viewer isn’t forming an emotional bond with the piece then it’s shit.” Greg says the covers must compliment the story. In the case of The Dead and Dying, it’s an uncanny cover of Ronnie Shaw’s short story that reeks of horror.
He says his main passion lies in being able to tell a story: “ Whether it’s within my art, or writing. I want people to look at my images and be able to tell their own story. I want a relationship to be developed within the piece, even if it has no origination within what I was feeling while creating it. That’s where I feel so many “artists” fall short.”
Greg says he was instilled with horror from a young age. “ My first experience was from when my father showed me a “hansel and gretel” Claymation movie (Dutch I believe) that scared the shit out of me. It gave me a dire fear of witches, and spawned an obsession with the macabre.”
He said from that day on he’s always “ strived to find the next movie/image that could instill a feeling of terror. I remember sleepless nights of knowing there was a “witch” hovering outside of my second story window and waiting for me to fall asleep. As long as I was properly tucked under the covers she couldn’t harm me, though.
“It was absolutely terrifying, but also allowed my mind to conjure up beautiful, yet horrifying scenarios which pushed my art in the direction that it is now.”
His artwork is worthy of a Stephen King cover. We tweeted off a few images to him. Steve never got back to us. Some of his recent art for his twitter friends verge on the macabre. The muse of the dancing witch is prevalent in his work. You can see that Greg prefers these nocturnal visits of his muse for inspiration. “Some snake whiskey from China doesn’t hurt either,” he adds.
On his twitter handle, he describes himself: “Lover & designer of horror. Super Genius. Contact me.”
Asked about the topographic dark contours of his work. He says: “The only “Hell” exists in your mind, my friend.” I think he might be right.