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On June 16th, the Many Shades blog will be closed.
The authors thank you for your readership and hope you will come visit them at their personal sites via the links to the left.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A little about a newbie cover artist

Hi everyone! This is my first invite to be a guest blogger. I feel special! Thank you all for letting me participate.

My work as a cover artist started back in July of 2008. Well, sort of before that. I'd been reading e-books since October of 2007. I was fascinated by the covers on them and wondered who these talented people were. I also thought that with my 15+ years of graphic design/desktop publishing experience, I might be able to come up with something.

Around June/July of 2008, after making some signature banners for some authors, I decided to make up some covers (just for practice). After I had enough confidence to try this, one author asked me to do a cover for a free read she was having on her web site (Anne Rainey). I did that cover for her and felt confident enough to offer up my services to other publishers. I think I sent out 50 requests and almost all of them rejected me. But Amira Press was interested and gave me a shot (after some begging…er… negotiating on my part). From then on, I was able to use that cover and Anne's as a starting point to get more covers.

My friend, Jambrea, was contracted with Freya's Bower by this time, so I followed her over there and sent in a request. They accepted me! My other author friend, Jess Dee, pointed me to Aspen Mountain who was actively looking for cover artists. I sent in my request and they accepted me! Word of mouth has gotten me a long way in a relatively short time in the cover art business. I would not be in this position if it wasn't for Jambrea, Anne and Jess who really encouraged me. Anne also suggested I get an online portfolio started. For which I am eternally grateful.

The technical aspects of making a cover are simple - layout the pictures, put in the fonts and decide on colors. Easy, right? In theory it is. But without having a photography studio and cover models at my beck and call, I rely on online photo sites. I can then take those images that the author likes and attempt to get it to resemble their vision of a cover. Some are harder than others - a blue flaming falcon - for example, but others are relatively easy, like the one I did for Mari Carr. I'm a newbie to this business compared to some wonderful cover artists out there, but I've enjoyed it and I hope to be in the business for a long time.


Thank you all for letting me ramble on!

Valerie
vtibbs.wordpress.com

8 comments:

Jambrea said...

Woohoo! Welcome V! And let me tell everyone...her covers ROCK. I just got my first V original and I LOVE it!!!

vtibbs.wordpress.com

I can't wait until it goes live on V's site and I can't wait to show it to EVERYONE!!

V is a rocking artist and if you are contracted where she works you should ask for her. ;)

Valerie T. said...

It's live now! Go check it out!

Valerie
:D

C.R. Moss said...

welcome V! i checked out your website and J's cover is quite hot!
=)
C.

Lynn Crain said...

I just looked at your art...you're hired. LOL!

Seriously, I need some banners and book marks for promotions. I also love the idea of the postcards from Vista Print. I just love those guys.

But seriously, email me and let's talk. You do great work!

Lynn

Sarashifter said...

Your work is fanastic! I am going to check with my publisher to see if I can contract my own coverartist...YOU.

Erin Sinclair said...

You do excellent work! Good for you for following your dream, one day I want to illustrate childrens books and do cover art as well because it looks like so much fun!

Erin

Kristie~ said...

Hey Val!! Love Jambrea's cover and I went to your blog just to see others. You are really talented.
xx

Stephani Hecht said...

Beautiful cover! I love your work.

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