- by Dara Girard
I’ve always been a writer. I wrote my first book at 15 on my mother’s old portable typewriter and I went into journalism after realizing that I needed to parlay my writing talent into something that could provide an immediate paycheck. My first book was published in 2006 with Harlequin Superromance, followed by Romantic Suspense. While writing has always been my bread and butter, art has always fascinated me. It was through the newspaper business that I learned graphic design. I had the good fortune to work with a professional graphic designer who taught me the basics of good graphic design (i.e. less is more!) and from there I picked up skills on my own throughout the years.
Why did you decide to develop eBook and print on demand covers?
Since I’d been designing my own promotional materials for years, when I decided to join the digital revolution, it was only natural to design my own cover. Pleased with my result, I sent it to my friend Samantha Hunter, who had been self-publishing her mystery series on the Kindle, for her opinion. She raved about the cover and immediately hired me to design one for her. So, it was my friend Samantha who convinced me that my skills were competitive with what was already being offered out there. I was thrilled to exercise my creativity in an additional way from the writing and it’s fun to meet so many more people.
What are common mistakes clients make when working with you?
I’m not sure I would call them mistakes, but sometimes clients have a rigid idea of what they want the cover to look like and their vision isn’t aesthetically pleasing. I always ask my clients what is the feeling they want to evoke with their cover because that’s how I look for art. How does it make me feel when I look at it? When I create covers I want my clients to love them.
What can a client do to make your job easier?
Have a clear understanding of what you’re looking for. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to create a cover when the client doesn’t have a firm grasp on what they want; it’s an exercise in frustration for both the client and the graphic designer.
What are three things a potential client should look for in a cover artist?
In my humble opinion there is one thing that potential clients should look for: professionalism.
A professional conducts themselves in a professional manner, from correspondence to expectations. A cover artist should be timely with their responses, give the client a clear understanding of the cost, and the work should be in line with the client’s expectation. The client should always check out the artist’s portfolio or gallery to ensure that their personal style is in line with the client’s vision for their cover.
Second, you should feel comfortable conveying your vision, concerns, etc with the cover artist. If, for any reason, you don’t feel comfortable being honest you should find someone else because in the end, it will save both you and the cover artist a lot of frustration.
Absolutely. I create covers in the same way I write: intuitively. Being an author enables me to get in the client’s head when it comes to their creative baby. Every author dreams of a gorgeous cover and I do my best to create one.
On your website you mentioned that you’d wanted to be an actress, but “it was the quiet lure of a pen and paper that ultimately caught and held me in its thrall.” That explains your writing career, but what is the creative thrill of developing covers?
I love creating covers. There is something relaxing about the task that also fulfills that creative urge. I enjoy taking individual elements and blending them together into something fabulous for my client. I also enjoy learning new skills that I can apply to my craft. It engages a different part of my brain and actually helps in my own creative process. I find that when I’ve tired my brain out from writing, I can switch gears and actually become reenergized after working on the covers. So it’s a win-win for everyone!
Clients can reach me via email at alexandria2772 @ hotmail.com or friend me on Facebook (Kim Van Meter). I check my mail everyday and I pride myself on timely responses. I have a gallery on my Facebook page until I get my cover design website up and running at the first of the year. Here is the link: http://on.fb.me/p993dl
Is there anything you would like to add?
Thank you for the opportunity to share my talents with your membership. I look forward to meeting new clients!
Find out more about Kimberly on her website: http://kimberlyvanmeter.com