Amanda is many things, but ‘storyteller’ is the one she identifies with the most. Whether it’d be by writing books, drawing comics, or capturing a feeling in a portrait or book cover—telling stories has always been her passion (and her autistic special interest).
She is particularly fond of fantasy, world building, and romance, especially when one combines the three (done so exceptionally well in the Dragon Age franchise, for example).
She’s been doing book covers on the side for a little over a year now, and her business has recently started to pick up speed. Her favorite thing about what she does is making her clients happy with their book baby’s new cover, and like mentioned above, making being able to tell or hint at the story.
Let’s get started with a quick rapid fire.
Q1. Your favorite superpower you fantasized about.
Being able to fly!
Q2. When do you usually draw? Morning or Night?
More so in the afternoon, but if I had to pick from the two mentioned then night.
Q3. What do you love to do in your free time?
I love reading, but also playing video games. The Dragon Age franchise is my favorite.
Q4. Who is your favourite Anime character?
I don’t watch anime, so I can’t really answer that, unfortunately.
Q5. Would you rather travel to the past or to the future?
Honestly, neither. But if I had to choose it would be the future.
Q6. What is your last Google search?
Apocalyptic movies 2022. I didn’t find anything good.
Q7. Which art style appeals the most to you?
I love semi-realism and anything dreamy/fantastical.
Q8. What is the kindest thing someone ever did for you?
After a past client demanded a complete refund (while I was doing character art commissions) and I didn’t have the money to repay her, a friend of mine offered to do it for me.
Q9. Fellow Creators or Artists you admire.
When it comes to cover artists I adore Storywrappers and Saintjupit3rgr4phic on Instagram.
Q10. Describe your style in one word.
Oof, that’s a hard one. I would say dark/moody and high in contrast.
Q11. What is one missed opportunity that you wish you could have a second chance at?
Actually, none! I don’t believe in regrets, everything happens for a reason.
Q12. An art or piece of work you wished you had created.
An animation I’m actually proud of. When I studied animation in college (the European kind, so not University) I never really created anything I particularly liked.
It’s time for a more detailed conversation, Amanda.
You’ve answered our rapid fire so well, Amanda. Now, it’s time for our readers to know more about the person behind the art.
Q. Tell us something about yourself that’s going to make us wonder more about you.
Whether it’d be by writing books, drawing comics, or capturing a feeling in a portrait or book cover—telling stories has always been my passion and my autistic special interest. I’m particularly fond of fantasy, world building, and romance, especially when one combines the three (done so exceptionally well in the Dragon Age franchise, for example).
Q. Well, that will keep you in our thoughts. So, what kind of art inspires you?
All kinds of art, but especially anything that invokes a feeling or is simply pretty to look at. I love strong shapes and high contrast, and anything with complementary colors.
Q. Interesting. What, to you, are the most important elements of a good art?
An understanding of anatomy, light, perspective, etc. You can’t break or bend to rules before you know them.
Q. Do you hide any secrets in your art that only a few people will find?
I don’t, but after seeing that Storywrappers hides a potato in all of her art I kind of want to do something similar.
Q. What’s the toughest work you’ve created so far? What made it so challenging?
I’m currently working on a custom cover that’s been incredibly challenging because I was completely new to a lot of the elements in it. I can’t say much more since it hasn’t been revealed yet.
Q. What’s unique about your style that’s been appreciated by your fans over the years?
I don’t really think this question suits me and my situation.
Q. How do you progress from an idea to the final piece? Describe your process.
It very much depends on whether it’s a premade book cover or a custom one. If it’s a premade, I pretty much just sit down with a loose idea in mind and then start working on it in photoshop straight away. If I’m working on a custom book cover, the process is much longer.
First I need to check in with the client and agree on an idea. Then I go into either photoshop or procreate and make one or two (sometimes more) mockups of said idea. The client then chooses which one they like the best, and then I slowly start building on that in photoshop. I send frequent updates where the client can give input, and most of the time the cover changes a lot during this process, which isn’t really something that happens when I’m making a premade.
Q. What does success look like to you?
Doing something you love and seeing growth in it. Following my own journey as a cover designer has been wonderful, and everytime I get a new client I’m so proud of myself for coming as far as I have and becoming more and more successful every day.
Q. What inspires you, and where do you seek inspiration for something you’ve never created before?
Other creators. They are my absolute biggest source of inspiration as well as the first place I go to before I start working on something new. Not only can I find wonderful new ideas and techniques by looking at other people’s work, but also see the level of skill I strive for, which inspires me even further.
Q. How do you deal with pressure and deadlines?
To be honest, not that well. Because of my autism, I have a very difficult time when it comes to motivation as well as “consequence thinking” which makes it really hard for me to stay on track and keep up with deadlines. What works for me, though, is simply reminding myself that someone paid me to do a service, and they deserve to get all their money’s worth and more, including me meeting the agreed upon deadlines.
Q. They say time and tide waits for no one, and one needs to keep evolving to survive. How do you adopt and develop new skills?
I follow a bunch of other creators. Like I mentioned before, they’re the biggest source of inspiration for me, and through them as well as consistently looking at bestseller lists, etc, I find new trends, genre conventions, as well as different types of designs I’d like to try for myself. Trial and error is key here. You can’t become a pro at something just from doing it once.
Q. It’s been fun. Now, before we wrap this up, do you have any suggestions for newcomers in this field? If so, what are they?
Exposure. At the very beginning of my career I did free covers for my friends (they were absolutely awful) in exchange for feedback as well as testimonials. Then I slowly but surely raised my price. My covers are still very affordable in comparison to a lot of other people, but I’m still rather new, and nowhere near as experienced as the designers I look up to. Therefore, I still don’t charge that much.
My point here is that exposure is better than making money, in the beginning. Very few people will pay for a service they don’t know much about, which is why getting your name out there is so important. I’m not telling you to underprize yourself, but I’m also not saying that you should overprize. Basically, just know your worth—which you can do by comparing your skill to other people’s and see where in the price range you fall.