Graphic Designer Natasha from DAZED designs #interview

Please give a warm welcome to graphic designer Natasha from Dazed Designs

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I am a Self-taught graphic artist from Australia who currently resides in Tropical North Queensland. I have a beautiful family for who I would do anything. This little family includes three children, one husband, and one Neapolitan mastiff. I love reading, all forms of art (outdoor sculpture and installation art especially), heavy metal music (my music is my happy place), spending time exploring the world around us with my family (mainly locally because I am also not fond of people I don’t know LOL), beaches (not in North Queensland though because I don’t have a death wish – yes we have crocodiles, killer jellyfish, and big sharks everywhere) and dreaming of perfect Gothi/Gypsy inspired interior design. 

Hand Painted Suspenseful CONTEMPORARY

Have you always wanted to become a graphic artist? 

YES! I started painting and illustrating around 5 years old. It was here that I told my Aunt and Cousin (whose home I was staying at for a play date) that I wanted to be an artist! I was promptly informed – not for the last time either – that “artists don’t make any money, you will be poor your whole life”. I kept painting and illustrating anyway, and started my first art business in primary school – grade 5 (I was 11). I started illustrating game and TV characters onto canvas, painting them, and selling them to the other students for $5 each (not very smart in hindsight as the paint and canvas cost me about $10 hahaha). I was once again told in High School (when I was about 14 or 15 years old) that I would never make money from art unless I became a teacher. By this stage, I had started to believe it myself, so I started focussing on a teaching career instead. That didn’t last long. About 2 years into my degree (which I started AFTER I had my three children because I was never very interested in it) I started my business, by accident. An author friend of mine needed art for a cover. I drew her something (very basic) and she employed another designer to digitize it for her – they charged her AN ARM AND A LEG – so I got angry on her behalf, and taught myself photoshop in 2 days. The rest is history 😀 

Hand-painted 3d image manipulation SCI-FI/Fantasy

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

I cannot cope without my music. A lot of my inspiration comes from the lyrics and music of my favorite artists, and you will find that a LOT of my premades are based on my favorite songs. I also absolutely LOVE Pinterest. If you go to my PINs you will see all kinds of cover art, mood boards, and digital art grouped together in quite random ways. This helps me visualize an overall LOOK as opposed to falling into the trap of stealing ideas vs borrowing inspiration. I am also connected to some fabulous online communities that give us tutorials, inspiration, feedback and overall advice on art. My main go-to is Photo Manipulation OFFICIAL, the artists from that group are some of the best in the world. I also rely heavily on the photos themselves to speak to me. Because I specialize in both contemporary and fantasy-based art for all genres of books, I use a lot of photorealism, photo manipulation, hand illustration, overpainting, and some 3D art. So, the areas I find inspiration may not be the same as other people. 

Photomanipulation DARK CONTEMPRARY

What are you working on now?

Today, I am working on a branding pack (logo and marketing material), and after that is done I am planning a three-book series for a historical fantasy saga. I am super excited about the covers. They will feature key elements from each of the books and an overall theme that includes apothecaries. This one will be an object cover, and as such will have no models. 

3D image work PARANORMAL ROMANCE

Do you have any quirks while working?

Mood music and coffee are a must. I cannot function without those. I HATE being interrupted. It throws my creativity off massively. I actually have alarms set for everything now, including taking the children to, and picking them up from, school. I have accidentally forgotten to pick my children up from school (don’t worry, I was only 10 minutes late). I have forgotten important appointments,  food breaks, and all kinds of things while being in the craziness that is my “mode of concentration”.

Hand-painted photo-based CONTEMPORARY Fiction

Do you have any advice for new graphic artists/Cover designers about the publishing world?

BE TRUE TO YOUR MORALS. If you know something is illegal, or against your policies, don’t give in due to peer pressure. KNOW YOUR WORTH. Do not let people take advantage of your generosity. If you do something for someone you deserve to be paid. KEEP LEARNING, ALWAYS. Never think you know it all. In the art world, we are always changing and developing our skills. This means, unless you do too, you will be left behind. DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY. Some people are just not nice people. don’t take their word or actions personally. This is JUST a job. If someone doesn’t like your work, that’s ok! Everyone has different opinions. If someone lies to you (which they will) TRY to ignore it and move on. This industry can be toxic, it can also be one of the most rewarding jobs in the world. You will possibly get to create art for some of the BEST authors or musicians in the world. I am so lucky that my current clients are the most beautiful, understanding, and talented group of authors you will ever meet. But I have, in the past, had some less-than-ideal clients. If you let these people win, you will never succeed. Do this for you and your family, keep it all in perspective, and move on.

3D and photo Manipulated sci-fi

What are your hopes for the future?

I am hoping to have enough time next year to start creating some more original artwork for sale, start winning commissions for more book illustrations, write and illustrate a children’s book with my kids, and start learning 3D creation software so I can start designing for designers as well as authors and artists.

Photo Manipulation PARANORMAL ROMANCE

Do you have anything to say to your followers?

I absolutely adore you all. if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be here, living my best life, doing what I love. Thank you for letting me show all those people who said you “can’t make money with art” wrong. Thank you for letting me show my art to the world. 

Some of the amazing work Natasha has done for me and friends.

Graphic Designer Amanda Kulp #interview

Please give a warm welcome to

Tell us a bit about yourself

Hi, my name is Amanda Kulp or also known as Amanda Kulp Designs. I live in Pennsylvania, US. I am a mother of a 12-year old son, digital artist, gamer, avid reader, and lover of anything fantasy or sci-fi. I also love cats! I have a 7-year-old female tabby named Socks. I have been working in Photoshop for about 5 years now. I am primarily self-taught. I specialize in photomanipulations or also known as creative manipulations. I also design book, audio, and album covers.

°

°

Have you always wanted to become an artist/designer?

I actually did not always have the dream to be an artist. I have always been artistically inclined since a young age. I used to be into painting with acrylics as a young teenager. My dad used to take all my canvas paintings into work and show them off. He was a huge supporter of my art. But, as I got older I stopped painting and didn’t really get into art again until I was in college where I took a Photoshop class as my art elective. This class is what really marked my beginnings in digital art. I remember we had to do a dream collage or a photomanipulation and I was freaking out over it. We had never done something so complex in the class and because the task seemed so daunting to me I immediately began looking and trying manipulation tutorials. I was so amazed at the artworks that people were coming up with using everyday images. A lot of times you could not tell that real photographs were used at all. I ended up getting an A on that final project and felt so accomplished with my finished piece that I continued teaching myself from that point forward. I still have a good ways to go in my learning process but I have come so far since my first digital artwork.

°

°

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

I find a lot of inspiration from movies, music, and books, mostly fantasy/sci-fi, but a lot of my inspiration comes from photographs. I will see a simple picture such as a photo of a sunset and an idea just pops into my head. It might be an entire idea or just a color scheme. Whatever it is I’ll usually go straight into Photoshop and basically just go with the flow! A lot of times, I do not have a full vision before going into a piece and have no idea what the final piece will look like.

°

°

What are you working on now?

I am currently working on a fantasy dragon, premade ebook cover.

°

°

Do you have any quirks while working?

I love listening to music while working. I really like listening to music such as fantasy, synthwave, and anything sci-fi. Lately, I have been putting on the Harry Potter soundtracks while I work. It might sound silly but I feel that listening to these type of genres help keep my creative juices flowing!

°

°

What are your hopes for the future?

I really hope that sometime in the future I can make cover design my full-time job. I really enjoy what I do and love seeing the amazing covers these artists put out. I would just love to fully be apart of that.

°

°

Do you have anything to say to your fans?

I just want to thank all the people who truly enjoy my work and constantly leave me such supportive feedback and even constructive criticism. It keeps me going and learning and I am so appreciative of that.

Personal Website/Portfolio

The Book Cover Designer

Instagram

Twitter

Tumblr

DeviantArt

Kamayama Designs #interview

Please give a warm welcome to Kamayama Design

°

Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Melody and I’m originally from Hawai’i. I’ve bounced back and forth between Washington and the islands many times since most of my family resides there. My favorite color is red and favorite animal is a shark—yes, I’m serious. I got to see a baby one in the wild and Kamaole 3. It’s one of my favorite memories to date.

°

°

Have you always wanted to become a designer/artist?

Yes and no. I’ve always loved drawing and the arts. I do chibi commissions on the side because regular commissions are a ton of work and I want to be a in a better spot before I offer those. After a low spot in my life, I focused in on writing and was graced to become part of a community that also wanted my chibis. I then branched into designing out of necessity for my own covers. Immediately, I got positive responses from people. So, I continued and, since I had a very minor background in graphic design, it helped.

°

°

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

Most times, I look through unsplash.com. I know the ins and outs of licenses and I know what I can and can’t use free and paid images for. Mainly, most of my stock comes from Adobe. I don’t use shutterstock because of how restrictive they are for what you can use it for.

But back to the main question, my inspiration comes from just browsing. Sometimes and idea pops into my head and I have to search for all the components, but it’s mainly from beautiful photography.

°

°

What are you working on now?

TONS. A lot of the ones I have revolve around magic. There’s a shamaness. I have a couple fairy and fae ones. And if I’m being honest, I have a lot of ones on the backburner. Like…main image but nothing to go with it.

°

Do you have any quirks while working?

I either, and this goes with writing, have to have complete silence or non-stop pumped up music. Preferably no words.

°

°

What are your hopes for the futur?

I would like to have all my premades that I’ve already made, sold. Then, once that’s done, I would like to possibly open up customs to everyone. It all hinges upon my writing and the demand for the covers. If more people want customs from me, I’ll consider it. Right now, they’re on a case by case basis. I think Jodie Lynne is the only one who’s been approved.

°

Do you have anything to say to your followers?

Thanks guys! I didn’t realize I had any out there, but hi! I appreciate the support!

°

⬆️ Made for Jade Waltz ⬆️

Facebook

Kamayama Weebly

Kamayama Design

Graphic Designer Selfpub Designs #interview

Please give a warm welcome to Silvana

°

Tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi, I’m Silvana. I’m a cover designer but I’m also many other things: a wife, mother of precious twins, mother of Shih Tzus as well, a writer, a drummer, and an Ophthalmologist! Phew! Let me catch my breath, lol.

°

Have you always wanted to become an artist/designer?

Definitely. I’ve been inclined to the arts since a very young age. I started to treat art seriously when I was in high school. My biggest project back then was street painting a section of the Sistine Chapel (The Delphic Sibyl) for an ephemeral art exhibition. The judges liked it so much they preserved it!

°

°

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

Art in all its forms inspires me. Whether it’s music, an amazing film, or a fantastic illustration, I’m always discovering elements that I like to reinterpret and integrate into my work. I’m especially drawn to surrealism because it breaks the rules of reality and that gives me so much creative freedom.

°

What are you working on now?

I’m currently redesigning an author’s entire series, it’s a pretty exciting project that I’m looking forward to sharing soon. I’m also working on new designs incorporating 3D rendering scenes and models. Computer generated graphics are taking over the book cover arena, probably because of the wide variety of morphs and the endless possibilities it provides to us designers—3D models are more versatile than human models.

°

°

Do you have any quirks while working?

I listen to music according to the genre I’m working on. For instance, if it’s a dynamic cover with loads of action going on, I’ll listen to something by Korn or Disturbed. But if the design is high fantasy, I’ll play Tina Guo, Enya, or Saint-Saens… I have a pretty eclectic taste in music and work with a variety of themes and genres.

°

What are your hopes for the future?

I love working with authors and meeting their creative visions, and I hope to keep being part of their journeys as writers for a very long time. Expanding my knowledge in the field of illustration is something that definitely interests me, I’d like to get to a point where I am able to invest more time in developing my own designs… Working on it!

°

Do you have anything to say to your fans?

Um, hi!!! Lol. I really appreciate your support, especially those of you who’ve been there from the start!

Being a cover designer is more to me than a creative outlet; it’s the privilege of belonging to the most amazing group I’ve ever known: The Writing Community.

°

Thank you for trusting me with your visions, I look forward to being part of your writing journeys for many years to come!

Twitter

Website

Facebook

Instagram

Covers by Selfpub Designs

Graphic Designer Dark & Stormy Knight Design #interview

Please give a warm welcome to designer Christopher Coyle – Dark & Stormy Knight Design

Tell us a bit about yourself

I’m a graphic designer who moonlights as an indie romance writer, with a background in fantasy roleplaying games. I’m a moody Gemini who tends to embrace Zen, who’s traveled the world and loves life, embraces differences and celebrates the strange and unusual.

I primarily design covers for romance authors, and I try and create a distinct, unique take on their book with covers that aren’t necessarily “to market,” but will hopefully stand out from the others. I work closely with the author, collaboratively, from beginning to end, to try and bring their characters to life.

If I find stock photos that randomly inspire me, then I create “premades” based on that inspiration. They might not necessarily be designed around what’s currently popular, or “on trend,” but covers that make me happy – and hopefully inspire authors out there to create a story around that cover!

°

°

Have you always wanted to become a designer/artist?

If I wasn’t writing, I was doodling. Growing up, I wanted to be a comic book writer & artist, but I always seemed to focus more on one side than the other. If I focused on my writing, I let my art slip away; if I focused on art, my writing suffered. Going into graphic design, opposed to art, let’s me juggle the two a lot more effectively…so, I guess, yes. I like to tell stories, whether through speaking, the written word, or through an image.

°

°

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

It’s a bit of a cop-out answer, but the truth really is that I find inspiration in just about everything. Sometimes, it’s just a random stock photo that sparks an idea, or I’ll have gorged on alien romances so suddenly I need to design an alien cover.

Usually, though, if I’m working on a commission, then I draw inspiration from the author – I ask what covers they like, what their character(s) look like, what mood/theme their book is, and let their inspiration guide me. Some authors prefer to give me more leeway, which I’m comfortable with, and I take my job very seriously.

As a designer, my primary job is to make the author happy. I want them to hold that cover in their hand, and be just as happy with it years from now as they are the moment I show them the final draft.

°

°

What are you working on now?

Oh, I’m not sure I’m allowed to drop names!

Sandra R. Neeley was one of the first authors I started doing commissions for, and I’ve done her Whispers of the Bayou series (book 3 is finished, coming soon, hint hint), as well as her science fiction book, Haven, and her Riley’s Pride series of shifter romances!

I have been working on the covers for Wendie Nordgren’s Space Merchants series, which I love working on because it’s “romantic” science fiction, so it’s mixing softer tones with a sci-fi environment!

A few new authors have approached me to do their first books, which is an incredible honor! I love working with new authors, watching them take the world by storm!

°

°

Do you have any quirks while working?

I listen to audiobooks while designing. It’s a bit weird, but I’m an avid audiobook listener, so when I’m designing, I’ll usually fire up Audible and re-listen to one of my favorites; which, depending on my mood, can be anything from Julie Garwood or David Eddings through Kresley Cole and Thea Harrison…

I won’t tell you how many Audible audiobooks I own, but let’s just say that I’m a sucker for Whispersync on Amazon!

°

°

Do you have any advice for new artists about the publishing world?

Don’t be afraid of embracing your own distinct style.

Watch YouTube tutorials!

Experiment! Constantly challenge yourself to learn and try something new!

°

°

What are your hopes for the future?

I just want to keep creating covers! So, hit me up!

°

°

Do you have anything to say to your fans?

Wait? I have fans? Haha! For those authors who have entrusted their book babies to me, I absolutely adore you. You humble me, and from the bottom of my wee heart, thank you for trusting me!

°

Contact links

Website

Facebook

Instagram

Dark & Stormy Knight Design

Facebook Group (where premades are posted)