Friday, March 15, 2013

Cover Artist Interviews: Jaycee Delorenzo


By Kayla Curry

Jaycee Delorenzo is an author and a cover designer. She is in the process of publishing her first book, The Truths about Dating and Mating. She’s designed beautiful covers for tons of authors including herself.
We were able to get her to answer a few questions for us!

[FFM] Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?


[JD] I’m an elementary teacher by day, a wife, mother of two little ones, writer, designer and blogger by night. I’m self-taught when it comes to design. I started doing graphics work over a decade ago for myself and a couple of tv show fandoms I belonged to and for some websites I ran, again all for fun. I’ve taking exactly one class in graphics design, about 4 years ago, but it was really basic stuff I already knew. This past January, I started my own freelance graphic design company, which offer book covers, website designs, WordPress thmes, and a bunch of other little graphic needs here and there at a relatively low price.

[FFM] Can you share your process in creating a book cover?

[JD] When a client requests my services, I send them a cover art request form that I’ve designed to try to get a feel for what they’re envisioning. From there, I search for stock images that appear to fit their description and send them over for approval. Next, I start “playing around.” That’s really what it is, too. I maneuver, manipulate, and position objects until I like where they are, test a few fonts for titles and author’s names, and send over a mock up to see what the author wants to do from there. There’s usually revisions to be made, but after a few tries, something beautiful and eye-catching is created.

[FFM] Can you tell us about your challenges in getting started in cover design?

[JD] The biggest challenge was the marketing. The designing fell in my lap. Someone on a forum I go to was asking for a web designer, and although I done anything in a while, I offered to help her out and told her she could pay me if she liked it, and if she didn’t no harm, no foul. She loved it, and referred a few friends to me. As a thank you, I offered to redesign on of her book covers. From there, I decided to make a few premade covers, set up a website for my designing , and offered my services up on the same forum. I started getting a few jobs here and there, but nothing steady, but then I had a big sale and gained a large number of people interested in my work. Then, I attended the Romance Writer’s of American National Conference, where I handed out business cards and I gained quite a few regular clients from there. I work pretty steady, now.

[FFM] What is your favorite cover you’ve designed?

[JD] Oh, that’s hard because there’s so many that I like for different reasons. I love the cover for Shadow Play  by Christie Palmer that I just designed. I’m always really happy with my blue designs. I also love The Tears of Elios  design I did for Crista McHugh, which has a lush, green forest inside a glass ball. And of course, I’m very happy with the cover I designed for my own book, The Truths about Dating and Mating , because I feel it really conveys the tone of the book.

[FFM] What program(s) do you use when you design covers?

[JD] I use mainly a combination of Adobe Fireworks and Photoshop, and sometimes use Illustrator for vector work, here and there.

[FFM] Do you have anything specific that you would like to tell aspiring cover artists?
Do you research. Search for articles about what makes covers appealing to readers. Make sure you’re knowledgeable about image and font licenses. Read up on creating covers that are readable in thumbnail view, both in color and black and white. Study other successful covers to get a feel for what works, and keep on trying to improve your designs. Keep in mind that with the popularity of self-publishing these days, author’s have a lot of choices when it comes to choosing a cover artist. Make sure your covers are the kind that will stand out. Mine is through my use of bright, vibrant colors.

Links to Jaycee:
My design webpage is:   http://sweetnspicydesigns.com
My personal webpage is:   http://jayceedelorenzo.com
Twitter: @jayceedelorenzo