I discovered That Cover Girl earlier this year and now it’s a favorite read of mine. Hosted by Capillya Uptergrove, the site offers intelligent (and passionate!) analysis of YA covers. I love her insights and she never fails to amuse as she dissects. I was so happy when she agreed to do a guest post!
When I first sat down to write this interview for Heidi, I wasn’t quite sure how to go about introducing myself. If you read my bio page for That Cover Girl, it actually doesn’t say very much…about me. It’s misleading, I know. But since TCG’s inception, I always wanted each and every post to be about the illustrator, designer, photographer, or art director. I wanted it to be about the art and the artist (and my appreciation for their craft, of course).
So it may come as a surprise to some that I’m actually none of these things. Yes, this girl who’s been writing for a blog dedicated to YA cover art for the past year is actually not a designer herself. I don’t work in the publishing industry. I can’t even doodle a stick figure to save my life. I actually work in the television production industry, where my eye is trained to carefully watch the moving picture instead. My day-to-day revolves around producing, creating, revising and refining in the RGB realm. But working in this industry has placed me alongside illustrators and designers who inspire me with their work and have given me a sharper perspective when it comes to loving (and loathing) cover art.
My love for YA literature is not restricted to only admiring its covers and reading its books. I love art in all of its forms, from fine art to movie posters to children’s picture books. I just love staring at beautiful and intriguing things, apparently.
Behold, an example of such things:
I was nudged in the direction of The Only Ones’ cover art by my lovely friend Carla from The Crooked Shelf. (Side note: one great thing about having a YA cover art blog is that people are constantly asking me, “Have you seen this cover yet?”) The first thing I thought to myself (aside from “Wow, Carla really gets me”) was, “YES. ILLUSTRATED COVER.” I mention a multitude of times on TCG that I love illustrated covers, and they’re not used nearly enough in YA literature. I’ve found that a healthy amount of middle-grade books, like The Only Ones, incorporate illustrated jackets. I guess those junior high readers are lot less judgmental than teens? Mmm?
It really doesn’t come as a surprise that a James Dashner quote using the word “captivating” would be plastered across the front of this jacket design, either. I love how designer/illustrator Lisa Ericson has taken such muted and unobtrusive colors to create the exact opposite effect — an intriguing and peculiar cover. The best kinds of covers make you curious, and make you wonder what sort of story it’s trying to tell. Such is the case for The Only Ones’ cover art. Are they coming or going? What’s up with the key in the title? Why are they the only ones? Is that a time-traveling machine, a robot, or a spaceship?
I really, really hope that’s a spaceship.
When she’s not blogging for That Cover Girl, Capillya can also be found elsewhere online: Twitter and Tumblr. Thank you to Capillya for her keen insight! Give her some love in the comments! In between covers, I’m welcoming art directors, agents, artists, and designers as guests. If you would like to be Uncovered, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.