Monday, April 18, 2011

Interview with Cover Artist Angie Waters (part one)

I don’t know about you, but I’m a bit in awe of cover artists and curious about what they do, so I was thrilled when Angie Waters, the artist who created the cover for THE FIRST VICTIM agreed to this interview. Thanks so much for doing this, Angie!

JB: What's your background?

AW: I'm actually an electrician and electronics/computer technician. I've done everything from repairing FA/18 electronic and weapon systems to building and repairing computers. Currently, I am one half of Millennium Promotion Services, Inc I was raised with a great appreciation for art. Many of my family members are very talented artists in their chosen mediums. I didn't find my medium until much later ;)

JB: How did you become a cover artist?

Totally by accident. I was playing around with photoshop for fun and was asked by one of my clients if I could design bookcovers so I gave it a shot. Two of my first cover designs won awards and I have been going strong ever since.

JB: How long have you been doing it?

I've been designing book covers for almost four years :)

JB: Okay, so can you describe your process for designing a cover? Do you work on developing tone or a specific image first?

**Just a note: JB really wanted to know about the weapons systems...but alas if I explained myself I would have to kill her...**

On to the questions... I'm not sure if I'd call it a process, I see covers in my head like an author sees their characters and story. The tone of the cover depends on what needs to be projected most about the story. The reader needs to feel immediately the tone of the book by the cover designer's interpretation. That feeling can come from colors, images or the font style.

JB: You don't read the books first, right? So are you given anything to work with besides the Cover Art Fact Sheet which the author fills out? Do you get input from anyone other than the author?

No, I don't read the books first but my TBR list has grown substantially since I started designing covers ;) Most of the time I have just the art sheet to work with. I will also visit the author's website to see if they have a blurb available to read so I get a good idea of what the story is about. Input from others vary depending on the publisher I am designing the cover for.

JB: How long does it normally take you to design a cover? How many versions do you usually end up making?

That depends on how quickly I "see" the design. When I start work I can easily lose track of time. Some days I can design five or six covers, other days one cover. If I find that my muse isn't playing nicely with something I am working on, I'll move to another design and come back to it when my muse wants to play nice. Most of the time I don't have to do more than one version of a cover.

Find out more info about Angie at:



Now Killer Friends, since Angie mentioned her roundabout route to her current career, tell us: What are some of the more interesting/odd jobs YOU'VE held?

Oh, and don't forget to stop by Friday to find out what guest blogger Michelle Miles has to say!


Jennifer Hillier said...

COOL! This is the first interview I've ever read by a cover artist and it's so fascinating to glimpse into how they work. Thanks to both of you for doing this!

Suzy Turner said...

Great post! I just went over to Angie's website to check out her designs. The majority of the covers are of half naked men.... what a job!!
: )

I once had a summer job at a waterpark, making pancakes and milkshakes ALL DAY (needless to say, I'm no longer a fan!). Once I had three customers. They must have been male models, all chiseled features and bare torsos and I became so nervous I couldn't hand them their milkshakes, I had to get someone else to do it. How embarrassing. Actually, they looked like the men on Angie's covers!

Jennifer Colgan said...

Great post! Thanks for coming to Killer Chicks, Angie! I'm envious of anyone who can create cover art.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Great interview. I'm with JB in wanting to know about those weapons systems. How cool was that job. =o)

My last job was pretty interesting. I was the secretary to the president of a private school corporation. One of my duties was to read books the boss was thinking of reading and let him know if they were worth his time. Most of them were business nonfiction, but some were novels he was thinking about introducing into the schools.

Angela Waters said...

Thank you JB and Jennifer for inviting me. I've had the fun opportunity of designing a couple of Jennifer's Samhain covers as well.

@Suzy - One of the perks of the job :) Luckily my husband understands why I am always looking at those sexy torsos.

@B.E. I have to admit that I tend to daydream a lot about working on F/18s. That is one job I do miss ;)

JB Lynn said...

Jennifer -- Wait 'til next week when you see how interesting the second part is -- really fascinating stuff imho

Suzy -- I understand the milkshakes, but PANCAKES? Pls explain.

Jennifer -- I'm envious of anyone who can create anything, lol

B.E. -- so you got paid to read? Nice gig!!! (and I was verrrry disapointed that Angie didn't share any weapons systems secrets!)

Angie -- Oooh, which of Jennifer's covers have you done???? (I swear, my curiousity is going to get me in trouble one of these days, lol)

Angela Waters said...

JB - I designed Uncross My Heart and A Strange New World ;)

Suzy - Yes...I agree with JB explain those pancakes LOL

JB Lynn said...

Those are both great covers, Angie!

Joann Swanson said...

Fascinating interview! Thanks for sharing the ins and outs of cover design.

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