Designer Interview: Daqri of Covers by Combs

Hello Daqri from Cover by Combs! Tell us about your creative journey. 
It started with a love of books–and art! Writing, art, graphic design and programing were my biggest escapes as a teenager and still as an adult. I had experience designing covers, and over the years I’ve been soaking up everything I can about cover art and books in general.

What part of book cover design do you find most compelling?
The power of art. An amazing cover can stop someone in their tracks. It can make them look. And I guess, I really just like making things that are nice to look at!

What do authors need to know to have the best outcome when working with a professional cover designer?
Choose badass over accurate. Let your cover artist design to market. And most importantly, give your designer some freedom to be creative. My best designs happened when I knew I had the creative freedom to do whatever I had to to get a gorgeous, marketable cover.

What does your creative/workspace look like? What tech/computer do you use?
I like being surrounded by my animals. My husband would rather have me tucked away in an office, but I really prefer being around everything, so I’m set up in my living room! Electric standing desk, and maxed out MacBook Pro attached to a Cintiq Pro 24inch. I like the minimalist style for my desk. The cleaner the better.

Tell us about your fur baby assistants.
I have 6! My soul dog, Dusk, who is a German Shepherd. Our goofy Golden Retriever Bailey. We have a family of 3 Siamese cats who literally have their own lives in our house. We get treated like annoying neighbors by those three. Then there’s Esme, our chonky kitty, who will do anything to get a pet.

What do you enjoy most about being a book cover designer?
Going onto Amazon and seeing my authors k i l l i t.

What do you do when you find yourself creatively blocked?
I do a mix of two things. Give myself the space to rest, but don’t deny taking inspiration from art by just browsing. I go through periods where the idea of doing premades is unbearable mentally. Pinterest browsing is my creative therapy.

Do you have a favorite genre or theme to design for and why is your favorite?
Pretty fantasy art–or alien man chest. Two very different things that I’m equally obsessed with! I get to play with colors most for those!

What do you do when you’re not designing? Any hobbies?
I’m going to be honest, if I’m not working on a cover, I’m cleaning. And I have been trying to read more lately! I feel like I always need to be doing something and I’m trying to work on that.

You’ve also published books as an author. Which came first? And do you think the fact that you are an author yourself helps you to communicate with the authors you work with? 
They came at the exact same time, actually. I’ve been writing for as long as I’ve been designing covers, over 10 years. Though professionally offering my services for graphic design happened within the last 5. I know it helps with communication and portraying ideas–as well as understanding tropes and the elements within them that can be used in crafting a cover! (Editor’s Note: Check out Daqri’s novels here.)

What are you reading right now?
Historical Romance. I’m in a book-funk right now and HR is the only thing that does it for me!

Is this your dream job? If you weren’t designing book covers, what would you be doing?
I can honestly say this is my dream job. I have more good days than bad (by a landslide) and I look forward to waking up and hopping onto my computer. If I weren’t designing covers, I would be writing!

Find Daqri here:

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