Interview with book cover artist, Katie Barrett

Katie Barrett is an artist working mostly with vectors. She created the book cover for The Gentleman Thief in 2020. Distant Shore Publishing asked her a few questions about herself and her art style.

Hi KatieWhen did you start drawing? 

I loved to draw and doodle as a very little girl, as I got older started to do more sketches and started painting. It wasn’t until about 10 years ago that I started doing digital art.  

Where did your love of art come from? 

My love of art came from watching my Dad who is an artist, I would often sit and watch him draw and paint.  

What’s your usual style? 

I create a lot of vector-based art; lots of detailed and colourful backgrounds and some cute characters. I also do a lot of concept art which are either sketches or digital paintings. 

Did designing the covers for The Gentleman Thief challenge you? 

It was an exciting, fun challenge working with my colleagues and coming up with the design and trying out a completely new art style.  

What was your inspiration?
As a team, we looked at a number of different fantasy art styles, films, and books. I think the ones that really stood out for us were Joe McLaren’s recent Terry Pratchett Discworld  covers. The colours used and the line work are lovely. 

Why is it a good thing to try out multiple covers before deciding on ‘the one’? 

It’s always good to do a few draft ideas and experiment with options. It maybe that out of the three ideas you have created you choose one but also pick out a few elements from one of the other ideas to use on the final draft.  

What’s your favourite fantasy series? 

When I was growing up, I loved The Dark Crystal and The NeverEnding Story. Recently, I was totally obsessed with Game of Thrones and have a fair few bits of merchandise around the house. My favourite author is Neil Gaiman. Both his children and adult books are brilliant: CoralineAmerican Gods and Stardust are amazing!  
Have you been working on anything in your free time? 

I have an Instagram account where I’ve been drawing famous people on their birthdays, plus a couple of other drawings. I have plans to do more art projects and even some non-digital art, but it’s finding time to fit it into a busy family and work life.

You can see more from Katie via her instagram account: @artykatiebee.

Check out her latest work for Distant Shore Publishing by following us on Instagram via @distantshorepublishing.

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