Instead of doing the work that I need to do this weekend or working on my writing, I was…um…learning new skills. (Okay, so I did some of the things on my to-do list for this month, but I still have a lot to go and not much month left.) My weekend was filled with hours of playing with GIMP.
GIMP is open source software similar to Photoshop. It’s massively complicated and is taking me forever to learn the little details of the program. Someday I’m going to invest in a drawing pad and enter my own artwork. For now, though, I’m stuck using my laptop which gives me limited flexibility. Have you ever tried to draw anything with a touchpad? It does not work. A mouse isn’t much better.
My latest project is to take book covers that I’m not at all impressed with and redo them. Since I don’t have full knowledge of how to use GIMP, I try and hope for the best. Declan Finn has been nice enough to be a guinea pig for me and let me redo the header for his blog and facebook. And I’m redoing covers for his Pius Trilogy and two new anthologies that will be come out in November (I think.)
This is the old header. Not very exciting and doesn’t include his newest book, Honor At Stake.
Here are the new headers I put together. Not overly fancy, but it goes the full width of the header space of the blog and showcases all of his books.
I actually love the A Pius Man cover done by Sarah-Jane Lehoux, but it looks out of place with the later two covers. I believe she also did the last cover, which is okay, but I really dislike the coloring on the text. Red on black background is near impossible to read on a thumbnail image. My original intent was to redo the last two covers to work with the first cover, but my skills aren’t that good, yet. Instead, I redid all three covers using Declan’s ideas.
These are the three new covers I came up with. I learned a few new tricks along the way too, like how to move text around without wanting to throw my computer through a window. Now that they are next to each other, I see a few things I need to fix. Plus there are a couple of things that Declan wants changed, so they aren’t entirely finished.
For his new books, Declan made some rough (very very rough) covers for the books. I won’t say there horrible, but, Declan you should probably stick to writing.
The redone covers, which I had to quick fix because I forgot the tag lines. I decided to make these covers blend in with The Pius Trilogy covers, but also stand out as something different. The black and white cover turned out okay, the Holidays one, looks like it’s being viewed through night vision goggles. These two will be getting a bit more work done on them before Declan’s books come out. So check back for the final versions soon.
That is it for now. If there are any other guinea pigs who would like a bit of free design work done between now and the end of the year, shoot me an email.