Welcome to 2023, everyone! I like to think that the start of a new year is a chance to step back from the holiday insanity, calm down, and reset. And it is, mostly. But it also means that I dive headfirst into my projects and get things churning right along. I'm always happiest when I'm creating, so my new year had been productive already.
Anyone who knows me knows that my creative endeavors only happen because I make sure they do. Everything you see from me--my books, my art, this website--comes from me putting it all together. I am a one woman show and it makes me proud to call all of it my own. Not that I'm opposed to collaboration or anything. But I'm a picky, perfectionistic control freak and quality is right at the top of my list of priorities. I strive to put out the best material I possibly can, so I hold myself accountable for that.
In that vein of quality output, I spent almost all of 2022 teaching myself how to use 3D modeling software in order to fulfill a longtime desire to create all of the artwork for my book covers and accompanying media. I did the piece above just today, and it shocks me when I compare my most recent pieces to the first ones I did. I've learned a TON from creating models of my characters and using the software to put them in the poses and environments I need. I used to be pretty darn proud of what I was able to achieve with Photoshop composites, but now that I know what else I can do, I can truly represent my characters in the ways I always saw them in my head. It takes a ton of time and many, many, many little tweaks, but my workflow gets better all the time.
The piece up top is of my character Maki Kirseren, from my upcoming book Triton's Destiny. I'm currently posting scenes of it on Wattpad and will publish it probably in the spring (for more information, please see this post). The art was created with Daz Studio, and I've had an absolute blast learning how to make my imagination come to life. I very much want to eventually redo all of my book covers, but for now, I'm focusing on the new ones. There are only so many hours in a day, after all. Or days in a year.
I wish everyone a great new year and hope those looking for inspiration are able to find it. I know it's difficult for me at times too, but as long as I'm still creating, I consider that a success. There's always something in my head desperate to escape. Maybe that's because my mind is a dangerous place to be and my ideas are exercising their right to self-preservation. In any case, there's no shortage of new material on my horizon. So stay tuned for the next adventure. I hope it'll be a good one.
Thanks for reading.
Leah Ross is a writer and graphic designer with a penchant for loud music and sappy love stories. She believes that love should be both unconventional and unconditional, rules are negotiable, and age is nothing but a number.