Interview: Kate Cowan of KC Designs

Welcome book cover artist Kate Cowan of KC Designs!

SRNA: Thank you Kate for taking the time to answer some questions for us!

KC: My pleasure! I just love your blog.

SRNA: How did you get started designing book covers?

KC: Well, I started by doing digital art on my own and uploading it to DeviantArt. Someone I met online loved my digital art (she happened to be an author!) and last summer she contacted me to do a book cover for one of her anthologies. From there, the whole business thing kind of snowballed - a publisher saw my cover and loved it, and asked me to do some covers for them, and from there, some indie authors started contacting me for covers.

SRNA: What software program(s) do you use to create them?

KC: Mainly, Photoshop. It's my 'tool of the trade', I guess! I also love sketching, though, and I've done some work in pencil. Working on the computer is great, but nothing beats the feel of pencil on paper!

SRNA: Of the ones you've done so far, I'm sure you have some you are particularly proud of. Do you have a favorite?

KC: Oh, there's a few! I love Sapphire City by Amy Richie, and the cover of Legacy by Tara Brown is one of my all-time favorites  because it was a piece I did for fun, and Tara loved it enough to make it her book cover! To name a few others, Ianni, and The Unraveling of Avery Snow, both by Christy Sloat, Sacrifice by Stacey Rourke, Bunches by Jill Valley, and the cover of Ascending the Veil, by Venessa Kimball, which isn't out just yet.

SRNA: Do you read the book before designing the cover or how do you come up with a particular design for a specific book?

KC: No, though I wish I had enough time to read all of the books I do artwork for. Usually the author knows what s/he wants, but if not, they usually give me a back blurb, or a favorite paragraph/scene, and we go from there. If that does not work, they give me a bit of info on the book, and we head to DeviantArt, where we search through some art for inspiration. It sounds corny, but I love working with the authors - MOST of the time!! Hearing about the books they've written and what all of their ideas are.

SRNA: Do you have flat fees or do you charge by the hour, how does that work?

KC: I've tried out flat fees, but being a small company, I've had situations where people just want too many alterations, or they want more stock images that the flat fee can cover. I've got a base price, and stock images and alterations are above that, so everything works out fairly for everyone, and no one gets taken advantage of.

SRNA: From start to finish how long does it typically take you to create one of your masterpieces?

KC: Hm, it depends! I've had covers done in a day, because they author was happy right from draft 1, but I've also had covers that take weeks because an author has that much time, and just wants it to be perfect, no matter how much time it takes.

SRNA: Do you hire models for your work or do you purchase stock?

KC: I would LOVE to be able to hire models, but so far, getting stock images seems to have worked out. One day soon, though, I think I'd love to have a photo shoot.

SRNA: Where can people see samples of your work and how can they contact you?

KC: There are a few ways to see my art: the links below, to my Facebook page for K.C. Designs, and my Wix Portfolio are the best ways to see samples of my book covers. Messaging me through my Facebook page is also the perfect way to contact me! 

SRNA: Last but not least, what's your sign? :)

KC: Scorpio! Describes me perfectly, too ;)

Lori L. Clark

She Reads New Adult Admin: Lori L. Clark

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