Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thoughtful About . . . Design

As long as I've been writing, I've been drawing. Back in primary school, whenever I wrote a story I'd illustrate it. Princesses and bunnies and unicorns, singing flowers . . . yep. The norm. ;-) When I started on novels in middle school, I always tried to draw my characters and would play around with sketching book cover designs.

I'm not the artist my sister is, but it wasn't about that--it was about making a visual for myself. Something to look at, something to inspire me. It's why I'm liking Pinterest, and it's also why I've been playing a lot over the last year or two with digital design. Am I a rock star at it? No. But I'm learning. And I'm having so much fun!

I've started handling the covers for WhiteFire titles, and it's been like a treat. Gives a break to the word-crafting part of my brain but still lets me be creative. Everyone by now probably knows I designed Sandi Rog's Walks Alone. I'm also doing Christine Lindsay's second British Raj (can't show ya yet because we haven't done the photo shoot, but plugging in the perfect model shot will be a breeze). And I just tossed together one for our first contemporary that turned out really well. (Haven't bought the images yet, so no sharing that one either, LOL.)

So last week when Harvest House sent me a cover questionnaire for Ring of Secrets, I was pretty giddy. I love this stuff! I got to answer questions about what my characters look like and provide links to images that match what I had in mind. I got to explain the fashion of the day, the setting, the time period. I even got to give them ideas for cover design!! Will they use those ideas? Eh, who knows. But I certainly had fun sharing my thoughts, and my editor had fun reading them and browsing the fashion sites I'd linked to. =)

Yep, in my mind this cover stuff, the images, the sketches are as enjoyable as writing. Well, for the hour or two they take, LOL. I wouldn't want to do it all day, but I've discovered that it fulfills a need for me. Lets me flex my little brain in new ways and create something that I can see, right away. So much fun. And it leads to a book cover. Which is, hands down, one of the best moments of publishing. Opening up that file for the first time and going, "Wow. There she is. My baby. And oh, isn't she lovely!"

Eagerly awaiting that moment with Ring of Secrets. Must be patient, must be patient, must be patient . . . =)

8 comments:

  1. It's fun to read your take on covers and illustrating. I'm more of a three-dimensional artist (read, sculptor), but I spent years in drawing classes (one must). I remember writing a children's book and illustrating it, though the words and the images have disappeared into some hidden place after years of moving from coast to coast and onto the boat.

    Writers need someone with an artist's eye to create a book's first impression. I'll look forward with you to seeing your new cover.

    Patience? Ah, sigh, how hard that is to learn.

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  2. LOL, don't I know it! Patience has never been my forte. =)

    I've never done much with sculpting, but I enjoyed what I attempted. I'd love to see some of your artwork sometime, Normandie!

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  3. Enjoyed reading this - I am definitely more a designer than an artist. I like "placing things" in different places to see how they look. REALLY like Sandi's cover, by the way. Praying you love your cover, and that it comes faster than you could imagine. :)

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    1. Thanks, Joanne! We were all pleased with how Sandi's cover turned out. And I'm praying I love my cover too!!! LOL I gave them lots of examples of covers I adore, so I think we'll all be pleased on this one. =)

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  4. That's so exciting! Unforteunately, I do not have artistic talent. Not in sketching, painting, drawing, sculpting, designing or anything else related. Not even impressionistic painting. I tried that and it did not look the way it should have. But good luck on getting a cover you will love!! Hopefully the designers will follow your advice.

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    1. I know they'll at least follow my general likes and my descriptions, so I'm sure it'll be awesome! Every confidence in my team. =)

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  5. I think I would enjoy digital design, too. But haven't learned a thing yet...nor do I anticipate learning...

    Glad you are finding new ways to enjoy publishing. Writer, editor, designer.

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    1. Yeah, I'm always increasing my hat collection, it seems, LOL.

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