Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away I studied at the famous School of Visual Arts in New York City. There they taught us innocent open-minded college kids to make sure we got a day job in another field because the art arena wasn’t paying. So I decided to go into teaching, and I became a public school teacher. There, everyone told me I should’ve been an artist. Anyway, I got married, had two little girls and after my last daughter was born my hubster and I decided I should take some time off to raise the girls.
I had a friend who was self publishing a very personal memoir on kindle called, Unlovable and she asked me if I could help her with the cover. I, of course, said yes. So, I bought Photoshop (the teacher edition, which is CHEAP!!!) and I made her a cover. I haven’t stopped since.
For me, it was definitely something that I could not stop myself from being. I love to do anything creative, I even make origami birds out of napkins during dinner without even realizing I’m doing it.
2. What kind of medium do you usually (and/or prefer) to use?
I love to paint, especially with oils. Unfortunately, with a 21 month old it doesn’t EVER happen. But, she does let me paint on my computer, so that’s what I’ve adapted to. I use Adobe Photoshop CS5 and my own photography with my Canon Rebel.
3. Being that (e)book cover design is pretty much one of the more rare fields in the art world, how did you find yourself designing the covers for (e)books?
Like I said before, a friend just wanted my help. I got to know people on the kindle forums and everyone told me I should start doing more covers, and they actually wanted to pay me! How could I say no!?
4. Can you describe the process of designing an (e)book cover from the idea stage to the final product?
I like to have my authors tell me what they see on their covers. Then I take my camera, and I go collect photographs. I just finished a cover for Illusions of Grandeur and Other Stories, by TS Gwilliam and she wanted a dark cemetery background with two grave stones that mirrored each other. So, I drove to an old graveyard and spent a peaceful, yet eerily spooky, hour snapping pictures. If I can’t get my own photographs I buy stock photography or use Public Domain photos. When I find all the pictures I want, I upload them directly into my Mac and I use Photoshop to put together pieces of pictures with shading, coloring and digital painting.
5. How much interaction do you have with an author? How much say does the author have on the weight of your design?
6. Where do your design inspirations come from?
Everywhere. Everything I look at is a possible work of art to me.
7. Do you read all the books that you design covers for? What genre(s) are you most comfortable (and/or experienced) in?
One of my promises to my authors is that I buy each and every book I do work on and read them. I must admit, I’m a little backed up right now, but I love to read almost as much as creating art, so it’s all good! My favorite genres are fantasy and horror. When I’m making covers, I think my favorite is horror, I seem to have a dark side.
8. What are some of the things a potential client should look for in a good cover artist? Does education and previous experience really matter in your opinion?
A good cover artist should be professional. They should be someone who will listen or read your words and try to make the rest of the world see what you see before even opening your book. I think education matters but, not in the sense that an artist should have gone to a great art school, but they should be educated in their medium of choice. I’m constantly taking classes in Photoshop, because it’s such a huge piece of software. Everyday I take time and do a tutorial from an artist, or even an average person from YouTube, there’s so much I don’t know! As for previous experience, I think you should also take a chance on someone. The Kindle authors took a chance on me!
9. What is the best way for authors to contact you?
The best way to view my work is to visit me on my Deviantart page or email me. I’m in the process of creating a website right now, so soon there will be another way to contact me!
10.Coke or Pepsi?
Coke zero. Pepsi stinks.