Posted by author on 11/29/2014 12:42:23 PM
This post continues a series of interviews with the people who helped me publish Beyond Cloud Nine. Next up is Tobias Roetsch of gtgraphics.de, the designer who created the overall cover for the novel. I asked Tobias a few questions about working on BC9, being a graphic designer, and life in general.
What was your favorite aspect of working on the cover for Beyond Cloud Nine?
I really enjoyed the part at the end when the ship and character designs were finished and ready to be added to the cover design. With those elements, the image made it to the next level. Besides that I loved to work on Jupiter and alter it to the books needs. To work with an actually existing planet is somewhat special for me as I am normally creating my on worlds.
Tell me a little about your book cover creation process.
From the initial briefing to the final result it has been a long way with normal back and forth periods. From the rough sketch that has been provided I was able to come up with a composition quite fast. The first thing I wanted to be done was Jupiter. The textures from NASA needed some overwork to ensure a good quality for the print. While it was clear from the very beginning that I am not able to come up with a decent character design I wanted to give the fighter a try. After many tries and in the interest of time we decided to outsource this task as well. From that point on I was focusing on Jupiter, the moon, the background and the overall lighting conditions until I got the final paintings from the other two artists. Title and text have been done at the very end although things like the placement of the title were part of my thoughts during working process all the time.
We know you create amazing designs, but what else sets GTGraphics.de apart from other graphic design companies?
We started as two self taught young artists. At the beginning there was only our passion for the beauty of space. People really liked our images and after a while the first requests came in. The more images we made the more requests we got. At that time I decided to work as full time freelance artist and designer. My partner Jeff is still doing art as well but only as a hobby. To date our wallpapers have been downloaded several million times and gave us some popularity (at least in the internet). Due to our development and the way we are working I think it can be said that we are not the typical design company.
What other projects are you working on now?
At the moment most of my commissions are done. This gives me time to work on some personal projects and images. Personal project includes the relaunch of our website gtgraphics.de on which we have been working for over a year now.
What led you to become a graphic designer?
I loved good designs and wallpaper and always dreamed about being able to create something beautiful on my own. The most important point for me was and still is: I have to like the work myself and at least one other person has to approve it as well. Having a "fanbase" of several thousand people makes this an easier task nowadays but back then in the early days it was a major source of motivation for me. The best thing about creating things on the PC is the moment when you see the final product printed and hold it in your hands. This is always special!
Tell me the brief story of how you formed GTGraphics.de.
GTGraphics.de was formed in 2006 between Jeff Michelmann and me. While we both are coming from Germany, we knew each other only from the internet (to be more exact: from the old sci-fi game "Freelancer") since 2003/2004. After a while we randomly met each other in a community for digital art again. We were giving lots of feedback to each other in order to help improving our skills. The more we improved the more we thought about an own homepage to showcase our works, which we have realized in 2006. The name GTGraphics is formed by the initials of the aliases that we have been using in the internet: gucken & taenaron graphics. The homepage has changed several times since 2006. The "brand" is getting more and more attention because of the three Microsoft Win 7 & 8 themes that are offered on the official Microsoft theme homepage.
How does life as a freelance entrepreneur differ from working for an employer?
You are your own boss. You are responsible for everything. While this gives you a lot of freedom when it comes to how and when you do your work, you have to look for the work yourself. This can sometimes be a real problem. Best thing for me about being a freelancer is sleeping until you wake up and not until the alarm clock goes. I prefer working into the night (if necessary) instead of working early in the morning.
What are your favorite book(s), author(s), and/or genre(s)?
My all time favorite book is Lord of the Rings by Tolkien. I just read it in the time when the first movie came out and I was very sceptical in the beginning. But the enormous scope of Middle-earth has fascinated me (and I am still impressed when thinking about it). I also like other fantasy books like The Song of Ice and Fire. Other preferred Authors are Dan Brown (especially Deception Point) and Frank Schatzing (The Swarm). I have never really been into science fiction genre when it comes to books. I am not really sure why though (because I LOVE sci-fi movies). Maybe I just really need the images there.
What do you when you're not working (hobbies)?
The good thing about my work is that it is my hobby at the same time. Photography is a major thing in my freetime. But I like doing sports such as cycling, playing Squash or hiking (which can be combined with photography again). I LOVE mountains (I guess this is why most of my landscape images have some mountains in them).
Click the following link to learn more about the freelance graphic design services that Tobias and gtgraphics.de offer.