Nikki Braun is our go-to cover designer; approximately 90% of our book covers come from her studio. Today, she offers up a few tidbits about her creative process.
WAP: When did you first begin working on book covers? What made you want to be a cover designer?
NB: I started working at a traditional publishing company right out of high school. This company offered an accredited degree program with hands on learning. It was a great opportunity for me.
What made me want to get into graphic design was that I loved to create things. Ever since I was a little girl you could find me with a crayon in my hand. In school I took every art class I could. So when it was time to decide what to do with my life I had to have a career in the arts.
WAP: Where do you get your inspiration from?
NB: I get my inspiration from the world around me, from my spiritual life and from the books themselves.
WAP: Do you have a favourite type of book genre or cover style?
NB: It’s hard for me to pick because I like all styles. I really do like novels because you can step out of the box. I also really like Autobiographies because I love to link real faces with great stories.
WAP: What is the most difficult part of your job?
NB: The most difficult part would be the deadlines. I’m a freelance designer who works from home and it is a real balancing act between work and my 4-year-old running around. It is something that I have had to figure out over the years but sometimes still trips me up.
WAP: What is your favourite part of this job?
NB: My favorite part is helping an author fulfilling their dreams by putting the perfect cover on their hard work so they can get their message out. Also, I have been very blessed to be able to work from home so that I can be here for my 3 kids. I’m so very grateful for that.
WAP: What are some suggestions you have for authors when they are trying to come up with a cover idea of their own?
NB: My suggestions for authors would be if you have an idea great, we would love to work with you on that idea but if you don’t it’s Ok. Don’t feel like you have to have an idea. That is what I’m here for. Use my 20 years of experience in your favor.
WAP: Tell us something about yourself that people find surprising.
NB: I want sky diving on my 21st birthday. It was one of the funnest things I have ever done.
WAP: What is your all-time favourite book?
NB: I really love the 5 Love Languages, by Gary Chapman. I read it when I was in my late teens and it made so much sense to me. I still ask people what their love language is.
WAP: If you could meet any historical figure, living or dead, who would it be and why?
NB: I think it would have to be Michelangelo or Pablo Picasso. I would just love to know how they lived their life as creative person. What kind of personality where they, how they dealt with creative ruts, how did they view themselves. I guess my questions would be endless.
WAP: What do you do when you’re not designing book covers?
NB: I have so many hobbies, it’s hard to keep track. I love gardening. I love having my hands in the dirt, growing things, see how much of my dinner can come from my back yard. I also do a lot of art other then cover design, drawing, watercolor, photography. Recently I started crocheting. And I shouldn’t forget that I’m a mother of 3, that is the ultimate design project!
Nikki is a mom of 3 energetic kids. When she isn’t playing Candy Land she is designing book covers. In her spare time her husband will find her in the garden or at the craft store.