I sketched out a rough draft one day while I was on my break and having lunch at Subway.
Later I refined my drawings and colored them in using markers and colored pencils, a technique I learned in design school from Ryan Kapp.
And here are my covers now. Below each one is the blurb that will accompany it.
The beauty of self-publishing is in the creative control I get. It's nice to have the freedom of self-expression. It's nice not to have to ask for permission. In some ways I feel as though creating book covers with Black characters on them is a revolutionary act. There are very few novels in the Young Adult genre that have Black teenagers on them. When they do appear, they are often in silhouette.
When I showed my cover designs to some other artists to get feedback, one of them said that nobody wants to buy a book with a Black girl on the cover. Nobody? Really?
Tell that to the enthusiastic fans of Daniel José Older's new YA Novel Shadowshaper, which features a captivating Afro-Latina protagonist.
Or to Naomi Jackson, author of The Star Side of Bird Hill.
I decided not to do what I had all too often done before, to try so hard to make my work "universal" and "relatable" that I exclude myself from it. And I am happy with the result.
The three special edition covers will be a feature of the hardcover version. And there is more book-related art to come, so come back in a few days to see my next blog post about it. Or visit my new Tumblr.