Feedback Please! New Black Swan Inheritance Cover Design by Emma Wakeling

I introduced Emma Wakeling here in my previous post as my new cover designer, and now I’d like to ask you all for some feedback on the fruit of Emma’s labour:

Book Cover2

What’s your first impression? We welcome all sorts of criticism so don’t be shy to use the comments’ section below! Hell, even email me if you like: nogaku89@gmail.com

Book Cover2

I think it looks great in thumbnail form too 🙂

Emma reduced the moon a little after Jade from Scatterbooker pointed out that the title would look better with an entirely black background:

Before                                          After

Book Cover rough         Book Cover2

I miss the moon being as big as it was, but the title does ‘pop’ a lot more. What do you think?

Emma read the book and sketched some ideas after our first lot of brainstorming. I’ve including the sketches below to show the thought process behind creating the finished product.

FYI you can check out the rest of Emma’s art on Facebook and Deviant Art.

Sketches that lead to the Final Cover:

Anita’s Profile, with her black hair turning into a Swan:

Sketch_Anita

Emma decided to use soft features for Anita, which I really like. It reminds us how young she is, and her haunted expression says to me that she’s got something weighing on her mind, like she’s trying to psyche herself up up to do something. That’s my opinion anyway. What’s yours?

Black Swan, Head Bowing with the Moon

Sketch_Flighing Swan 1

I loved this image too so I asked Emma to combine this one with Anita’s profile. I think this makes the final cover look like the ‘thing’ that’s weighing on Anita’s mind is literally the inheritance of the Black Swan, with the image of the Swan dripping poison/blood into Anita’s mind. I know that’s not quite what the magic is about, but the inheritance has greatly affected Anita’s life, for better and worse. I love the trippiness of the final image and how Emma pulled off the combination of the two previous images 🙂

Other Sketches

Black Swan in Flight with Moon in Background

Sketch_Flighing Swan 2

Profile of Wicked, Snake-like Black Swan

Sketch_Swan 3

Book Cover2

Advertisements

Artist Showcase: Emma Wakeling

I contacted an old chum from my uni days and discovered that she has her own portfolio! So without further ado, here is Emma Wakeling, artist extraordinaire:

Emma Wakeling ProfileNo, she’s not a cat 😉 but she is very much a cat enthusiast, and a damned good artist. Above is a picture she drew of her Teddy.

I decided to ask her if she’d be interested in working on a new book cover for The Black Swan Inheritance, and also work on the book cover for the sequel further down the track (FYI, I’m currently 45k/~75k words into it). And Emma said yes! In fact, she is currently looking for any commission work to add her professional portfolio.

So I wanted to showcase my new book cover designer 🙂 Emma’s art is very versatile: she’s done mythological creatures, landscapes, abstracts, portraits and animals. You can check out all of Emma’s work at her Facebook page and her Deviant Art Profile. Here are the pieces that she’s completed that really wowed me:

The_Griffin_by_Disturb963

This is ‘The Griffin’ which has been very popular on Emma’s Deviant Art site. Someone even got it as a tattoo!

random_by_disturb963-d30pxtb

I love this piece! It’s called ‘Random’. Emma did this a while ago but the image could be perfectly applicable to the mind of the Black Swan Witch! ‘Cept the bird isn’t a swan 😦 How cool is it though?! Very, that’s how much. And Emma has let me use it as a banner! What will I use a banner for? It’s just up on my book page at the moment with some text, but I’ll think of other uses for it.

landscape_by_disturb963-d7exyxi

A beautiful example of what Emma can do with landscapes, lighting and texture. Just gorgeous.

my_brother_s_warframe__nyx__by_disturb963-d7gne2d

I just wanted to add this image in because I think it’s awesome. Emma says it’s her brother’s warframe Nix, which is a character from a Steam game that neither of us play. Cool but.

About Emma Wakeling:

Emma Wakeling is both a geoscientist and an artist. She has currently put aside her scientific self to develop her more creative side which includes studying graphic design. Emma started drawing at young age, she loved to draw demons, dragons and strange monsters. Nothing much has changed since those days, except that most of her drawings are now done on the computer. She is currently looking for any commission work to add her professional portfolio.

If you would like to contact Emma, you can send a message through either her Facebook or Deviant Art accounts.

The Black Swan Inheritance Covers, plus Blurby Fun

Hear ye, hear ye! Well, actually I want you to do the talking and for me to listen! I’ve got a few different concepts thanks to your input last time, so I hope these new covers are a little more exciting than the last ones. Leiah said she liked the glowing feathers and seeing more of the swan. Rosh liked the original picture the best so maybe I should just use that but I can’t help fiddling with things! Bethany advised I work on the font, so I’ve played around with a few different types as you’ll see below. Wlloydjr suggested focusing on the texture of the wings, which I definitely like the idea of as it makes it much simpler, in an ‘uncomplicated and pleasing to the eye’ sense.

I’m still loving the photo, but as far as making it a cover I can’t really commit to any of the ones I’ve made. Leiah said that I should use a cover I’m happy with, but truth be told I just don’t know anymore! Help! Do I go with dark or elegant? I like both! And I think both hint to the story within… so I’m at a bit of a loss.

So I have some covers that are complicated, some that are simple, and I’ve included the original picture too in case people still like that one and want me to stop messing with it!

Black Swan Feathers Cover

Final Copy8Feather Texture

Black Swan

And just for reference’s sake, here’s the first cover I worked on:

Book1_3_without_beakI hope I’ve improved!

 What did you like? What didn’t you like? Whole picture or zoomed-up texture?

Once again, my book should will be released December 1st! This is the current blurb, completely different from the last one I posted:

The striking Black Swan is native to Australia, unrelated to the seemingly pure White Swan of Europe. She is found in the strangest of places – from ugly mines to cultivated farms, beautiful bushland to violent coastline.

Yet, she always shies away from humanity.

The Black Swan is always beautiful, surprisingly resilient and very, very powerful. Most Black Swans are wise enough not to use that power to challenge the status quo.

Most…

And this is the blurb that I posted a while ago and got great feedback on, but like the lazy busy person I am I haven’t gone back to edit the blurb based on those comments. Well, not properly at least – I did change the last line, and made a minor change of the last sentence of the first paragraph. If you’re interested in reading that post and those comments, you can find it here.

Anita had the kind of reputation in high school that no one wants to carry into adulthood, especially since she wants to be a doctor like her dad. Now at university, she is determined to be good, but one little end-of-semester celebration can’t hurt, right? Well, it can if she ends up having a one-night stand with a werewolf that triggers a dark awakening. Turns out Anita’s over-active libido has become more than something hormonal – it’s magical.

The Black Swan is a powerful legacy that brings both temptation and danger. Having now inherited the title and all that comes with it, Anita finds herself beset upon by ancient abominations that won’t take no for an answer. No wonder the Black Swan had been driven to seclusion and banishment in the past. But Anita is determined not to run away – she is here to help, whether the medieval dragon-wolf or the undead cultists want it or not.

She will be no one’s pawn. She will rise to the challenge.

If she can just manage to deal with her own flaws first. Anxiety, panic-attacks, and bouts of bitchiness does not a successful diplomat make.

I should also mention that you can find all the posts to date related to my book under the “Black Swan Inheritance” category. Because I like to believe I have fans 🙂 Hey, you gotta be optimistic when you’re pursing a career in something creative, or anything you love.

To be fair, I will always write, regardless of what the future brings. But since I have the option to self-publish: YEAH! Of course I’m going to try that!

Shamelessness. It is incredibly liberating 😀

Gaudi in Barcelona

???????????????????????????????

It is so difficult to get the Segrada Familia in one shot! It’s too tall. And there’s not enough empty space around to back up enough to get a good picture. But it is excellent though. And it’s only about a third finished.

This is what it’s meant to look like when it’s all done:

IMG_0719

Gaudi didn’t believe in straight lines. He also believed in trying to emulate nature in his work. But above all, he wasn’t just an artists or an architect: he was an engineer. His landscapes and houses were designed with practicality. Even the cathedral (which is possibly where we got the word ‘gaudy’ from) is practical in that the belltowers were designed so that the music was directed to the street below, instead of just out into the open air.

Guell Park, Gaudi’s Landscape Art:

IMG_0785 IMG_0784

IMG_0777

IMG_0753

DSCN6990

DSCN6976

I found it really hard to capture the scope of Guell Park. That, and everyone was spread out lying over everything so their friends/family can take pictures of them. I don’t get posing for pictures. I liked taking pictures of the things I’ve gone to see, but not so much of myself.

???????????????????????????????

I’m sure they’re a lovely family but all I can think is: GET OUT OF MY SHOT!

Oh! And I saw selfie sticks EVERYWHERE. Have you heard of that? It’s a stick where you put your phone on the end so you can take pictures of yourself from further back.

Sometimes, I feel a little put out that I was born in this generation. Then I remember I grew up with Sailor Moon and I’m happy again.

I love Gaudi’s work, but I didn’t really fall in love with it properly until Casa Batllo. Which I think I will cover in another post because this one has already gotten a little long for me 🙂

A couple of last shots of the Sagrada Familia before I go! What it looks like, and what it’s meant to look like…

DSCN6910

IMG_0721f

IMG_0723