HOW I GOT FROM A TO B.
At 6 years old I can remember, grabbing a TV tray, a pencil, and sitting down on the couch to watch my favorite TV show that would come on when I was younger called The Imagination Station. This was by far the best drawing show that was on air at the time. Mark Kistler was the host and he specifically taught how to draw in 3D which I thought was pretty cool! From what I can remember, the show would come on at about 11:00am every weekday and he would teach 1 lesson on how to draw. On thing I have to say is the host, Mark Kistler, had the most enthusiasm I can remember coming from any artist I’ve seen which still keeps me excited today. He taught art in an adventurous way which made it even more likeable and when you love what you do this extra enthusiasm comes naturally in the form of just being creative with things.
Why was learning how to draw so important to me?
Because I had fun doing it.
Watching my favorite TV show combined with doing what I loved, “drawing”, later on, evolved into me asking my parents to take me to the library so I could check out books on how-to-draw.
At the time, drawing seemed like the only thing I would be doing forever even though it was just for fun.
Before I continue, I also want to highlight how much the people around me have influenced my artwork over the years starting with my school teachers. They are ones in particular that have definitely pushed my abilities further in art just by just having critiqued me on all of my work.
To this day even with the book covers that I design, critiquing is and always will be a key to improvement on all ends. So again, without my teachers, I probably wouldn’t be where I am at today.
How did I go from drawing to book cover design?
In 2012, I was working at a pet store here in Grand Rapids, Michigan called V.I.Pets.
I loved working there, but honestly I needed a change at the time, so in August 2013, I left that job to instead go attend Central Michigan University as a student where I planned on majoring in Graphic Design, even though I had never laid a finger on Photoshop up until that point.
After I got all moved out from home and moved into the dorms at the university I really felt I was ready to take on the entire school year…I was kind of wrong about that haha. The first month of school I was working a job on campus as an audio/video technician for University Events, juggling classes, hanging out with friends here and there, and then this happened, my Graphic Design teacher in class said this, “For this project, you have to redesign a book cover of your choice.”. At first I didn’t think much of it so I eagerly jumped right into the design process, got started, and finished my design that later on that day in my dorm room, this is when things started to click.
Fast-forward to about 2 week later, everyone was finished with their book cover designs, the whole class met up at this huge conference table in one of the halls at the university, and we presented our covers in front of everyone in that class. Normally I don’t really like to present things but In this case, it was my art so I felt enthusiastic and confident about it . I remember one of the kids in class saying, “his book cover looks like a real published one.”, and at that exact moment I thought hmmm, “I definitely have something here.”
By the time I made it back to my dorm room that night I was already getting my name out their online to become a freelance book cover designer. And from that point on, it was really hard for me to focus on class because I really only wanted to work on book cover design in my dorm room. And when I did make it to class after that I would only make it through one before leaving to go back to my dorm room to work on more book cover designs. I couldn’t stop thinking about how I’d rather be creating book covers vs. studying or getting caught up with all of the school work even though that’s when I enrolled for like every other student.
I found what I wanted to do and didn’t let go.
After 2 months, I left to move back home with the mindset that I would take my art career to the next level. My mom said I had to have a job if I moved back home at the time to make money so I picked up a 30 hour a week gig working at a car wash while I was building up my book cover design portfolio and website.
At the car wash, we had this little room, with 2 big windows, a computer, and a heater in it, to wait in while we were in between cleaning cars. Many days of the days when I was working there I would just find myself just gazing through the window outside thinking about my next move and what it would be. Eventually, I built up my platform online and quit working there and have been an active book cover designer ever since.
What is my mission?
To create eye-catching book cover designs for authors, writers, and self-publishers who want to catch MORE readers attention and sell MORE books.
Think about it like this, if you’ve put hundreds or even thousands of hours into writing your book then the last thing you want to do is mess it up with a bad book cover design. The first thing readers are going to see is your book cover. If you really want to make an impact as an author, make sure that your book cover stands out and you will do well guaranteed.