Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Maternity Leave

Just a quick head's up...

I gave birth August 26th, 2016 and so now I'm on maternity leave.  I will NOT be accepting requests until October 1st, 2016.  You can still purchase pre-made covers.

Thank you for your understanding! :-)


Friday, March 18, 2016

Stock Site changes

Hi all!

I am aware it has been almost a year since my last real blog post LOL  What can I say? I'm no author :-)  But I did need to let you know about recent stock site changes.

As you all may be aware, images are becoming increasingly expensive.  I'm not going to increase my prices this year which means certain stock sites will no longer be included in cost.  In order for my business to succeed--for me to make a profit, I have to cut off certain sites.  

The following sites are ALWAYS included in price.  They are, in no particular order:
PeriodImages.com
Novelstock.com
RomanceNovelCovers.com
Cathleen Tarawhiti at DeviantArt.com
Jason Aaron Baca at DeviantArt.com
DAZ 3D
FantasyBackgroundStore.com
FantasyBackgrounds.com
RazzDazzStock.com
and 123rf.com

If I do find stock sites or photography sites that have individual images for $25 or less, then I'll include them on the above list.

The following sites are NO LONGER included in price.  If you want an image from the below sites, you will either have to purchase them yourself or I can purchase them and add the additional cost to the price of the cover.  In no particular order:
HotDamnStock.com
TheReedFiles.com
NovelEssentials.com
Jenn LeBlanc at StudioSmexy.com
Any other stock site not listed in the included price list up above.

I always purchase high resolution images which, of course, are the most expensive.  I don't purchase any images under 300dpi.  It's just not smart.  For instance, if I purchase a cheaper 72dpi image and create an e-book cover only then that would be fine.  The look wouldn't be as clear or crisp as I like, but the cover would work on websites.  However, if the author decides later they want that cover in print, then I would have to purchase the 300dpi image and remake the cover.  So, it would cost more in the long run.

The stock sites that are included in the cover price have hundreds of great images that will look absolutely fantastic on your cover!  I would never sacrifice quality.  If you have perused my portfolio, you will find that most of the covers I make already just use the included stock sites anyway.  So, not much has changed :-)

Thanks!


Friday, August 14, 2015

Now accepting cover requests!

Yes, you read that right!  I am now taking cover requests! :-)  If you have questions, please see my FAQ page:  http://edhgraphics.blogspot.com/p/faq.html

Here is an orc woman wielding a crossbow?  Why?  Because she's cool :-)  If you are as big a nerd as I am, then I recommend listening to The Adventure Zone podcast with the McElroy brothers.  This is a completely different twist on Dungeons&Dragons.  I never know what's going to happen next! :-)


I look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

COVER REQUEST UPDATE

Hi all!

Quick note:  I will NOT be accepting any new cover or misc requests until August , 2015.  I am booked solid.  I cannot even squeeze in small projects. 

I love the fact that you all keep me so busy because I love each and every one of you and I feel just terrible that I can't put you on the schedule until August.  Thank you so much for your understanding :-)

That's August 1, 2015.

Thank you!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Summer Holiday and How I created a Fantasy cover :-)

Greetings!!!

It's getting to be that time of year when I have to step back and refuel :-)  This year, my summer holiday starts July 11th 2015, with me cutting out early July 10th to fully clean the house before I go.   I hate leaving a messy house! :-) 

Anyway, I've received several huge projects over the past few weeks--multiple cover requests with sides (banners, etc).  This means that my schedule is near to bursting.  If you want your cover done before I go on vacation, send in the request now, no later than June 15th 2015.   I won't be accepting new authors until August 1st 2015.   My current authors take precedence. 

I will not be online during my holiday which starts July 11, 2015 and ends July 20, 2015.  So, I won't be reading emails or messages.  I stay away from the computer when on holiday.  I like spending all my time with my husband and soon to be 3 year old son :-)

Thank you for your understanding!

The "Ursula" art piece blog was a huge hit, so continuing in that vein, I will show you how I created this cover:
Of course, I'm going to have keep some things secret :-)  We all have our little tricks that aren't taught in school :-)

Here are the images involved:


Can you see the transformation?  :-)  The great thing about images is the ability to play with them.  That is what photo-manipulation is--a photo is literally manipulated to suit whatever need I have.   Now that we have the images, let's start combining :-)

 
Here we have the combined images.  I also added in some flame and painted in white hair.  I removed the gun and replaced it with the sword.  Just combining images, however, will not give a polished look as you can see.  Everything is still very much pasted, colors are random.  If I received this for a cover, I would throw a fit.  So, it's time to start fixing the colors.  I have several actions that I have created for Photoshop that will automatically fix coloring for me.  This saves me a lot of time.  Of course, creating those actions in the first place took a great deal of time, but it's worth it in the long run.  Let's add a coloring action that I like to call "Sick".


As you can now see, the colors are very similar.   The separate images are starting to come together. However, we lost some important colors so we'll have to add that on top of this layer.


She now has green eyes, the fire is more blue and I've added more lighting to her face.  This puts her more front and center and draws the eye to her intense gaze.  But we're still not done.  Her hair is choppy and there are some texture elements I don't like on here--like the area between her hair and the background.  It looks lined.  So, let's start cleaning this up.


In this layer, I've smoothed her hair, cleaned up the edges between her and the background, added an insane amount of shadows, increased contrast and brightness, painted in bits and pieces that I felt had disappeared, and made sure she was the focal point.  The creatures in the background add the fantastical elements but do not overshadow the main character.  However, based on this cover, you now have a good idea of what this book is about :-)


For the finale, we add the fonts.  Because this is a fantasy that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, I opted to not use standard fantasy fonts.  I also opted not to use fantasy fonts because they would overwhelm the cover.  We want to see the cover, not a bunch of fonts.  Simple is best in this situation.  My motto--simple is always best.  It keeps things clean and sharp.  Too much chaos is well, too much chaos :-)  As you can see in my portfolio and how I create covers, I always go simple.  I don't like to put more than 4 primary objects on a cover.  3 is actually my favorite number :-)  Which, in this cover, there are 3 primary objects--the heroine and the creatures.  All else supports them.  In my opinion, that's how a cover should be. 

I hope you found this to be a fun read, well, at least interesting :-) LOL  Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to see what it is I do :-)

Thanks!






Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holidays and News :-)

Happy Holidays one and all!  No matter what you celebrate, I hope you are having a wonderful winter season!

Because it is the holiday season, I need to inform everyone of my holiday schedule.  I will not be available from December 19, 2014 until January 4, 2015.  I won't even be checking my emails.  For me, Christmas is the time to spend with my family, making lots of food, getting fat, shopping, and decorating :-) 

In cover art news:

I don't accept rush jobs.  It's unfair to put an author above another author who is already in the queue.  It keeps thing fair and organized this way.  If you do have a rush job, you should seek another cover artist.  Perhaps they won't believe in being fair.

Pre-Made covers are changing.  I'm calling them "Concept Designs".  I'm doing this because so many stock sites are now requiring extended licenses for any images used in Pre-Made Covers.  Even though I only sell the pre-made covers once, the legal wording used in the stock sites makes it so I have to purchase an extended license.  My pre-made covers are inexpensive so it's not cost effective for me to purchase an extended license.  Therefore, I'm creating Concept Designs.  These can be used as covers.  All we do is add title, author name, etc.  I'll have individual prices under the Concept Designs.

One of these days, I'll have to start taking pictures myself.  Stock images are getting more expensive--especially if you want images that are more rare.  I've seen so many of the same images on covers that it makes me nauseous.  I'm sure, as authors, you want something original for your book as well.  Custom images can be expensive.  I'm also searching for new models.  I'm bored seeing the same ones on so many covers.  Of course, I still have my favorites--Jax Turyna, Max Aria, Jason Aaron Baca--to name a few (there are several).  But I want new faces along with the popular faces.  It helps new models become the Heroines and Heroes they want to be :-)

I'm thinking of changing my pricing scale.  As you all know, I like being fair.  It doesn't seem fair to charge the same price for a cover that has 1-3 images the same cost as a cover that has 7-9 images.  The price is too disparate.  I'm thinking of employing a price scale like so:
(e-books)
1-3 images:  $100.00
4-6 images:  $125.00
7-9 images:  $150.00
More than 10 images:  $200.00

What do you think?

Have a wonderful holiday season! :-)