Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi, my name is Adrijana Cernic and I am a digital artist and professional book cover designer from Croatia, Europe. I am a completely self-taught artist who works with Photoshop.
A couple of years ago I started my own business as a professional and independent book cover designer and digital artist, under my brand name Adriatica Creation.
I’m also working with cosplayers as a part of the Cosplay Arabia Team (exclusively for the Middle East), as their VFX specialist.
What are your favorite genres to read?
The fantasy of course:) I will read everything with wings, teeth, swords… Love vampires, werewolves, angels, dragons… if it is a fantasy I will read it.
What inspired you to create book covers?
I was playing MMORPG “Perfect World” (the game made a lot of impact on my art with its bright colours and shiny/dreamy/fantasy look). People were posting art from the game and I wanted to create something with my game character, so I started to search for something that can help me with image editing. I found Photoshop and I was completely fascinated with its possibilities. I watched YouTube tutorials and I began to learn the program. It was my hobby and my passion for a couple of years.
At first, it was just digital art, but after a while, since I was always reading tons of books my whole life, it came naturally to me to combine my two loves – love for books and love for digital art, so I started to create book covers. I wasn’t really sure about my skills at the beginning, and I also felt like I have been missing some knowledge about publishing so I went back to school for Graphic Design as a graphic publishing specialist. My teacher at school saw my work and after a lot of persuasion and encouragement from his side, I finally gathered the courage to leave my former work and start my own business.
What are your favorite genres to create for?
All kinds of fantasy, adventure, and supernatural covers. Love the cyberpunk genre too, but high fantasy is my favorite.
Fantasy worlds filled with magic lights, lovely creatures, adventurous heroes, and brave warriors.
Are there genres you do not create for?
I exclusively create fantasy covers since other genres have their own style and rules.
So in terms of fantasy, I don’t work with historical fantasy because they usually need historically accurate clothes or backgrounds. Since I’m not an illustrator and work with stock images, I have a very hard time finding that kind of stock. I also don’t work on object or typography-based covers, since they require other skills.
Do you create beyond book covers?
I’m also a part of the Cosplay Arabia Team, as their VFX specialist, so I do visual effects on photos of cosplayers. Last year I was one of the judges for the Best VFX artist category at CAMEC 2020 (Cosplay Arabia Middle East Challenge) held in Dubai and that was so much fun.
Sometimes I do some fan art for my nephew (he requested the Fortnite game and Mandalorian TV series). I used to do some digital art just for myself, but it is hard to find the time for that anymore.
How long does the average pre-made cover take versus a custom cover?
Average premade takes usually around 3 days since I have everything in my head, it is just a matter of finding stocks.
Customs are different since they require going back and forth between me and the client, so that can take some time, but if everything goes smoothly, it should be done in 5 to 7 days.
What advice do you have for authors seeking custom covers?
Covers are important. They are the first thing that readers see and they can have a major impact on your sales.
Do your research to find a good designer. Ask your friends who are writers or join our community group on Facebook (Book Cover Design Marketplace - https://www.facebook.com/groups/bookcovermarketplace)
I don’t recommend using services like Fiverr (although some authors had a good experience with them), since they don’t pay much attention to copyright issues.
Don’t overcomplicate and go into every tiny detail. A good cover needs to represent the genre well and to show the reader what the book is all about.
It’s all about finding a good and professional designer, who is easy to work and communicate with.
What advice would you have for someone who would like to become a cover artist?
I am a completely self-taught artist. Everything I know I learned from tutorials on YouTube.
I eventually went back to school for Graphic Design because I wanted to learn more about the publishing business part of that work. It doesn’t matter when or when you start (I started in my late thirties) or do you have any previous knowledge about it (I studied economy before). The only thing that matters is that you have something you want to share with others. The passion that drives you to learn and practice. Don’t get offended by critique, it will help you to see your art from a different perspective and make you a better artist. Get inspired and learn from others but find your own voice and follow your own style.
My website is https://www.adriaticacreation.com/
All information about me and my covers are available on my website (premade covers, info about custom covers, portfolio, etc.).
My Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/adriaticacreationdesign
I also have a Facebook group where members can see new covers one day before they go public and also have a 10% discount on premade covers:
Adriatica Creation book cover design
Note from Tonya:
Adrijana created this beautiful cover, Beasts of Magic, for the book I have in the Rituals & Runes box set that will be out in October 2022. I cannot wait to share this story, but I must. In the meantime, you can look at this beautiful design with me.