I enjoyed having Ravven for an interview last week and I though it would be fun to invite some more cover artists to share their wisdom and experience. Today I'm welcoming Once Upon A Time Covers!
When did you start designing book covers?
I started trying to design covers in 2011. I needed a cover for my book and didn't have a clue who to contact about doing it, so I did it myself. It turned out horrendous, and luckily I found a professional soon after. Since then, I bought Photoshop and it became my hobby. I would share my artwork with my author friends to get their input and soon I had people asking me to do their covers too. Since I
loved doing it so much, I decided to offer my services to other authors.
Do authors usually have a clear vision of what they want the cover to look like?
Surprisingly, no. I'll ask them what their book is about and we'll go back and forth on different concepts. Though, not all authors are like this. There are some who know exactly what they want.
Is it sometimes difficult to meet a customer's expectation?
It's always difficult for two people to have the same vision. The author may tell me what they're looking for, but I could interrupt it a completely different way. I really like to converse with the authors to better understand what they have in mind. So far (knock on wood) all of my clients have been happy with their covers.
I use regular Photoshop and Photoshop Illustrator. The process begins with finding the right stock art. Once that is picked out, I begin putting the pictures together. Depending on how complex the cover is, it can take anywhere from 30 mins to hours to complete.
I know this is like asking a mother which one of her children she loves most, but is there a cover that you're particularly proud of? Or one that's been especially challenging to make?
I tend to love the darker type covers. The ones that are more Gothic. As for a favorite, I like all of them but I do have a few I love more than others. And there have definitely been covers that were a lot more challenging than others. Those are the ones that take the longest to create, but the end product is worth it.
In your opinion, what makes a great and eye catching cover?
The photographs have to mesh well. Meaning, if the background is dark and gloomy, you wouldn't want a happy smiling couple on the front. Also, a clear title that's big enough to read and stands out is a must. You want readers to be able to read it at first glance.
Make sure to check out the Once Upon A Time Covers on Facebook!