Can you tell by the title that I've seen the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie recently?
Welcome to part 2 of my cover reveal a.k.a. the cover reveal that we didn't expect. But sometimes the things we don't see coming still work out in the end. And this cover is beautiful. Diana did an amazing job with the artwork, and Keylin put all the finishing touches together, giving The Legionnaire a new gilded look.
But before I show you the final images, how about a sneak peak behind the curtain of what cover design looked like this time around with an illustrator drawing artwork for the cover, instead of the design process we used when Keylin created the cover.
First things first, we had to find an artist. This was not an easy task, given that the complications I spoke of in my last blog post meant we were now down to two weeks before printing. That's an incredibly short turn around in the best of times, and we were not having the best of luck at this moment.
But Zara and I didn't lose hope. We spent hours going back and forth, sending each other every artist we could think of that matched the style we were going for this time around. In my recommendations, I had actually sent Zara Diana's page, but it got lost in the multitude of pages I was sending faer.
Zara was actually messaging with another artist, one who wasn't able to complete the work within our timeline, one who is friends with Diana. This artist sent the request out to her friends, and Diana was one of the few artists who reached back out to us saying she had the time. Sometimes the universe has funny ways of making things work out.
We had to jump right into the designing. Of course, this process is a little different because we already had one cover to go off of, so it's not like we were starting from scratch. We had chosen where to place the characters, and made a lot of decision on what things were going to look like.
Diana came back to us in a few days with our first sketch, and she had done wonderfully.
The character placement, the details, their facial expressions, everything was so reminiscent of the cover I loved so much. But I could feel the magic underneath this sketch, and the possibility. With an illustrator we had so much more control over what the image would look like, what they would wear, their hair, and so much more. This was when I finally started to feel hopeful about the changes.
Then we got Diana's color blocked version of the cover. This is just the rough layout of how things would look once they were completely rendered. But once again I was struck by how much these drawings embodied the characters of The Legionnaire.
At this stage in the game, Zara and I recommended some slight changes in the design, minor things having mostly to do with their clothing, and then Diana got to work filling in the detail.
You can really see the characters starting to come to life now. Diana's artwork is so pretty, looking at it still makes my heart flutter. Just a few more things to fill in and then everything was going to be finished.
Take a look at the final cover.
With Keylin's magic, we got a new title and my name on the cover ( I hope I never tire of how exciting it is to see my name on a book cover). This cover might not have as many details as the digitally rendered cover, but there are still plenty of easter eggs on the cover for readers to find when the pick up The Legionnaire. You can preorder my debut anywhere books are sold, but you get the best deal if you preorder through Riverbend Bookshop, where you can get your copy personalized and your order will come with a bonus art print.
If you've gotten this far, thank you for following this behind the scenes peak at cover design with an illustrator (The Legionnaire Diana's Version). You can find Diana on instagram @dianadworak (https://www.instagram.com/dianadworak/) and Keylin @keylinvlogs (https://www.instagram.com/keylinvlogs/)
Don't forget to also follow me on instagram @sam.traunfeld and my publisher @inimitablebooksllc. I look forward to taking you on the rest of this journey with me.