Sunday, February 19, 2012

Cover Art Again: Mad Science Sunday

When last we left our intrepid self-publisher, I was trying to figure out how one might find an illustrator for one's book, and then received a lot of Excellent Advice from Rob Bowker, plus a swarm of email from very talented people. So, you say, what's happened since then?

Nothing! I say. Well, not quite nothing. I had an idea and a vision but lack the skills to make those a reality,  and then I found someone willing to try to combine the three, and then schedules and Real Life intervened in both our lives, and the whole thing went fizzle. You might remember this book from the hastily assembled default cover that I slapped up in CreateSpace:

Time to Edit, or, the Proof is in the Pruning

Yeah, I don't like it either, but I was short on time and talent, and that's the best I could do.

OK, now let's jump into some mad science. I've dabbled in carving rubber stamps from erasers -- though I can't find any reference to it on the blog -- and when I was a better pen pal, I'd thwock a couple impressions on the envelopes or the letter. The erasers come from the dollar store, and are cheaper and a lot more disposable than a piece of linoleum if I make a goof.

A few days ago I got the brilliant-in-my-own-mind idea to get a cheap picture frame to hold a number of these stamps together to either allow me to combine them an make a large stamp area, or to let me re-arrange them and do some sort of modular design. As I started playing around with the idea of multiple stamps, and laying them on top of each other, and cover art, and...

Wait a minute!

Cover Art: The Carvening

That red thing is the Speedball lino-carving set; the blades store in the handle. I started noodling around with a dragon stamp which you can see, and I'm sketching out the stamps for the rest of the cover. I've decided that this will be a hybrid stamp-and-scanner operation, but I'm pretty excited. I plan to carve out the titles today. Stay tuned.


This is your brain on a lot of carving. Oof. I think the bulk of it is done. Tomorrow, I work on getting clean impressions and a good scan, and then off to digital cleanup.

The Carveningination: Aftermath


Mike Speegle said...

You, sir, have stepped up the game once again. You appear to be taking the whole "self-publishing" thing to a whole new level.

But the tag "fun with rubber"? For shame.

Bill M said...

I have not made any rubber stamps for a long time. They are fun to make. Now to publish with them That is real dedication.

deek said...

When all else fails, DIY. I subscribe that philosophy as well!!! Good luck.

Rob Bowker said...

You could be onto something there. I have used endorsing ink pads but never got an especially black black.

Cameron said...

What a great idea! Stamps are fun, and it's especially cool that you are designing your own cover. It adds an extra personal dimension to your written words.

I've been collecting stamps lately and need to have James build me some sort of shelf to keep them all.