Monday, September 22, 2014

Communication and cover art

Making edits and all-out story changes are definitely not my favorite things to do. It makes me second guess my writing, and sometimes, like now, I am hit with the realization that I am making changes that don't need to be made. But I'm recharged because my amazing cover illustrator from Lake Joy Design sent me the thumbnail concepts for my novella.

And both images really are amazing. Both images also convey two entirely different emotions. So which one to choose? First off, it depends on what kind of story I am telling. Unfortunately for me, both images would work, as each evokes a dark and otherworldly vision. I need to choose the one that will best communicate to interested readers that beyond this image lies a daring tale of demons and rage. (Want to see them? Keep scrolling!)

Now, as much as I want to show everyone what her amazing mind comes up with, I also have to keep in mind that what she gives me is not the final artwork, only rough sketches of what could be majorly awesome artwork. However, I still want to share with you a tantalizing tidbit of her creativity. I am showcasing a part of her cover concepts so that you can tell me which one intrigues you more. I also want to show how two different, yet similar, images can change what you think a story is about.

© Laura Henion, Lake Joy Design
When we first met to talk about cover art, I knew I wanted a black wing and a simple and dramatic look. This first concept has stylized feathers that remind me of gritty graphic novels like Hellboy and Sandman. It also reminded me of anime along the lines of Afro Samurai and CLAMP's X. It appears more fantastic or dreamlike. If you were to see a cover with this image, what kind of book would you expect?

© Laura Henion, Lake Joy Design
This second concept image has a more detailed look to the feathers, which gives off a more ominous feel to the image, much darker and maybe more violent. The idea of fallen angels is brought to my mind, and novels like Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series or Neil Gaiman's American Gods seem to match the vibe of this image. How would your expectations of a book change if this were part of the cover instead?

I can't decide which direction to take the final artwork, so I would love to hear from my visitors! Tell me in the comments section which image would draw you in more to read the story, or share your thoughts on Twitter or my Facebook page.

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