For the next few days, Want is in a “cover war” over on Tantalizing Illusions! Cue the music and lower the lights: “I’m just so excited to be nominated!”
But really? I WANT TO WIN. Why? Because the cover is freakin’ gorgeous, that’s why! It also has many perfect details that directly tie into the novel and the short teaser story, “Aftertaste,” available for free from Inkspell. (I discussed those details here.)
Najla Qamber made that happen. She designs all the amazing covers for Inkspell Publishing, as well as a number of other clients. And not only does she do book covers, she also does blog designs, bookmarks, stationary and banners. I thought y’all might like to know more about her.
You can see many of her designs on her blog or you can check out her portfolio on DeviantArt. When you’ve finished ogling her phenomenal work, be sure to read my interview with her below, and remember to VOTE FOR WANT!!!!
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First off, I’d like to thank Stephanie for having me! You are an utterly amazing writer and friend! ❤
1. How did you get into graphic design? Was it a hobby, or did you always plan to go into business?
Well, graphic design wasn’t a hobby, what got me into graphics designing was Photo-Manipulation (real big medium in deviantart.com).
I worked on photo-manipulations for 3-4 years straight before I applied and got an internship at a prestigious branding company in Bahrain. That is where my graphic designing all started! Before I landed the job, I never really knew what type of work I’d end up doing. But now, my career path is transparent and I’m so grateful to the peeps over at the ‘prestigious branding company’ for kicking me on the right path. You guys rock!
2. How did you become Inkspell’s designer?
Simple, le awesome creator of Inkspell Publishing found me and had me do her blog layout. I dunno if that was a test to see if I could handle the work and stuff or if she really needed a new layout. (Haha, ❤ you Shilly!) After I was done with her blog layout, she popped me an email and asked if I’d like to be part of the creative team and I was like, HELL YEA! Book covers all day, everyday! And bookmarks! Lots and lots of it!
3. On average, how long does it take you to complete a book cover? What about other projects? What does your process look like?
I usually take 1-2 hours searching for stocks for the cover, 2-4 hours composing everything and 1 – 2 days finalizing and signing it off (but this depends on the changes the author of the book would like me to make). The last bit includes emails going back and forth, until we get the cover completely perfect. So overall, it takes me 3 days to complete a cover on an average. I sometimes finish a cover in a day, depending on how well and simple the concept of the book cover is.
As for other projects, I do blog layouts, stationery (bus. cards, letterheads, stickers), posters, flyers, t-shirt designs, logos, but I specialize mostly on book covers and everything that comes with it, like the print covers, bookmarks, postcards, stickers, etc.
Aside from my processes above, a little thing I like call an extra process is when I work together with my clients rather than work for them, this includes exchange of ideas, help from each side. This quickens the design process and in turn creates wonderful output!
4. Tell us a little about designing the cover for WANT–what was the easiest part? The hardest? Your favorite aspect of it?
I don’t remember much about designing the WANT cover, I don’t feel bad about saying this BECAUSE! The covers I remember to the ‘skeleton’ are the covers that literally made me cry with frustration and made me want to throw my macbook against the wall! But I do remember the easiest, hardest and my favorite aspect of the cover.
The easiest would be putting everything together. Steph basically gave us a simple and detailed concept for the cover, she even picked out the stock (if I remember correctly) and that’s the biggest help any designer can get.
The hardest part was picking out the font. Since the protagonist was a musician, I tried looking around for musical looking fonts, but they all didn’t look good. I wanted something edgy and angsty like the character. I’m glad I found it though. 😀 Such a pretty font!
My favorite part of it all was working on the colors and textures of the overall cover. Hope ya’ll notice the little details that’s all about the content of the book, like the musical notes, mask she’s holding and other things. 😀
5. If someone wanted to contact you about possibly doing design work for them, what’s the best method? On average, how much do you charge for certain projects (book covers, blog designs, etc.)?
I have packages and individual prices depending on the project. But ya’ll have to email me to find out the prices! 😀 Don’t worry, they’re all below a hundred dollars.
6. If someone made a Najla-scented candle, what would it smell like?
Hahaha! I like this question. Hmmmm… the candle would smell oceany, sweet with a touch of elegance from a jar of Nina Ricci perfume!
I want that candle now. >.>