How to Choose an Artist for Your Novel Cover

How to Choose an Artist for Your Novel Cover

Why pick Noah Regan to design your book cover?

He designs with the writer in mind and has the talent to view your work through his eyes. He paints with passion and a sense of duty to the novel. He takes those thoughts and wrings out a true depiction of what your novel says to the reader. I interviewed Noah for this important section. Your book cover tells the world if you are a serious writer. In between questions, I will bring in some of Noah’s creations…including my own cover. I think his answers will help you in your important process of picking a book cover designer.

Here is my logo Noah designed for my Publishing company. An image of my beautiful Rosebud. The lab I miss with all of my heart. Noah hit a homerun here. When I saw this painting my eyes filled with tears.

 

As you can see his talent is quite evident. he captured Rosebud as she was. Majestic and caring. He put a glint in her eyes which accentuated her intelligence and bravery.

Thanks Noah!

Here is the interview I promised you.

Noah Regan

I always loved to draw since I was five. Part of my lifetime goal was to be an illustrator as well as a cartoonist. Thankfully, my career allows me to do both (I’m an editorial cartoonist for the Waterloo Courier). I went to school for commercial art but I wasn’t really satisfied with the education I received. I eventually got a job in graphic design (which is a far cry from illustration) and worked at an advertising agency for six years. I got burnt out with that and left that job for a more hands-on job (literally). I worked in construction for the next handful of years, all while learning illustration and digital painting on the weekends through online courses. 

Then, about three years ago I was confident in my skills enough to leave my day job and to commercial art full time. I work everyday (part of the days on weekends), and if there’s ever a tight deadline then I find myself working in the wee hours of the morning which sounds like it’s a pain, but thinking back on my short career thus far, some of my happiest memories are from working at 1:00 in the morning. 

There are plenty of times I don’t feel like painting since it’s incredibly tedious and quite frankly boring. But, I’m motivated to do it when I’m working on fun projects (like your own) or when I have a great idea of my own that I want to bring to life. It’s incredibly rewarding to see what you have in your head manifest on the screen. Also, I appreciate that I get breaks from it when I make editorial cartoons. Those are fast and fun and one doesn’t have to get mired in the details. 

When it comes to book covers, I feel like they’re incredibly important. I listen to quite a lot of audiobooks because with my job, (I always need something to keep my mind company while I work). I find myself scrolling through audiobooks to listen to and found that I’ve chosen books in the past simply because they had a great cover. It’s incredibly unfair to great books which have bad covers, but what do you do? I see a cool cover and that makes me want to read the teaser for the book, and the next thing you know, I’m listening to it!

Though, what specifically makes for a great cover is hard to say. some of the books I listen to have a location on the cover, some have faces on the cover, many feature people with their backs to you on the cover (which is a popular thing right now) and some have just words. I think it’s less what’s on the cover and more about it being properly executed and professional looking. 

As for designing your cover, Steve, when you mentioned you wanted an old detective paperback-looking cover, my head swam with a lot of ideas. I’m a huge fan of golden age illustrators like Dean Cornwell, Tom Lovell, Harry Anderson, Gil Elvgren, and this type of cover would be right up their alley, so I was excited to work on it. I took it a step further and gave the cover a gritty appearance. I wanted the book cover to look like it would be at home in one of those rotating wire paperback book displays in a drug store sixty years ago. 

I usually come up with my ideas when I’m away from my desk. It’s often while I’m walking, or on the rowing machine, or treadmill. I can’t sit and think about the composition, I get distracted too easily. But, if I’m moving my body, ideas seem to materialize and I get excited and type in notes into my cell phone as quickly as possible. Coming up with the composition is usually the most fun part of the job. The hard work comes in trying to make it look as good as you envisioned. 

Rockwell is a huge inspiration to me. He was not only great at creating perfectly balanced compositions, but his attention to detail is incredible (see Shuffleton’s Barbershop) and he was able to tell a little story visually with every painting he did. 

I’m always up for working on book covers! You can check out my work at my portfolio website Arthouseill.com. Also, I’m represented by the agency IllustrationX. On my profile page (https://www.illustrationx.com/artists/NoahRegan) there’s a “contact” button where one can chat with one of my representatives. Those ladies are very professional and nice and will answer any question you have.