It’s comforting finally to be able to say I’ve got a cover image I’m pretty happy with. After all the starts and stops and changes in direction, I can say is that I’m way too picky. But I did put my heart into this one and tried to keep it similar to the image on Dorian One in that it has the filled in figures and not fleshed out people. It’s my hope to have the fleshed out people on the next cover which will be Rossyn One!
Going to art classes did help me with constructing the image I want. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help me know what image I want. That’s the issue I’ve had all this time. I’ve got a thousand images I can put on their but, halfway through construction, something inside me just says, “This isn’t the one.”
I know. There may not be “the One” for anything. Not for spouses or cars or cheesecakes. But for me, at that moment, I tend to listen to my gut instinct. It does tell me I certainly need to start designing the cover for Rossyn One now! And not wait until I’m thinking about sending it off to the copyright office. I actually believe, as I go through publishing more books and designing the covers, I’m learning more and more about how to make a great cover. Really and truly, covers aren’t what sells a book but a great cover can be what changes a mind. A great cover can say, this person spent more time on the cover and so wanted my business more. While a lackadaisical image on the cover just says it was designed, popped onto the front of the book, done.
That is one thing I still remember about cover art up to the late nineteen nineties. There were actual painters who really painted the image used for the cover and I could really tell. There were differences in cover designs if, for one book out of the others, they used another designer. It made a huge difference for me. I hope to one day be as good as a designer as I remember seeing when I look back at all the great cover art I’ve seen during my life. I’m not there yet. I’ll admit it openly. Designing a cover is still a challenge for me. I hope as I play more with Illustrator and art, taking more lessons, that will change.
Today in class, we had our first model. She was an older woman, maybe a few years younger than myself. She posed nude so we could practice drawing figures. I suck at drawing figures. That is my truth. I own it. But, like anything else, I’ll get better at it the more I do it. So that was one class down. I intend to take Drawing three in the Fall and, Figure drawing, so I can learn to make people on the page! People who actually look like people!
I was also thinking the other day about my life now. I’m enjoying these art classes so much. My father’s been dead for going on three and a half years. An old German guy, he truly was stuck in the land time forgot. His idea of home and family is nothing like what I see around me today. He controlled my every day and wanted to control every decision. If he were still alive, art classes would not be possible for me. He’d do everything in his power, including falling and hurting himself if it took that, to keep me away from a career in art or creativity. Why did he hate it so? I have no idea, but I wrote in secret for twenty five years simply because I knew he didn’t like it and wouldn’t support me while I did it.
I find it amazing that the arts are the thing which get defunded by those who have the power to decide what public schools teach. I used to wonder why that was when I’d hear stories about budget cuts years ago. I understand now why now. Art helps us to realize who we are in a clearer, more detailed way. It’s why there are cave paintings and ancient artworks which are still available to us now, because someone generations ago, sometimes hundreds of generations ago, wanted to explore who they were with a little artwork they may never have imagined would touch anyone but themselves. I find it very intriguing that art classes are so despised by so many who will then run out and spend a million dollars on some famous painter’s work just so they can hang it in their house.
Art is important and it’s why I think I have so many issues with making covers for these books. These characters were my friends during very lonely times and I don’t just want to slap some picture on the cover. I want something that speaks to me. Even if it only speaks to me, it’s an experience and a learning opportunity. I think that is the second biggest blessing in my life right now. There is a first big blessing in my life and maybe one day I’ll talk about that. For now, I’m going to find some dinner. Taking the rest of the night off to do some rug latching.