Saturday, September 22, 2012

Studio Smexy™ Saturdays: Designer Syd Gill + Giveaway (International)

Today we'd like to welcome designer Syd Gill to Studio Smexy™ Saturdays. We first discovered Syd after Jenn posted a link to a lovely Highlander picture featuring Karlll and Jaci. This:
Lovely isn't it? Yup, you know you want something as sexy as this gracing your blog header or blog background.


Meet Syd:
Born and raised in Vancouver, BC, I’m definitely a Canadian West-coaster. You can occasionally catch me saying, ‘eh’, but that’s probably the extent of my obvious Canadianness. No, I don’t live in an igloo!

The various jobs I hold are: mommy, wife, writer, site administrator/webmaster (I own and run The Official Jeaniene Frost Fansite), graphic artist (cover art/author promo work), chauffeur, maid, tech-nerd, waitress (or as my daughter likes to call out while eating dinner — SERVER!), hopeless romantic, star gazer, storm watcher, sensitive crab.

Connect with Syd: Design Site | Facebook | Twitter

A note from Jenn: Syd Gill found me thru über-stalker Candace a.k.a. #NinjaPixie who I got to meet at Authors After Dark, in New Orleans. She's fabulous.

Syd bought a highlander to make a background with, then we started working together on some premade covers. She's an incredibly talented designer, a super fun geek, and I'm glad she found me. 

Jamie and Kati: Share 5 fun facts about yourself.
Syd Gil:
  1. I'm a nerd at heart. Give me something techy and my inner geek, chortles? Snorts? (think Screech from Saved By The Bell). Not attractive, but I'm not ashamed!
  2. Before getting obsessed over a certain very popular YA novel (don't worry, I'm cured now!) I once watched The Covenant repeatedly for days on end. It was a really good movie, *mumbles* at the time okay? I was going through a stage.
  3. I love popcorn. Especially movie theatre popcorn. I almost want to go to the theatre for the popcorn more than the movie. But I just discovered Indian Popcorn and now I don't have to go to the theatre! Sooo good…I think it's time to go make some popcorn.
  4. I've had my nose pierced 3 times. That was never my intention as I don't particularly like that type of nose pain, but the first time it got infected and the second time my nose screw fell out and I couldn't get it back in. The third and final piercing is currently healing well. Aside from the apocalypse or being held at gunpoint for the jewel in my nose, I am NOT getting rid of this thing!
  5. I am tongue challenged. And jealous. Sounds strange, I know — but seriously — my tongue just sucks. It's just a slab of meat that does nothing cool. I can't whistle, curl my tongue, or tie a cherry stem in a knot. I've witnessed all these feats of tongue genius and have yet to master any one of them. I also thought I wasn't good at art and eventually things turned around. I figure I should be able to whistle when I'm fifty.
J&K: What drew you to pursuing design?
SG: I think that answer lies a bit in my childhood and some out of circumstance. Being a single mom and coming from an east indian background, my mom was surprisingly forward thinking and proactive. She put me in french immersion, drama, art classes and even clay sculpting (one of my favourite classes!) when I was just a young girl. Eventually I pursued sports more than arts (ranked 11th in BC for tennis) and thought I just wasn't artsy enough. I could never draw well (I think the perfectionist in me wouldn't give me the chance to learn by error) and figured I should stick to my jock persona and ignore that part of me that loved english literature and beautiful design in all forms. It wasn't until I had my second daughter that I started playing around with graphics. I was stuck on the couch with her a lot — she loved to nurse and I was bored. One handed, I realized that I could make fun graphics for books that I liked while the baby nursed. I knew I had a lot to learn, but I seemed to have a knack for it. One thing led to another and here I am, completely floored when someone wants to pay me to basically…play! I'm a lucky girl!

J&K:How many hours do you spend on one cover?
SG: It really depends. Some times I'm inspired or the moon is just right, or I've actually got a good nights sleep and everything flows. Those covers come together very quickly and I can feel quite good about the overall project within a night of work. Others I ponder and stare at for a few days. In either case, whether I've spent a few hours or several, I always go to sleep and look at it with fresh eyes the next day. I want to know that after being away from it for several hours that I still love it and am happy with the way it flows. Of course the morning usually brings about a fresh wave of edits — things that I missed or was too deliriously exhausted to notice the night before!

J&K:What program do you use to design covers?
SG: I'm a photoshop girl, I don't know what I would do without it! I think it's time to purchase some Adobe stock!

J&K:When you design a cover, does the author have any input or do they give you full creative control?
SG: I've been very fortunate with the clients I've worked with. I think most of them come to me to allow me to share my skill/vision with them. They've seen my work and trust that I'm going to make them something beautiful. But I always listen to what the author wants and is looking for. I think design is kind of a maze and the client's ideas are the starting point — as I wind my way through the art I'm looking to keep a link back to where I began.

J&K:What is your favorite genre to design?
SG: I would have to say romance. Ultimately, at heart, I am a romance reader and writer and anything within that genre intrigues and interests me. I haven't had the opportunity to design as many romance covers as I'd like, but I'm hoping to change that. Certainly stock photographs like the ones Jenn LeBlanc takes makes me want to design a cover out of every one of her beautiful images!

J&K:Which authors have you designed for?
SG: My portfolio is heavier with Facebook customizations and web design – work that I have done for authors such as Jeaniene Frost, Laura Wright, Larissa Ione, Donna Grant, Carly Phillips, and Gena Showalter. I've worked with authors at various stages of their writing careers, from just starting out to NY Times Bestsellers. I value each and every one of my clients and am continuously honoured and privileged to be working with them and for them.

Thank you so much for this opportunity and for providing a place for romance readers and their industry cohorts to get together and share their passion!




The best part about these designs? They can be your next book cover. All you have to do is contact Syd and she'll add all your book info on there. BAM! Easy peasy.

That's quite a bit of smexiness. So authors or bloggers, hit up Sid for your blog design, cover design, cover flats and so much more.

We want to thank those of you who have been stalking Studio Smexy since the beginning and welcome those of you who have just started. Show us your pimping skills and two(2) of you will win an Official #StudioSmexy Stalker button. Open internationally.
  • Leave a comment about Syd's designs, your favorite kinds of covers or anything about Studio Smexy.
  • Pimp Studio Smexy: Share on Facebook, Twitter or your blog a link to this post or to the Studio Smexy Facebook page. Grab the Studio Smexy Saturdays blog button and put it on your side bar.
  • Fill out the rafflecopter form below. You must leave a comment and pimp out Studio Smexy. All other entries are optional.
Thanks to Syd for stopping by Studio Smexy Saturdays and thanks to Jenn, photography rockstar.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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