I had the privilege of speaking to Faun Jackson with Faund Images Photography about the cover design for the new Secrets and Doors Anthology, available at Crimson Edge Publishing. Jackson has a lot of passion about art and books so cover design is a perfect fit for her. Check out this cover and make sure to spend time looking at all of the special details that she added.
So beautiful! She is so talented and we were all so lucky to be able to work with her on this project. Without further ado, allow me to introduce you to Faun Jackson.
Can you tell us your journey to becoming an artist? What were your original inspirations?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a pencil, crayons or paintbrush in my hand. Even though I loved school, you could look at my notebooks in any given subject and find the doodles of the day. Being from a small area, the high school that I attended didn’t even have an art teacher. They actually had the PE teacher trying to teach art. Needless to say, she had ME teach the class! I was the Art Sterling Scholar and everything in my portfolio was completely done on my own with no instructor’s help.
I attended Utah State University, where I finally was able to take art classes from professors that were amazing! The world opened up to me and I was excited about the possibilities! I continued to work on my craft at Utah Valley University, working in the media department. Using the first Macintosh computers I found a new passion in generating department flyers, illustrating their books and even designing a book cover. I was asked to teach a class on computer graphics and later taught a continuing education class as well. I worked for Stephen R. Covey designing instructional material. I also illustrated brochures for a craft company, a hot tub company and put together instructional books sold in craft stores.
As my family grew, some of those aspirations were put on hold for a time. However, the entrepreneur in me, decided to paint on clothing and see if anyone would be interested in buying them. I contracted with a store in Park City, Utah where they sold my shirts, as well as a store in Gardner Village. One day, the owner of the Park City store made the comment “People love your shirts! I have been asked several times why you spend your time painting on a shirt when you should be painting on walls!” Up until then, I hadn’t even thought of that! I immediately went to town on my own home walls… word spread and I was painting on other people’s walls before I knew what happened. For years, I painted everything you can imagine on walls from Torrey to SLC. Photography had always been a passion for me but when photo shop came into my life, it opened up a whole new creative outlet. I have continued taking classes and experimenting with my ideas. A few years ago, I heard the term “Fine Art Photography”. I checked it out and was immediately hooked.
My inspiration comes from the place I call home and my family. I have everything from high mountains, lakes, wooded areas to the red rock in the desert to inspire me. My mind never shuts off and I create my most unique ideas at night when I SHOULD be sleeping!
How did you become interested in illustrating or cover design for books?
I have worked in our local library for seventeen years and during that time, I have come to appreciate a great book cover design. I also understand the importance of the book cover. We all would like to think people don’t judge a book by its cover but in fact, many people do. If the cover is intriguing to them or the title, they pick it up more quickly. With my love of books and art, designing book covers seems to be a natural fit!
The cover is beautiful. Can you tell us more about how you came up with the idea and the process you used to design the cover?
Given the genre of the book, I knew I wanted my design to have a mysterious yet magical feel. I knew I wanted a girl wearing a dress made of a specific type of fabric. Luckily, I had recently photographed someone who met that criteria. I approached the young woman and she was more than delighted at the prospect of being on a book cover! It was important for me that the girl have long hair, so we waited for her to get hair extensions. Then the search was on for the perfect door. It all came together but there was a lot of editing to be done to get the image where I wanted it to be. After the initial edit, I wanted the image to be more monochromatic so I turned her green dress purple and created a purple-ish hue over the entire photograph to give it the mysterious feel I was looking for. I made her a bit ghostly, raised her eyebrows for more expression, pulled her dress out at the bottom and to finish it off, put the creepy hand in the window. When I looked at the finished product, I knew if it were a book in my library, I WOULD indeed pick it up!
Before and After
In addition to designing covers for books, I am sure you are very busy. What are some other things that you do so we can get to know you better?
Besides working at the library, I keep myself extremely busy doing photography of every kind. I have worked on some fun editorial shoots with, Myriah Chestnut Deckard, a creative, fun woman from LA. You can find some from that shoot here.
I continue being asked to paint on walls but have very little time for that any more. My most recent mural was in a dentist office… a painting of a tooth fairy flying with a toothbrush in hand!
I am a mother of four and a grandmother of four. This is where true happiness lies!
What are you reading right now and what are your favorite books?
I am hoping that the current book I will be reading will be “Secrets & Doors”!
There are too many favorite books to mention but I’ll try and pick a few. You could say that my family is full of Harry Potter nerds. Everyone knows which house they belong to… that kind of nerdy! I do love a good fantasy! I enjoy many genres. “The Help” and “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” are two of my favorite books. As far as mysteries, I have been enjoying the Flavia De Luce series by Alan Bradley. My favorite non-fiction book would have to be “Unbroken”.
Is there a book that you wish you could have designed the cover for?
This is a more difficult question to answer! The novels of the Others (Written in Red, Murder of Crows, etc.) by Anne Bishop would be series that I would have loved to design the covers for. They are pretty imaginative books and they would have been fun to be really creative with.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us?
The world of photography has changed so drastically over the past few years, opening up all kinds of creative possibilities. Even though I do enjoy photographing people in a traditional fashion, my true love lies in creating images that look more like a piece of art, rather than merely a photograph. I continue to re-invent myself so to speak, constantly taking courses that inspire me to reach the next level. My goals for the future most definitely involve creating more book cover ideas as well as anything else that allows creativity…
How do we find your art?
The Secrets and Doors Anthology is now available for purchase at Crimson Edge Publishing: http://crimsonedgepublishing.com/bookstore/