Getting started with covers

Every week, artist Pickyme (Patricia Schmitt) designs as many as three new romance novel covers, including covers for national bestsellers like Sherrilyn Kenyon. How did she find such a rewarding professional niche? Through participation in one corner of the passionate romance community. Schmitt shares how sharing thoughts and graphics on an author’s forum helped her develop her skills and find the support and interest she needed to become a cover artist.


Tell us about creating designs on Lara Adrian’s message board.

But I joined a message board—Lara Adrian’s message board. I was like one of the founding members of the board. And so I started doing artwork banners [. . .]

[. . .] I was just there to hang out and socialize and it was nice; it was kind of a getaway, from—it was somewhere I could discuss and vent without anybody knowing, like my family didn’t know, and we were a very close group of friends online and we have the same, as soon as you have the same hobbies and passions, you just kind of connect. And so those banners, every time they post, they see the banner, because it goes right underneath; it’s a tagline.

What were your earliest designs?

I started with Lara’s characters. I started—I saw Lucan, so I did a picture of Lucan, what I thought Lucan looked like anyway, as I was reading, and a lot of people agreed. They’re like,”Oh, that does look like him,” you know, and I’m very detail oriented—if they have a scar somewhere I try to put it in there. If they have, you know, whatever kind of hair, I try to get it perfect and so a lot of the fans just of her started seeing my work and she would you know post it on her MySpace or whatever and say, “Well, Picky did that.”

How many covers have you done?

I’ve done 134 covers since, which I don’t know what the average is, I think it was like three-point-something a week, or something like that, I don’t know how it averaged out but it was a lot. I was surprised that I had done that much. [laughs] So I really found out that I’m a workaholic. [laughs]

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