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VRiosArt's Profile Picture
Artist | Professional | Digital Art
United States

My work is not free for use. I am available for commission and open to negotiations for previously created work.

Speaks: English, Spanish
Current Projects: Commissions, Colorist for "This Place Called Nowhere"
Current Location: Tacoma, WA

I’m a 20 something year old originally from Los Angeles County. I studied art for two years at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco where I learned fundamentals and gained a deep love for anatomy. I currently live in the Seattle/Tacoma area of Washington.

I like creating and drawing masculine women. Also big butts. I'm sorry, I cannot lie.

I use MyPaint as my main program and make minor edits in Photoshop. Anything not made with MyPaint is described as such.

I illustrate full time for a living.

You can contact me directly via email.

Find me on:

These are things that I wish I had known when I first started freelancing as a cover artist. In hindsight some of them seem pretty obvious but I honestly didn’t think to check for these. If you feel I missed something send me an email and the updated version will show up on this document.

Tips for Cover Art

Not about personal style

  • Preliminary work

    • Know the material

      • What is the genre? What is the tone? What is the message?

        • I find it best to read through the work I’m creating cover art for but if you don’t have time for that ask the editor/author for the bullet points and any significant excerpts.

        • while reading write down important scenes or phrases.

          • symbols, characters, images, mood

      • Do some research on the time period/genre of the book, see what other cover artists have come up with or what era-appropriate design elements you can include in your design.

        • Historical archives are your friends

    • Authors deserve input as well but not all authors (or people in general) know exactly how to explain what they want or even the finished look they want. Ask your author (or editor) what it is that they WANT, the feeling, the expression, the style, the overall message and then you can start a conversation about the expectations and what can/can not be achieved. Communication is key on both ends.

  • Execution

    • Thumbnails

      • Create at least a few different concepts, I recommend at least 10 with different compositions. If working in digital, limit yourself to 200-300 pixels and three tones.

    • Color

      • Link your color pallet to the book’s theme, tone, or genre.

        • Romance tends to go for warm colors. Pastels for cheerful or comedic romances, while the more serious or dramatic romances go for deep reds and blacks.

        • Sci-fi tends towards vibrant greens and blues contrasted against black.

        • etc.

    • Composition

      • Rule of thirds

      • Direct the eye to main subject while still keeping it flowing throught the page

      • Account for Title and Author

        • Figure out the layout of the Title, Author, and Blurb and how they’ll fit within the illustration. You’ll want a higher contrast between the words and the background so keep it in mind.

        • Some authors or book series may have a set template for the composition or a set frame for all the significant elements to create continuity between volumes.

      • Don’t forget to make the spine stand out and flow in theme to the cover as well. Sometimes all a person sees is the spine so keep that in mind. (if you’re designing it)

    • Typography

      • Title should almost always be significantly larger than the Author’s name.

        • Exceptions would be for famous authors whose work is sought out by their name.

          • Personal Opinion - I honestly judge a book by it’s typography, if the Author’s name is larger or equal to the Title it says (to me) that the publisher cares more about the name than the story and it feels like the story is probably no good or poorly edited/proofed.

      • Try not to use more than 2 fonts on the cover

      • Theme appropriate font

        • You don’t use curly fonts for apocalypse stories, and you don’t use broken fonts for romance novels. Look at the other books in your genre and find theme/genre appropriate fonts.

      • Space the title and author to span the width as much as possible

      • Do not stretch or skew the font you’re using, keep it the ratio the designer originally intended.

      • Add a blurb (if applicable)

  • Technical Aspects

    • Ratio and Resolution

      • General ebook

        • 1563 x 2500 pixels

        • 72 dpi

        • 2 mb

      • In general, you’ll want to work in 300 dpi at 5x7 (or larger) when working in print

      • The largest an online bookstore “requires” your resolution to be is 1618 x 2500, but in all honesty the fluctuating ratio and resolutions is about physical ebook reader products and in the end it doesn’t really matter because ebook readers adjust to fit the image within the display (if it’s formatted correctly, totally different topic)

    • Check B&W contrast

      • Some ebook readers do not display color (Kindles!) so you’ll want to make sure that your cover reads just as well in black and white as it does in color.

        • If you have an ebook reader at home you can always test your image out by using Calibre to create an ebook file and transfer it to your device.

    • Include bleed area for print covers

    • Color

      • RGB for digital files

      • CMYK for print (plenty of freeware out there to convert/edit files)

    • File Type

      • Most (if not all) ebook readers and printers require JPG files

      • Some take PNG and TIFF

  • Extra - Opinions!

    • Don’t show a character’s face

      • Unless the author has a very specific design in mind, it’s best to not include a clear face for a character. The best way to go about it is to either put the figure in obscured lighting, focus on specific body parts, or have the view point at their back. This allows the readers to imagine the protagonist as they (the readers) perceive them (the characters).

    • Cliche is okay

      • Certain tropes are popular for a reason. They work. If you feel your work is just like everyone else’s then that may not be a problem. The reader will see and go “Oh hey, this cover looks similar to the other 10+ books in my library that I love, I should check this book out.”

      • That’s not to say don’t try to personalize your own work, just don’t fret overmuch if it blends into the crowd a bit.

    • Don’t try to warp your style

      • The person hiring you based off the work in your portfolio is hiring you for your own personal style. Don’t try to emulate what you THINK is a better fit for the cover, just do you. People hire you for the work you love to do, not for the work you’re capable of.

        • Honestly didn’t think about this when I first started freelancing but I’ve read about it so often that I think it’s just a common mistake for newbies.

email adjustments/additions to

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Add a Comment:
Wabtfan Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:tip-hat: Greetings,

To be clear I was the lad with Rosey. It was such a value to be directed to talent like that which is displayed on your page and in your gallery, cheers.
Brownez-Koekoez Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My goodness, MyPaint user Headbang! 
(1 Reply)
Xilveros Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2015  Student Digital Artist
I'm not sure why I wasn't watching you before, but I am glad to have quickly amended that. :thumbsup:
(1 Reply)
PelicanBear Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you for the fave :)
(1 Reply)
Catic Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Thank you for the watch! :D
(1 Reply)
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