Some of you may know/remember that I’ve done a few banner graphics for a handful of fellow book bloggers. The work can be seen in the gallery section of my site. More recently I’ve done a few book covers as well. Book cover designing is one field I considered when going into design in college. I never took my college’s illustration courses, however, and decided to go into a broader section of study design-wise. I’ve never said what my day job is exactly, let’s just say it’s as far from designing book blog banners and book covers as one can get. It’s why I really enjoy doing the banners and covers when people ask me to. Book lovers are incredibly fun to work with. The chance to be truly creative just seems to grow more with them.
A month or so ago, my friends over at The Book Smugglers asked me to do a cover for Speculative Fiction 2014, and it came with a challenge direction-wise – they needed a papercraft style space theme. The video they included as an example of papercraft was gorgeous. And intimidating! I’d never done papercraft before. Why in the heck did I say I’d do this project? After taking, I admit, far too long to get going on it, something just clicked one day and out the cover came. I went back to a medium I used to love, watercolor pencils, for the moon and planets. The rocket ship was inspired by the classic Buck Rogers design and so many others like it on the interwebs. I picked out fun papers to assemble it with at a local craft store, where I also purchased paper mâché stars. The stars themselves were the usual brown craft paper, but I colored over them with the watercolor pencils, sans water that time of course.
The planets were the most fun part for me. As you can see, there was even a red one that didn’t get used let alone have any water applied. Still – fun! (I highly recommend watercolor pencils for the kiddos, by the way!) I shot pictures of the stars with my iPhone 6. A background created in Photoshop plus some placement of things and fonts in Photoshop finished it off. Oh, and Photoshop helps make your planets perfectly round, too. Just sayin’. And that, in a nutshell, is how that cover came to be.
Kind of exciting, that. Wink.
Another friend has asked for help with some of her covers and below are the ones I’ve worked with in the past year. Shirley Anne Edwards writes young adult books and these were how I interpreted her work into a cover format. They’re a little gritty and somewhat dark to match the themes in her work. Shirley always has a lot of great feedback to give me and it’s fun working out with her how her covers and other designs should be.
And one other thing….
So this is how I have fun with design lately. I have to thank both The Book Smugglers and Shirley Anne Edwards for giving me a chance to make something visually interesting for them! Is it too much of a copout to say what a relief it is, too, just to be able to make something fun that the client is so happy with, without any red tape, hassles or other such grief? Again – book lovers are so much fun to work with! Hopefully I’ll get to do more book cover projects in the future.