Tuesday, 30 October 2007

I'm Moving Blogs

Aaaww gee. I know it's only early in the piece but I've decided to switch blog sites. I'm heading over to Wordpress. I've had no end of trouble trying to make this space look professional. For some reason I can insert one banner and have it fit but if I try to install another one (exactly the same size) then it's too big and falling off the page. I really don't have the brain (or the time for that matter) to work out CSS and codes. I want it to work straight up without having to spend endless hours fiddling.

So. I'm off. Follow if you will ;)

Monday, 29 October 2007

New Header & Cover Breakdown

So, I've given myself a bit of a face lift. Thought it was time that I started to put a more professional persona out there ;) So in this little lapse between covers, I've been busy creating banners and avatars.

I've also been trying to create a CSS Journal for my DeviantArt page but have given up in disgust. I have a feeling that no matter how hard I try, I'm never going to understand the codes. I might yet have to palm it off to someone who knows a bit more about it. And here I was considering creating my own web page. Yeah. Right!

Here's a little something that might be of interest. It's a breakdown of one of Lust In Time. If it's a bit hard to read, it can be seen here. Just click on it to enlarge.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

First Feature

So I'm kinda excited. I've been featured over on Dionne Galace's web page. Check it out when you have a sec :D

The thing is. Don't you just hate it when you read back something you've written and even the voice in your head sounds bored? Gawd! I mean whilst I consider myself a cover artist, I also like to dabble in a bit of creative writing. The little snippet I provided Dionne certainly doesn't bode well for me though. Perhaps I should just stick to covers LOL!

Mind you I do have to say that it's been awhile since I've been inspired enough to write. But today, I had an idea and am itching to get it down. Who know's once I get it into perspective I might share a few ideas here :D

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

The Dreaded Dentist

*sigh* So, we're off to the Dentist today. After a much needed round of check-ups for the family it was deemed that my 5yo daughter will need a filling in her 6yo molar.

I am still in a bit of a bother about this. How does a 5 you who brushes her teeth morning AND night end up with a hole in her VERY new molar?? Well, I guess you can thank her father's genes for that one. Yes, dear hubby has crappy teeth and it seems my darling daughter has inherited this weakness.

As someone who spent their childhood going to the dentist for endless cleaning, flouride treatments (I still can't stomach anything with Orange flavouring) and the eventual mouth full of Amalgum fillings, I really was hoping that my kids wouldn't have to go through all that. The fillings, that is. Not so much the check-ups. Oh well. I guess you just can't defeat the genes.

I'm really not looking forward to the ensuing confrontation though. I don't like the dentist's chances of getting much done. Even if he does manage to get the needle into my daughter's mouth. I can guarantee she'll go into an instant clamp-down and the needle will have been all for nothing. Lord! I really don't want to think about it.

Oh, and just to add insult to injury. I'm booked in for the following week to have two amalgum fillings replaced. I never used to get the needle, but it's been so long that I can't remember what hurts more. Having the needle or not having it?

**Edited to Add - Luckily my daughter's molar wasn't in too bad a condition. The hole was only shallow so all he had to do was give it a clean and pack it with a shallow filling. No needle and it took 10 minutes! Yay for the dentist :D My turn next week ;)

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Breaking the Rules

Breaking the Rules is Summer Jordan's next release in her Wives-R-Us series.

The concept for the cover was pretty straight forward. The character has dark curly hair and blue eyes so all I had to do here was change her eye colour. The houses were a good find and seemed to fit the storyline well. The card is a carry-on from the previous cover and ties the series together. So there it is - a pretty simple, yet effective cover :D

Got a few minutes spare? Go check out Dionne Galace's recent interview with incredibly talented Cover Artists - April Martinez, Anne Cain, Frauke of Croco Designs & Christine Griffin.

Dionne also asked other cover artists to send in a sample of their work which I did. I got a great & might I add VERY quick response. So it seems that I may just be part of Bam's Friday Showcase! I was asked for a quick rundown on the cover that I sent over. I'm ot very good at that sort of thing, BUT I sent off a little blurb so we'll see whether I look like a right git once it hit's the ether LOL.

Got some more covers coming so better get back to them.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Hitting the Hot Spot

Total-E-Bound has finally emerged onto the Blog scene and what a fantastic emergence it's been! It's a week long partay folks, so head on over and check it out. Pick up some interesting snippets on your favourite authors, join in the competitions, win fun prizes, read the latest exerpts ... ah, the fun never ends.

See you all there :D

Friday, 5 October 2007

Filing Woes

It's all quiet on the cover front this last week so I've decided to try and get my files in order. (Ha ha .. sounds like I'm about to write my last will and testament LOL!). I have so many stock photo's clogging up my HD as well as burned discs everywhere. I really need to get a system going so that I can find things easily, without the mess.

The poor old puty is getting slow so I can't ignore it any longer. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to tackle it yet. I love order but I never quite seem to manage it. *sigh* Oh well. Better not put it off any longer. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

The New Covey Awards

Wow! Author Lexie Davis just contacted me to let me know that her book Rain Fell Down has been nominated in the New Covey Awards. It's one of my covers - how cool is that!

So, if there's anyone out there ..... (echo .. echo .. echo ..) Head on over and vote for us - The New Covey Awards ;)

Hmm ... probably should let people know that I have a blog LOL!


Wednesday, 26 September 2007

It's been awhile, demon wind

Here are the covers I've been working on this month.

Demon Wind is probably my favourite of this group, and really tested my skills. The original couple were clothed so I had to paint out their swimmers. Even went to the extreme of painting the woman's nipple, only to be told it might be a bit too sexy LOL! I tried to paint in some wet cloth, but I ain't that talented, so went with shadowing instead.

Whipped probably took the most time as there were quite a few redo's and touch-ups but I'm pretty happy with how it came out.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Da Twins

Okay, it's been a while, eh? :D So here's the 'twins' I was talking about. Turned out okay, although looking at it now I could have probably toned down/darkened the twins a bit. They seem to really stand out. Obviously it's the same guy, just in a slightly different position.

The woman originally had red hair so I had to darken it to black. Gawd I hate hair. It's probably one of the few things when it comes to manipulation that I dislike doing. There's a fine line between having it look 'normal' and having it look like a wig. Still, I think I pulled it off this time ;) Not so sure about the guy's though.

Friday, 7 September 2007

What to do

I'm in absolute agony today, thanks to my gym instructor getting me to do walking lunges. O.M.F.G! I have not felt this sore in the legs and butt since my horse riding days. I try to get to the gym 3 days a week, considering the amount of time that I spend planted on my ever expanding backside at the computer. I've been going for a few weeks now, but of course life gets in the way. If it's not sick kids, I have to work at the shop or we get cut off from town due to flooding. Anyway, looks like I'm back into the swing of things and I even took a photo of myself to put up next to the computer/fridge/pantry so that I can see what I 'really' look like. Let's just say 'It ain't pretty'. I'm definitely NOT the svelte, sexy thing that parades around in my head dammit! LOL

So, I've currently got 5 covers on the go. I'm stuck on the first, of course. The damn thing has twins in it. So I guess that by having twins we need to see their faces, which means that I need two images of the same guy but both slightly different. Otherwise it might look a bit clone-ish. So after some fiddle farting around with the fabulous Claire over at TEB we finally decided on some stock that might work. Now I just need to give the guy's curly hair and change the heroine's hair from red to black. God I hate hair! All the more reason to chop off their heads.

Anyway, brings to mind something else that I have been thinking of lately. I have never done a course in design/photoshop/cover art, etc, so there is every chance that I am spending hours on something that could be easily done in a few minutes. I've also noticed that most of the cover artists are Graphic Designers, which makes me feel a bit of a ring-in. I wouldn't mind doing a course in Graphic Design but am not quite sure what it entails or if I'd even be able to qualify. Being a mature aged student and all. Something to look into anyway - It's a bit scary, but exciting at the same time.

No doubt I'll post my journey here too :D

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Latest Work & Gay Covers

My latest cover for TEB.
Which brings me to the topic of gay covers.

M/M erotic romance really seems to be taking off and no matter which e-publisher you frequent you will always find a m/m book in the latest releases. So where do cover artists get their stock from? The usual resources, of course. Istock, Dreamstime, etc, etc, etc. Do a search on gay or homosexual men and you will find the usual illustrations and the odd awkward looking couple but very, very rarely will you find an image that will have an author (or reader) gushing. It seems people don't want to see scrawny pre-pubescent looking gay men on their covers. They want to see real men *rolls eyes* with six packs and boobs bigger than mine (and that's saying something) . So where does that leave us cover artists? Pulling together a couple of 'real' men from different sources and trying to play match-maker and all the while hoping no-one takes a dislike to it.

So when a fellow cover artist tells me a popular stock photographer doesn't want his models on gay covers I thought I'd better look into it. No cover artist wants to have to re-do a cover purely to replace one of the images. Here's an example of one of the stock sites license agreements:

(a) Prohibited Uses. You may not do anything with the Content that is not expressly permitted in the preceding section or permitted by an Extended License. For greater certainty, the following are “Prohibited Uses” and you may not:

1. use or display any Content that features a model or person in a manner that (i) would lead a reasonable person to think that such person uses or personally endorses any business, product, service, cause, association or other endeavour; or (ii) that depicts such person in a potentially sensitive subject matter, including, but not limited to mental and physical health issues, social issues, sexual or implied sexual activity or preferences, substance abuse, crime, physical or mental abuse or ailments, or any other subject matter that would be reasonably likely to be offensive or unflattering to any person reflected in the Content;

Kinda limiting, isn't it. Especially when cover artists and erotic romance publishers alike rely on stock from these sites for their covers. So I guess you could say that we take liberties when it comes to the above license, all the while hoping to god no-one gets offended.

I must add that I am amazed that no-one has cottoned on to the fact that gay images with good looking, well built men are really popular. Hell! If I knew how to use a camera and had access to some good looking gay men, I'd submit some myself!

So spread the word folks!! We need more gay cover models!!!

Monday, 27 August 2007

Prime Suspect & Stock

This is my latest approved cover. Prime Suspect by KS Augustin. Probably up there as one of my favourites.

I've just purchased a stock subscription so am now madly downloading as much stock as I can :lol: Lord only know's if I'll ever use any of it. Still, it can't hurt I guess. Considering I have a limit of 5 downloads a day, I want to make the most of my money. Lucky I like doing photomanips so if I don't use them on a cover, maybe I'll use them in my artworks.

Anyway, I feel like I'm just writing things to fill a blank :lol: So I'll stop now until I have something more interesting to add ;)

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Up To Date

Final upload which brings me up to date - YAY!. I think I can see some improvement in style as I've progressed. Psychic Detective III is probably my favourite at the moment along with Rawley ( no need to ask why ;)).

I think I'm starting to find a style that I'm happy with. I like the clean, fresh, less cluttered approach. But of course, next week that could change LOL. Looking back at my earlier covers (yes, I know that wasn't that far back), I think I was trying a bit too hard. But you get that I guess. At least I can see improvements, even if others can't.

Cover Backlog

Here are a few more of my covers. Perhaps another post will bring me up to date on artworks that have been given the go-ahead and then we'll be living in the moment ;) LOL.

Friday, 24 August 2007

Okay, so today I thought I'd post a few of the covers that I've already done. I'm relatively new to the world of cover art so I still have a hell of a lot to learn. However everyone over at Total-E-Bound are making it a really enjoyable experience for me. So here are the first few. I'll add more over the next few days :D

Thursday, 23 August 2007


Hi there and welcome to my blog! Come join me on my venture forth into the world of an e-book cover artist. Share with me the highs and lows, successes and failures and together we may discover the secret ingredient to creating the perfect cover.