Farewell…and good riddance 2020!
2020 has been one long, tiring and challenging year. I am over it. There is no better word to describe the year for me than exhausted. 2021 can only be an improvement on many levels. Thankfully I did not become ill with COVID – but of course it will be weeks, if not months, before I can receive a vaccination. *fingers crossed* I do wish everyone a safe, restful transition into the New Year. And may we see the end of this dreadful virus so we can all get back to some normalcy in our lives.
Due to how hectic my working life was in 2020, I have been mulling over how to make changes in order to fit my commercial design career better into my daily life – where I am not so exhausted to the point of becoming burned out again. I need a good balance between working for others and creating for myself. And of course, I must take better care of myself or my career will not have the longevity that I hope and plan for either.
I purchased an older Macbook Pro a few months ago and installed Vellum on it to see what I thought of that program vs. InDesign. I was taught how to format in college via InDesign, but it is not as quick and easy as one might think – there are a zillion options available, but having complete control over your project is not necessarily a good thing when it comes to interior design for fiction book publishing. Simple is good. And so Vellum is certainly easier – takes a great deal of the choices in formatting out of the user’s hands (unlike InDesign). Thus, I am contemplating adding interior formatting to my offered services (maybe). Nothing too fancy, and it is not a task that I will do for those who micro-manage their projects to begin with. But it might be worth it for me – especially if turning away the sort of work that exhausts me for the straight forward tasks of interior formatting if it actually saves my brain from exploding in frustration. *laughs* I currently liaison with a great formatter with many shared clients though, and I would not want to disrupt that working relationship at all. I am simply considering it for new clients/existing clients who do not currently use a formatter that I personally know.
All that I am certain of is that I MUST find a way to enjoy all of my work in design again. I need to produce work that I am proud of every time. I do not need to take on jobs for folks who will not leave me to design for them. Why hire a professional and experienced designer if you are only going to dictate every aspect of the project? We both end up frustrated even if we do get to where you want the cover to be. And do not get me started on low resolution web images people insist on using vs. print resolution resources that are actually required. *laughs*
A Few Personal Best Moments From 2020
I did produce a good amount of designs this year including numerous covers, marketing graphics and logos….and looking back over everything completed, I have a few personal favorite cover designs where I got to stretch my legs as a designer and/or the clients are great collaborators:
All titles are on Amazon US and Amazon UK – all but two are available now with the final two releasing shortly.
A Sword Among Ravens
A Mirror Murder (coming January 19th)
What Grows In Your Garden?
The Queen Who Became King (coming this Spring)
One Summer In Spain
Willow’s Wedding Vows
The Watchful Neighbour
Rocket’s Red Glare
Thank you to all of my clients who brought me their projects and supported my work in 2020 –
we survived COVID together!!
I also created a handful of designs for myself. I intend on making more time perusing this area of design in 2021. These are available for purchase on a variety of products via my RedBubble account. I have endless ideas for more intricate designs, but I must find more time in my schedule to create them. I absolutely LOVE working with custom fonts.
While I ponder how I wish to proceed – which projects that I accept, if I shall add formatting to my wares, and those projects that I may refuse – I will take one last opportunity to point out that one should always leave design to the designer. If one micro-manages the design process, then one is not receiving the best work from the designer. If a client does not trust their designer, then why hire them at all? We designers know our business. We know the market. We know how to create a powerful and effective cover for a book. Give us general input at the start, let us create for you, then have a feedback discussion to finalize. You will always get our best work that way. Always.
On that note, have a great start to 2021 and be safe out there!