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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Check out this cool interview with the illustrator of Pretty When She Kills by Rhiannon Frater! Very cool cover! For more go to this link:
http://www.bookish-brunette.com/2011/12/interview-with-claudia-mckinney-from.html




1. How did you get into cover designing? 

When my daughter was getting ready to sign with a music label here in Los Angeles - we had done some high end photoshoots and I wanted to try my hand at editing them.

2. What is the first book cover you ever did? 
A book called "Light Beneath Ferns" by Anne Spollen for Lwellelyn Publishing

(grabbed cover from Amazon)




3. How, if any, has your style changed since then? 
I do more mixed media pieces and abstracts for sure - just following my heart on lighting and color and letting it go where it will. I used to care a lot more about fitting in to what was "hot at the time" - now I don't. Too much already that all looks alike. So I try to do my own thing and have a great time doing it -- it's from that kind of "soulful place" that I feel we get the best art. When we try too hard to be soemthing we really aren't -- it definitely translates into the artwork.

4. Do you have a particular cover that is your favorite? Or that will always stick out in your mind for a specific reason? 
My favourite is "Lucia's Walk to Heaven" - a piece depicting how I felt my great-grandmother looked as she was finding her way to Heaven to be with her husband, Angelo. :)
(grabbed from In Focus)

5. After scouring your website, I was absolutely in awe of your talent... Do you digitally create the covers from scratch or paint them?? 
Thank you so much for the kind words! I'm glad you like my work. I never get tired of hearing that. :)

I use photographs and then paint and add elements - most of them are definitely mixed media pieces - some more heavily painted than others.

6. Are your images a one time deal? Like would I ever see your cover art duplicated on covers of two separate books by different authors? 
Yes, they are exclusive - however another artist may use the same stock model on another cover that I'm not related to.... That is why now I'm offering custom photoshoots with models no one else has... . it does so much in the long run to produce a one-of-a-kind piece - however they are more costly because a lot more is involved. I do think however that it's worth the extra time and money.

7. You've created some of my favorite covers EVER! With authors putting out books left and right, is it hard to keep up with the demand? Is your waiting list ten miles long?? 
Never hard to keep up. I work all day long - and I LOVE my work. Next to being a wife and mother - this is totally my passion in life. I don't know what I would do without it. lol I imagine it is how writers feel if they couldn't write, yeah?

8. Have you ever had someone request something that you couldn't or refused to do? 
Yes -- sometimes I get authors who think truly know what looks good - and it doesn't. So I ask - if you come to me - you have to trust me and come with the idea that you already like my style -- I've had one or two covers where authors insisted they wanted something - and hated the outcome -- and asked that my name not be put out there with the cover art. I'm ultra picky!

9. Do you often get get cover requests that are as detail oriented as Pretty When She Kills? Which is gorgeous and freaking BRILLIANT, I must add! 
Thank you!  Yes, I do get a lot of covers that are that specific - and I love doing them.   The most important thing for me is that my work always be emotionally charged -- otherwise there's really not a lot of point for me.  Hope that makes sense.

10. I think you captured Amaliya PERFECTLY! I mean, it's seriously amazing how similar the cover art is to the book character! How much preparation and extra time goes into a cover like the one for Pretty When She Kills? 
Well because I do so many covers now - and I am humbled every time I'm asked - truly - it doesn't take me so long to get the mockup - but maybe the time spent once we have that in creating the right lighting, setting, details added, etc... but again, every piece is different - so some do take much longer than others. Creating the cover for Rhiannon was so much fun -- I totally got into it and had a blast! I view it as a totally collaborative effort. Rhiannon and I were a definite team - and I love that part of the job. :)

Visit Claudia's Website - Phatpuppy Art

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And now *deep breath* the COVER REVEAL for Pretty When She Kills!!!!! *SQUEE*


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