Designer Interview: Tiffany of TEBlack Designs

Hello Tiffany! Please share with us how you became a book cover designer.
It’s a pretty funny story. I’ve always had a love for art and being creative. Since I was little, I was painting, drawing, doing anything that involved art. I’ve been saying I wanted to be a graphic designer when I grow up for as long as I can remember to be honest.

It wasn’t until 2015, that I started designing book covers. A few years prior, I met an author at a book signing and began making some teasers for her on my iPad. I designed graphics for her, and every time she’d push me closer to book covers without even knowing it. One time she’d ask for a teaser, then she’d ask for me bookmark, then she’d ask for me an option on a book cover she was getting designed, etc until finally she just asked me if I could learn how to make a book cover. From that very first book cover, I was hooked and never stopped.

What part of book cover design do you find most compelling?
I love a good challenge! When a client comes to with a design that tests my skills, they always come out the best designs.

What do authors need to know to have the best outcome when working with a professional cover designer?
I always tell my clients the best outcome comes from trust. You need to trust your designer. A good designer will create your vision but also make sure it looks great.

What does your creative/workspace look like? What tech/computer do you use? (pic would be great, but not required.)
Ohhh! Great Question! My workspace has come a long way. Sometimes I’ll admit that I’m guilty of working on my couch, but my main setup is a Macbook Pro 16 inch, a 24 inch Wacom Cintiq Pro, an iMac as a second display, and my Secret Lab Omega chair! I also have and iPad Pro for working on the go with my Macbook Pro.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Pinterest. I always check out other book cover designs, and even art in general. Pinterest is probably the most inspirational place on the internet.

What do you enjoy most about being a book cover designer?
I love the excitement from a client when they see their first cover design proof. There is nothing that makes me happier than a client being speechless over a cover I designed.

What makes a book cover great?
The little details. I pride myself on never making a basic plain cover design. If you look closely you will always find a little detail or something that has a part of myself and the client’s story in it. (Unless the client decides otherwise of course, haha.)

What do you do when you find yourself creatively blocked?
I sign off for the day. Typically this will happen if I’m feeling burned out. I will usually give myself a day or two break and play some video games to relax and try again.

Describe your ideal client.
My ideal client is someone who is kind, respectful, does genre research but also has their own vision in mind. I also love when a client trusts me to give their story an amazing cover. Trust is one of the most important parts of cove design.

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?
Yes I have! I’ve published 7 novels (4 with a co-author). Book Cover Designing came first.

What do you do when you’re not designing? Any hobbies?
Yes! I love the outdoors, playing video games and reading.

What is one thing about cover design that might surprise us?
The countless hours the job requires. There are many people who think a cover is easy, but I’ve sometimes spent up to two or three days trying to get a design just right. I’ve sat up until midnight when I was supposed to only work until 6 pm because I was so into working on a design. Sometimes I work on weekends, even if I’m not supposed to, or on weekend getaways. Thank goodness for a supportive husband.

What are you reading right now?
Den of Vipers by K.A. Knight (Audiobook)

Is this your dream job? If you weren’t designing book covers, what would you be doing?
Designing book covers is who I am, but if I had to pick something else, I’d be a veterinarian.

What’s your proudest career achievement so far?
Designing over 700 book covers to date.

Where do you see the future of book cover design and indie publishing headed?
I see it growing more and more every day. I truly believe the future of book cover design and indie publishing is infinite.

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