Let me preface this post by saying that my design critiques of these covers are in no way, shape or form a reflection on the author, the content or the publisher. I know the authors have very little, if any, control over the design. These are strictly my thoughts stemming from my design experience.
I'm presenting this week's cover critique in a step-by-step format. This is purely my imagination running wild with one potential scenario of how the designer arrived at the final cover art for Tempest Rising:
Hmmm. This story is about a Selkie. Selkie's are big fans of water, so I think I'll start with a water environment. She's most likely naked when she swims, so I think I'll utilize the classic naked-but-not-really-naked pose for her: topless with long hair to cover her breasts. Oh, and I'll need some strategically placed water ripples.
Nice. I even gave her eyes reminiscent of a hammerhead shark to enhance her water-creature vibe. Well done me. You know what enhances implied nudity? Snakes. Snakes make every half-naked woman look sexier (Britney Spears anyone?). And I think a banner will be nice for the title, almost as though the snakes are holding it in place.
Shazam! I. Am. Awesome. Still missing something though. Oh! She has a boyfriend. He should be represented on the cover. Perhaps a heart. I'm sure she hearts him. I think to show how truly astounding my creativity is, I'll make that heart have fangs since he's a vampire. A heart with fangs! I deserve a raise.
Design award here I come. Not quite there yet though. I'm not sure what other elements to add, I've really outdone myself thus far. I think maybe I'll just go with some nondescript nature-like elements. Everyone likes nature right? Right.
Those are perhaps the greatest branches ever drawn. And look at the floating purple orbs I added for no apparent reason! Marvelous. Okay, to finish up I need to add the author's name. But I have so much room left at the bottom that just her name will look lonely since the rest of the cover is so nicely occupied. I know! I'm a big fan of seals. And coffins. Those will flank her name nicely I think.
TA DA! It's truly something to behold isn't it? Please refrain from falling at my feet spouting odes to my brilliance, that would be embarrassing.
No offense meant to the illustrator, he/she is obviously very talented, this type of illustration just doesn't appeal to my particular tastes. Of course, my husband walked behind me while I was writing this post and went "wow, that's a really cool cover, " so what do I know?
What do you guys think?