I’d had three half-finished book covers waiting around for a long time, probably a year or more, and never gotten around to finishing them. Partly it was a lack of time, and partly it was because I felt like I lacked any creative ideas. This is kind of unusual for me, but when I feel like I just don’t have anything in the idea well, it is almost always because I’m doing a book cover.
I think most artistic ventures involve creativity, and craftsmanship, and these are two separate things. Creativity is having the picture in your head of what something is going to be. Craftsmanship is what you need to make it happen. There are things that require a great deal of craftsmanship, like stained glass, in which you have to be absolutely precise. There are other things that require both craftmanship and creativity, like painting something you’re not looking at, say, a fantasy picture.
This requires creativity in that I have to come up with something interesting based on very few parameters except for the functionality. I can’t make it too thick. I can’t add things that are inflexible (like cardstock) that goes across the spine. I can’t use things that are messy, or fragile, or will peel off. So, there isn’t zero craftsmanship; I do need to have an awareness of my materials. But if the x axis is craftsmanship and the y axis is creativity, these book covers are high and on the left.
These charms are from a packet that a relative gave to me for Christmas. It’s tempting to hoard super cool stuff like this, but you have to remember that it’s meant to be used.