It’s happened twice in my recent past: I’ve seen a picture and thought “Now I have to rewrite a scene to match that painting!”
James Wolf’s picture above made me want to rewrite a scene in Moon 514 where a main character is spotted by a pond just before a saber-toothed griffon-like creature arrives. The rock formations are probably unrealistic for a scene in futuristic Borneo (perhaps futuristic Utah would work …) but the temptation was compelling nonetheless. James Wolf may very well be one of the best upcoming landscape artists alive. I tried to hire him for my book cover but I guess he was too busy (he never responded to my request) – perhaps he is trying to inspire another Zendikar edition for Magic: the Gathering (famous for its fantasy landscapes) – and maybe that is where he belongs.
The other instance this happened was when I hired Grant Hansen to do the cover of Moon 514. What was once a meadow scene became a much more interesting swamp scene. Thanks Grant!