How to Hire a Cover Artist in 27 Easy Steps

To be fair, it's not necessarily always that easy. Finding an artist with the style you want, conveying the picture you want, and all without messing up their creativity, can be a tricky process. It's like reading a mystery story that was never completed, so you have to piece together the clues and come to the final conclusion on your own.

What could possibly go wrong?

I basically got lucky when I needed an illustrator for the Boathouse Mouse series. Shawna is a friend of one of my daughters, and we met in a social setting some years back. I learned that she was an artist, and when the time came that I needed an illustrator, we already had a comfortable friendship to work from. When I presented her with the manuscript, Shawna magically became Boathouse's artistic DNA, if you will. When she sends me concept sketches, there are some pictures that are so beyond what I imagined, I want to hug the picture.

For our Boathouse Mouse friends, Shawna is currently working on Book 4. So don't despair.
She is also lined up for another children's book series. That concept art has instantly proven she is the right choice there too.

With the book Giants on Troglodyte Mountain, I really wanted to capture a hint of the tension that is in the story. I knew Shawna could make that magic happen. Only, there is a little problem. I have Shawna backlogged. And I don't want to jeopardize her work there, so ... I decided that I would do the cover art myself.


After I made a few abysmal attempts at artwork, I gave up and tried to edit coolness into a photograph. That little experiment turned out to be totally lame. And it left me at a complete loss for what to do.

Enter Kelly Canaday.

In an unrelated setting, I happened to meet a young artist whose work looked like the style I had envisioned. And she had an available schedule, which was also a good thing. Getting started with a new artist can be unnerving, and I had more questions than answers.
Tentatively, I submitted my humiliatingly-bad sketches to Kelly for her interpretation into concept artwork. In a remarkably short time, she had a pencil sketch for me to approve. And, above my expectations, the rest of the process went smoothly.

A short blurb about the book here: Buy the book. It's loads of fun.

Cover art by Kelly Canaday

Cover art by Kelly Canaday

Back to the artist.
Kelly turned out to be easy to work with. She picked up the project and filled in all the blanks that were in my mind. The end result is, I love the cover for Giants on Troglodyte Mountain!

You can view more of Kelly's work here: 

You can contact Kelly here:

And the Winner Is ...

The proof copy of Giants on Troglodyte Mountain has been inspected, analyzed, X-rayed, and read cover-to-cover. And it has passed!

Okay, it wasn't actually X-rayed, but it may as well have been. We even read the back cover.

What that all means is we will officially be in print on June 16th as we had planned. We expect to have Giants on Troglodyte Mountain in stock here at the Inkling Publications Store that day!