Meet the Designer: Covers by Christian

Following on from our book review of Gina A. Watson's latest book, we get a chance to interview the graphic designer behind the cover, Christian Bentulan from Covers by Christian.


How did you get into designing book covers?
I was competing on 99designs for 3 years before I became full-time book cover designer. I was doing logos and website design way back before. Then I realized I have a passion for photo editing, then that was the time I got recommended with a lot of my friends.

What's your favourite aspect of the designing process for a book cover?
The favorite part of designing is whenever I submit a finished concept at first try, it gets approved, that's the biggest bonus and favorite part that happens sometimes =)

What's your least favourite aspect about the designing process for a book cover?
To be honest, revisions are part of the design process, and I don't really mind working on it! I want perfections =) but sometimes revisions can be tough and it's the least favourite aspect of design process.

How long does an average cover take you to design?
I usually finish a cover within a day to three. If the authors are responsive, I can finish 'em in just few hours.


Specific to Gina A. Watson's cover: The Elite Wizard Games

Cover concept as provided by the author, Gina A. Watson.
Main character: 
19-year-old girl, light purple long-ish hair
Holding a magical fire whip in one hand and a magical ice dagger in the other.
Maybe some magical air around her body? If it doesn’t look too cluttered
Wearing a black t-shirt and black pants

Background: 
fantasy town buildings
Behind that, on a hill, a stadium (like the colosseum but less ruins)
In the sky: (small) flying in the distance. A grey and a white dragon.
Title: The Elite Wizard Games
Series title: The Elite Wizard Chronicles
Book number: Book 1
USA Today Bestselling Author
Gina A. Watson

Above is the concept brief you received from Gina, when you receive the cover brief, what's the first thing you do? 
Upon reading this info,  I look into the simplest details of the brief, like the info of the character and the background. I don't usually complicate the process, as long as I hit the right elements and the right execution like the magic/color theme, that will do it. Because there will be some changes throughout the process, since there are a lot of options, I just go with the flow.

What was your planning process for this cover?
The biggest challenge of cover designing is doing the characters. Characters are the main element on a cover, if you have a bad model, you'll have a bad cover. So the character should be perfect first and everything will follow =)

How do you ultimately decide what to include and what to leave off? 
Many things can be changed during the process, I usually try what I had in mind, and try what the authors tell me. There would be one that will really work on the concept. So technically, I'll try both first to see what works or not.

What do you feel is the most rewarding part of your job?
As I mentioned a while back, whenever I send a concept at first attempt, it gets approved =) It means I got what the authors are asking, and that's the biggest reward.

What advice would you give to students who may aspire to become graphic designers who specialise in book covers?
Never give up! I know there are a lot of best artists out there! Whenever you see their artworks, it makes you think that you won't have a chance to be like 'em! That's not true! Everyone has different styles and execution. Don't stop practicing and you'll never know you are already there! =)



Special thanks to both Christian Bentulan for agreeing to the interview
and author, Gina A. Watson, for allowing us to have a
behind the scenes look at the process she went through.

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Check out the review of Gina's book below.

Books featured in the gif with covers designed by Christian

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