Saturday, 12 July 2014

Traditional or Different?

Writing is a passion of mine, but over the years I’ve discovered my Zen with art. The Cover Cave is where I’m at my most serene. What I like about art is that in some respects it’s like writing. I create, I fit things together, and I never stop learning. I’d hate to have a job where I knew everything because then it would get boring. With art and writing there’s a constant challenge to do better, to find new ways of doing things, to discover, most of the time by accident, a great way of cutting corners or, even better, a striking look just by flicking on a filter you haven’t used before.

I’ve been Head of Art at Totally Bound for three and a half years. Time has flown,
but in that time I’ve developed a few styles. When I first started, I remember seeing various artists’ book covers and guessing correctly who had created the piece. I was astounded one day when an author wrote to me and asked if I had created a cover that wasn’t for Totally Bound—it was for a good friend. She had guessed I had because of the style. Part of me was flattered I’d been “guessed”, but another part wondered whether I’d settled into that style so much that it was all I could do.

So I started changing things up a bit, creating covers that were different from my usual. I entered a new level of my art experience, where I wasn’t constrained by the usual male chests or couples embracing. And it was liberating to just go with whatever popped into my head instead of working to the traditional elements of erotica or romance covers. I pick and choose who I create “item” covers for and just hope those authors are receptive to the change, to getting something altogether different in their inbox. Thankfully, every single one of them so far have said how they love their covers and some have mentioned how nice it was to have something different.

How do you feel about covers? Are you leaning more towards the “items” or do you
still prefer the people? There is beauty in both, but I’m curious as to how many of you would want a “different” cover and how many would prefer traditional.

Authors, where do you stand on this? And readers, what catches your eye regarding covers the most when you’re browsing for books? Help a gal out here! I have some ideas in my head but I’d like to know what you think before I dive in and try them out.

NB: While it’s lovely to be asked to create covers for authors in my spare time and I’m very pleased and flattered people want my art, I’m devoted to only working for Totally Bound and very close friends who self-publish. If you’d like an Emmy “Posh Gosh” cover, submit to Totally Bound! 

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