Selfpub Designs #interview

Please give a warm welcome to Silvana

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

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Covers by Selfpub Designs

Dark & Stormy Knight Design #graphicdesigner

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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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What are your hopes for the future?

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

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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!

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Contact links

Website

Facebook

Instagram

Dark & Stormy Knight Design

Facebook Group (where premades are posted)

Inked Imagination Author Services

Please give a warm welcome to Inked Imagination

Inked Imagination is an author services business focusing on covers, graphics, and interior formatting for both e-books and paperbacks. The covers are done by Jarica James who has produced her own covers since she started her publishing journey while interior formatting is done by A.J. Macey.

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Jarica James and A.J. Macey started Inked Imagination randomly one day after a discussion about how difficult and expensive formatting was when they started writing and publishing novels. After learning the ins and outs of both programs they use for formatting they started up Inked Imagination to offer affordable options for other authors.

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Contact:

Facebook

Artist Nichole Witholder #interview

Please give a warm welcome to artist Nichole Witholder

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Have you always wanted to become a designer/artist?

I’ve been making art since I could hold a pencil. I’ve taken lessons in drawing and painting. My father was strongly against my becoming an artist since he saw family members with similar talent struggle so much.

I also happened to be immediately in love with computers. At 5yrs old in 1986, this wasn’t as common as it is now lol. I quickly realized that making art on a computer didn’t require me to ask my father for art supplies.

I never planned to make money from my art. I was worried about adding the stress of money to something that’s so important to me. But I happen to be an avid reader. When the indie author world blew up and I had access to more and more awesome books I noticed that the talent for writing wasn’t always well represented by the cover art. I thought to myself, “Maybe I could help out there.” May 10 marks my one-year anniversary.

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Where do you find inspiration for your work?

I people watch. I’ve studied artists techniques in every piece of art I look at. I pay attention to how light interacts with everything. I’m constantly listening to music, constantly reading, and keeping a close eye on pop culture. I think a lot of my inspiration comes from there.

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What are you working on now?

Several covers, a logo, and researching new techniques I can use in my artwork. It’s important that I’m discreet with my client’s info so I can’t say more than that lol.

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Do you have any quirks while working?

I can’t handle unsolicited advice or critique lol. Like someone leaning over my shoulder saying, “hey you should do this”. And this may be part ego. Though I think that mostly, it’s my needing to focus. I have plans upon plans in my head when I finally get out of my mind and start to do actual work. When someone tries to edit while I’m in the middle of that, I tend to lose my temper. This is good and bad. I should definitely be more open to listening to other ideas, however, my ego insists that I’m the artist and I’m the one who knows what I’m doing. It’s a struggle lol

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

Become involved in the community.

Read the books you’re trying to design for.

Interact with author groups.

Join the design marketplaces and research pricing.

If you design a flop that no one wants, keep making new art. Art is a constant process of growing and learning. You can’t expect everything to be a masterpiece.

Study marketing techniques used by new businesses to gain a customer base.

Work with integrity and good morals. Karma exists.

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What are your hopes for the future?

I hope to expand on my techniques and skills to include more, always. I’m no good at staying still and I want to grow until I drop lol. Rainy Day may possibly be branching out even more toward promotion in the next year or so.

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Do you have anything to say to your fans?

After being told for so long (by my father) that my art would never amount to anything. That I could never make a living. Every single time one of you supports me, comments on my artwork, buys a piece, I am so incredibly shocked and grateful. Slowly you are all healing that scar on my heart. Thank you ♡

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Links

Website

Instagram

Rainy Day Artwork