I’m working on a cover design today. I’m really not good at managing my time when I do this so I’m experimenting today in the hopes of keeping the time down to something reasonable.
Usually I just dig in and start playing with backgrounds, trying to come up with a composite I like. Today, I’m setting my timers up to work for me.
I’m going to design in half hour blocks. I’ve picked that length for the blocks because six of them make three hours, and each one is short enough that if I’ve let myself fall into a black hole of perfectionism, I can stop it before it consumes my entire day.
I really don’t want this cover to take all day. I have a headache, I’m tired and maybe a little sick, and I want to feel productive today.
I don’t feel productive when I get stuck in a loop of tweaks that almost invariably takes me back to where I started. :-)
I’m going record what I did during each half hour block so I can see if there’s something I can learn from this experiment.
Now, to be frank, my last few covers have taken significantly longer than three hours to create, so I’m not cutting myself off at three hours, just seeing how close I can get to done in that amount of time.
It’s not a lie that constraints and boundaries can boost creativity. I’ve experienced it firsthand many times. I’m hoping it will help today. ;-)
I’ll be using GIMP today. Version 2.8.22. It’s open source and free. I generally use stock photography, which I’ll most definitely be using today, and most of it comes from Dreamstime, all properly licensed. (I keep the license information, and if you use stock, you should too, because sometimes the stock disappears from the site and it can be challenging to find the license information after that—speaking from experience!)
First, I’m starting from the base of my last cover, which already has the fonts I need and the alignments for the typography in it.
Second, I’m going to start looking for a background I like.
Third, I’ll do whatever I have to do to blend some stuff together and make it unique and pretty and (hopefully) pop off the screen without being garish.
Fourth, I’ll try to get the type to look nice.
Fifth, I’ll crop and save the sizes I need.
I’m not allotting any of these tasks to any particular time slot, just laying them out so I can see what I need to do. :-)
Now. Time for that first timer.