Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Author Service Provider Interview with JARED RACKLER

Okay, so I know this is a bit unorthodox considering I am working with Bridgette Bandell over at Bookworm Productions who IS a cover artist. However, a lot of people seem to think that being an indie author has to be a cut throat knife fight...  Well, here goes to show you that although we author service providers PREFER to get the business for ourselves... Bridgette did an interview with Jared Rackler... and we are going to share it with you to show you that we aren't all out to stab each other in the back...   Before we get to the interview... a short bio from his blog:

Jared Rackler,  a Texas Native, haunts the lonely prairies. Roaming from town to town, he exorcises ghosts and banishes nasty spirits for the right price. In his downtime however, he offers quality cover art at reasonable prices. He has worked on all genres including romance (gay, lesbian and straight), horror, urban fantasy, and political thrillers.
In addition to regular cover art work, he is well versed in designing ads to spread the word of your great story across the Web.

And Now that we have learned a little 
about the man behind the company... 
Let's get to that interview!!

What are your favorite elements of art and design to use when designing pieces?

Light and shadow. I love using highlights and shadows to create depth and to draw the viewer’s eye where I want it to go while hiding what I don't want shown. I also love the way color can impact a viewer on visceral level.

When you use lines, do you create them to create certain textures and what textures do you use most often?

The medium I work in isn't hand drawn so I don't use lines very often. When I do use them, it's mostly for augmenting human hair.

What made you decide to become a digital artist?
I've had writers in my life for years. I even fancied myself one. I started out creating cover mock ups for those writers to send to their publishers as inspiration and the next logical step was then to do it myself.

Do you use the emphasis in your art to draw the attention to the work as a whole, or to get the viewer to mentally feel certain ways and see only the certain focal points you intend?

I try to make convey the tone of the piece to the viewer through things like color choice, heavy shading, serif v sans serif font etc. The focus usually tends to be the model because humans prefer to look at other humans.

What is your favorite piece that you have done so far? What makes it your favorite, or most fun when you did it?

My favorite piece has to be The Final Line cover I did for MLR. The design is simple. The color scheme plays well of itself. The whole thing has this polished look that I adore while still conveying the complex plot of the novel.

Do your common themes vary depending on the author, or the feel of the work as you're working it?
There tends to be a unifying theme of romance, but some are moodier than others. I've even created horror pieces, thriller pieces and comedy pieces.

Do you create designs yourself to add to your covers, or do you mainly do image layering?
Image layering is my bread and butter but if it doesn't exist, then it falls to me to create it. The hair in the Sebastian's Thorne cover was all me, for instance.

How do you use negative space to your advantage when trying to convey the author's desire in the design?
A creative use of negative space can make or break a cover. Some artists tend to cram every visually relevant element to the story on a cover, crowding the image and making a mess of their work. Negative can be used to draw the viewer's gaze where you want it or to suggest a concept like longing, loneliness. I did a redesign for The Song of Orpheus by Selena Kitt. This cover did not use negative space creatively and suffered from the jumbled mishmash.

Now for the awesome proud artist moment ^_^ 
(give me your favorite three pieces
and tell me why you did the feel and design for each)

Too Close to the Sun was my first foray into Sci-Fi. This cover was so much fun to work on. The solar color scheme speaks for itself and the novel features a galactic smuggler with a big gun.
The Final Line was the last book in the Recon Diaries, so the elements had to be cohesive with the first two, but this novel featured a hero suffering from PTSD. Instead of a desert background, I used a firefight to represent the chaos inside his mind.
Moral Authority is a dystopian look at the future. The design is based on Russian propaganda posters. The shapes of this cover and the graphic nature are a departure from my usual projects.

If you could have three sentences to tell an author how you'd help them create their book cover to be their dream cover, what would you say to them?
"We all judge books by their covers.
Professional and dependable with a large knowledge of cover design,
I'll give your book the face it deserves so it can stand out on the shelves."

there you have it ladies and gentleman!! 
     If you are an author needing a book cover feel free to drop Jared a line on his Facebook Page or Blog... LINKS BELOW! Also, a HUGE thank you to Jared Rackler for spending his precious time with me to do this interview! 

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