David A. Cherry took a long time deciding what he wanted to do in life before he finally settled on art. He had always liked art as a hobby, but had never considered it as a career.
Over a period of years, Cherry taught himself to draw and paint. He accepted his first professional assignment in 1980 and finally in 1984 became a full-time artist.
Over the years he has won two of ASFAs Chesley Awards and has been nominated nine times for the Hugo for Best Artist.
Cherry has done covers and illustrations for the works of such authors as Stephen R. Donaldson, Poul Anderson, John Brunner, David Brin, Piers Anthony, William Shatner, L. Sprague de Camp, Lois McMaster Bujold, and, of course, his sister,
C. J. Cherryh. Some of his independent work from 1988-89 while he was President of ASFA found its way into several major exhibitions, including the Park Avenue Atrium in New York and the Delaware Art Museum. His last book project was in 2001 on a guide for Terry
Brooks' Shannara series written by Teresa Patterson.
During the mid-90s Cherry switched from cover art to gaming art, at the request of his friend Bill Fawcett, for a new game called SHATTERED LIGHT. Cherry was happy with the decision because the pay was better, and the gaming industry was still young and enthusiastic enough to care about its art, unlike the current book publishers. He spent the next decade working at Ensemble Studios as a modeler and marketing artist, making such games as Halo Wars.
"I had to laugh when you asked for
the story behind The Lovers. I was approached by one of the
companies. It was Franklin Mint, Danbury Mint,
or The Bradford Exchange. I seem to recall it was the
last. In any event, one of their art directors, located
in Italy, was looking for someone to do plate designs,
based on The Tarot. Specifically, he wanted someone who
could do a classical style. He had seen my portfolio,
apparently on file due to some prior work I had done for
the company, and decided I was the man for the job. The
twist to it all was that he wanted a classical style
done "a la Mucha", and he wanted to know if I felt I could
handle Mucha design elements. I assured him I was a
great fan of Mucha and would greatly enjoy a legitimate
opportunity to delve into that style. In the end, they
were pleased with my submissions, but that line of
plates was never produced."
-- David A. Cherry
Real Musgrave was my model for Man of Prophecy, and it marks my breakthrough from talented
amateur to professional-level illustrator. It
was done as fine art, part of a series I had been doing
to upgrade my abilities with the human figure, but it
has, over the years, been in print several times.
Simple Pleasures was my sole excursion into the
realm of oil paint. It is also the first time I was
able to paint the subject matter that I became an artist
to paint. I was a Latin and Ancient History scholar and
was greatly influenced by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema and
Jean Leon Gerome. This painting is an homage to Alma-Tadema.
By the time I was finished, I had confirmed the fact that,
while oils are wonderful, I am highly allergic to them.
I spent two weeks on the painting part of the image and
had a raging sore throat the entire time. That is why I
returned to acrylics after I did Filia Mea.
The Offering is the title illustration for the book
Imagination:The Art and Technique of David A. Cherry.