Back in December I mentioned in a post that I was due to meet with an illustrator, who would hopefully work on my book cover. I had a basic idea of what I wanted but as someone with no artistic ability it was always going to need some clever adaptation to bring it to life as it was in my mind's eye.
The referral came via a friend of a friend. Having checked out his work on his website, I liked the illustrations so arranged a meeting in the run up to Christmas.
Having outlined my story, my target reader and my main characters he asked if I had any ideas on what I wanted from an illustration and this is where I got a little bashful. Hubby and I had done a Blue Peter style mock up, with dogs that looked more like badly drawn horses stuck onto a background that needed a lot of explanation. I was quite nervous at the thought of putting this in front of a professional but in for a penny...
Thankfully, he didn't laugh, well not out loud at least. He talked through a few ideas and then started to sketch and, within a couple of minutes, he had a very recognisable picture of what I had outlined. He got my concept.
Armed with little more than my thoughts and a quick outline sketch we concluded the meeting and he said he would start work in the New Year and would send me an initial draft through soon.
Sure enough, early in January I received the first draft by email. It didn't 'wow' me. It was in black and white, bits worked and bits didn't. I took comments from family and friends who I trust, and then fed back my comments to the illustrator.
A second draft came back and while I found it difficult to visualise in colour, I did like the basic image.
A few more days wait and I saw the first colour print of my book cover. It brought a whole new set of issues, the balance of colours, the proportions... but there were elements that were absolutely spot on.
More feedback. A request for information and images for the back cover and a few more days wait.
Then today I received an email with both the front and back cover, full cover
and I love it.
No more tweaking, no more changes, I have my book cover. Another stage in the process is complete.
Definitely worth using a professional.
And for now, a thank you to all who have commented on the illustration to get it to completion but for now, the final version shall remain under wraps.