Let us have a little discussion about Academy books…

So, according to Goodreads, Academy Romance are books where the main theme (aside from the romantic connections and relationship development synonymous with the romance genre) centers around an academy or school of some kind… pretty obvious right? From my own reading, I worked out that they are generally paranormal or contemporary, some have bullying, most have rich kids vs poor kids, and sometimes  polyamorous love (bless). I also identified that there seems to be a pretty simple formula for creating artwork for these stories. 

Bright colours, simple yet effective backgrounds usually depicting the academy or academy location (forest, elven ruins, beachside etc), and STUNNING fonts, often with ligatures and glyphs. 

TIME FOR THE CONTROVERSY Sorry not sorry, but aside from a few of my all-time favorite artists, most academy books just look the same! (GASP, WTF DID SHE JUST SAY? PRETENTIOUS B**CH! HOW DARE SHE! I LOVE MY ACADEMY BOOKS!!!)

LETS BE FRANK HERE PEOPLE when you combine the same backgrounds (big gates, castles, or forests), and the same models with identical Frankensteined heads, who all wear the same uniforms, combined with the epic overuse of Cinzel Font – THE COVERS LOOK THE SAME!!!! I actually die a little inside when I have to use Cinzel font now, even though it is a beautiful and well-crafted font.

Not wanting to blend in, I faced a real problem. I want my clients to have unique covers that POP, but i also want them to be obviously academy? How the HELL do I make academy books and NOT fall into the same trope traps as everyone else – I mean, it’s CLEARLY what the customers want and it is working super well for some artists. All they do is academy art, in the same style, with the same fonts, and they are booked out for months!

THE TRUTH: I have always been too scared to try academy for myself. I honestly didn’t think I had the skill for making these covers look good and stand out amongst the other THOUSAND academy covers. How do you make a buxom blonde in a short skirt with blue and pink overtones standing in front of a cast-iron gate look different from the last buxom brunette in a short skirt with blue and pink overtones standing in front of a cast-iron gate? Give her pink hair? Make her have thick thighs? Sigh…. it just wasn’t enough. So, as I started learning about new techniques for creating backgrounds, light effects, and photo manipulation (thanks NeoStock and PhotoManipulation for your UNBELIEVABLE tutorials – links at the bottom of this post – you should totally check them out) I started to think maybe I should give academy a try.

First, I started researching. I created mood boards of my favourite academy books on Pinterest (yes you can see them if you visit my Pinterest page).

Next, I watched as many wonderful photo manipulation tutorials as I could on creating lighting effects, conceptualization, composition, and font work. Lastly, I started buying all the stock that sang to my heart (ACADEMY IS EXPENSIVE PEOPLE).  

And these are what I came up with… I hope you like them as much as my clients did. They all sold within minutes.  🙂  I would love to work on more academy in the future.

I once again would like to thank all of my clients, from the bottom of my heart, for choosing my art to be the face of your stories, and thus, allowing me to earn a living doing something I truly love.

(5433) Photo Manipulation – YouTube

NeoStock | Cinematic Stock Photography™ for Book Cover Design (neo-stock.com)

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New PREMADES just hit the store!

This week was Mafia and MC romance! I was so excited to have some left to show you.

For those of you who don’t know, I have an exclusive chat where I premiere all my premades for each week. I release between 10 and 20 new covers a week, and most sell inside the chat before they have a chance to hit my store here. I also have a full-year plan of what premades I’m releasing and when.

To be a part of my exclusive little harem of clients – please message or email me 😉 everyone is welcome.

Here is the yearly premades schedule 🙂 be sure to pop in when you can to have an exclusive peek into premades for your chosen genre.

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Fae, fairy, faery…

I LOVE all things fae.

My favourite movie is The Dark Crystal. I have been obsessed with this movie since I was two years old. I tortured my parents with it for decades.

I have always been especially amazed and addicted to the fantastic, beautiful, unique gorgeous (you get the idea) artwork by Brian Froud, who created the character and world design.

The wonderful man created an entire religion for the planet! His art is out of this world. As the concept artist for the movie, Brian developed all the characters in the film. He made elaborate puppets, none of which are based on humans or any specific earth creatures, though they all have strong visual connections to creatures associated with their personalities. I believe (though I may be wrong) that The Dark Crystal was the first live-action film that didn’t employ any humans on screen. If you are lucky enough to see the making of (available in any good box set I am sure), pay attention to the gorgeous watercolor backgrounds, phenomenal modeling, and unbelievable character development! It will blow your MIND… *Clears throat after screeching at the top of her lungs in excitement*

…anyway I digress.

Last week I was sick and couldn’t release the academy and fae books promised, so I did a double release this week and included fae, steampunk, and academy (the last blog rant about my academy covers can be seen somewhere on this site… I think you have to scroll down).   Now, I am no Brian Froud, but I executed these fae covers with as much passion and love as I could 🙂 Everything sold in my chat, so I guess it worked.

Take a look at this week’s fae covers…

I once again would like to thank all of my clients, from the bottom of my heart, for choosing my art to be the face of your stories, and thus, allowing me to earn a living doing something I truly love.

 

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PARANORMAL Hits of 2020

These paranormal romance premades are some of my all-time favourites sold in 2020… I am still waiting for most of these beauties to be written, but my goodness, I am excited! I real ALL of my clients works and i have never nce regretted it. I have mentioned before how much I would love to write, but i just dont seem to have the time to start.

I once again want to express my gratitude for authors, both indie and published. No matter where you come from, what yhou write, or who you write for, you are amazing, talented, and very much appreciated by this little designer.

I thank all of my clients, from the bottom of my heart, for chossing my art to be the face of your stories.

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CONTEMPORARY Hits of 2020

These contemporary romance premades are some of my favourites that sold in 2020… Some have been published already, others are still waiting. I wish I had enough talent to fill these gorgeous covers with beautifully crafted words, but alas, my talent lies in the more visual aspects of the indie community ;).

I commend anyone who can pour their heart and soul into a manuscript and then let others read it, and give a virtual SLAP to anyone who is unkind or unnecessarily critical in their reviews. Authors are brave, wonderful creatures, and I truly hope that you all know how much I admire you.

I cannot WAIT to read what fills these beauties.

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DARK ROMANCE Hits of 2020

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.”
― Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven

These dark and gothic romance premades sing to my heart in such a wonderful way. They are above all others, my favorite to create. 

 I have always been a person who loves the romanticism of dark, gothic tales. I grew up reading works by Anne Rice, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, H. P. Lovecraft, Oscar Wilde, and Edgar Allan Poe. I was obsessed with darker cult-classics such as The Dark Crystal, The Crow, and A Clockwork Orange. I still love Heavy Metal music and remember my mother’s horror when I brought home my first CD “Smells like children” by Marilyn Manson (I love you mum xoxo thanks for never giving up on your weird, arty child). My first celebrity crush was Jack Skellington. (Yes, I know he is not technically a real person, but neither are most pop stars, and people love them, right?) I can often be found collecting skulls and dead things, not because I like the fact that these wonderful creatures have died, but simply because I find death so fascinating and beautiful. I would one day LOVE to start carving skulls and adding them to my walls. Having said all this, my absolute favourite thing about the darker side of life is the beautiful art created in the hopes of exploring humanity’s hunger for destruction and death. Dali, Picasso, Bosch, and Goya to name but a few, inspire me in ways I can’t begin to explain.

My own little inclusion to this genre is my cover art. I one day hope to have more time to explore complex, surrealist techniques, or even have the time to publish some of my original paintings. Art will always be my true calling, whether it be digital or physical, I simply don’t care. I just want to create.

I once again would like to thank all of my clients, from the bottom of my heart, for choosing my art to be the face of your stories, and thus, allowing me to earn a living doing something I truly love.

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Valentine’s Day PREMADES


I love making holiday themed covers, and when they sell for just $49, they go very quickly. In fact, these covers sold in just over 5 minutes in my exclusive Facebook Chat.

Come join us on Facebook DAZED designs graphic art | Facebook and asked to be added into my chat for exclusive previews and sales.

We also have a social chat where we share all things author related, help, encourage, and support one another in this crazy indie author world. Come have fun with us and pick up some fantastic premades at the same time 🙂


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