Twisted Destiny new illustration

Thanks to Color-LES for making this possible

I’ve been waiting for the day where I can show you the brand new illustration for Twisted Destiny’s book cover. And now, here it is.

The sudden change in the illustration

I know that by the time this blog post is published, my second novel, Twisted Destiny is only a couple of weeks away until the release date. So, you may find it absurd that I’ve decided to change the illustration for the book cover at the very last minute. Well, that is if you follow the publishing standard.

Since I’m an indie author, I’ll just chuck that publishing standard out of the window for now.

To be honest, the thought of changing the book cover had been in my mind for the past couple of months prior to me receiving the proof copy in my mailbox. As much as I like a simple looking cover like Kekkai Sensen (Blood Battlefront Blockade in English) and Bleach, I find that the initial book cover for Twisted Destiny lacks something.

Maybe it has something to do with the cover design itself. Or it can be *gasp* the illustration itself that kills the book cover. It doesn’t matter how gorgeous the cover design is, it’s useless if the illustration kills the whole thing.

Initially, I thought that the book cover design itself lacks the punch. But then again, I realize that no matter how amazing the book cover design is, it won’t change a thing if the illustration itself breaks the whole thing apart.

In the end, I just have to go and get myself a new illustration, even though I don’t feel like spending another dollar for an illustration. I won’t deny that the previous illustration doesn’t come cheap, so it’s no biggie here why I’m skeptical about getting another one.

But still, I’m not happy with the current one. So, it’s time for me to change the illustration for good and I’ve embarked my journey to find the illustrators that I love his or her art style at first glance. Yes, you read it right: I want my heart and soul to scream I love this person’s art at the first glance.

It’s harder than I thought

While I was already determined to find myself a new illustrator, I was faced with another issue: the person that I wanted to hire either was not open for commission (that’s the case if you dig deeper in DeviantArt) or their working experience made me felt like I was so out of touch with them.

The second one happened to me when I was browsing through Tokyo Otaku Mode. You have no idea how spooky I was to know that these people were usually working on a big project like Dengeki Bunko. Okay, that’s the only thing I remember, but overall, they have truckloads of experience under their belt and some of them have also won a few awards.

Now, how intimidating is that?

Besides that, I don’t know how good is their English and it’s also unfortunate that my Japanese isn’t good enough for me to communicate with them back-to-back.

As a result, I lost sleep only because of that. And no, I wasn’t making this up. It didn’t even help that I had to wake up early the next day to visit my dad when he was hospitalized at that time.

I’m glad that I’m the sort of person who doesn’t seem to know how to give up.

After a few rounds of searching all over the net, I thought that I should give Upwork (back then it was called Odesk) a try. Who knows I might found someone that fits my criteria.

That’s where I found Color-LES. Since she also has a DeviantArt, I get to see more of her works beyond what she had posted on Upwork. And I was swooned by her artwork after that, at the first glance. Even my niece also likes her artwork and thinks that her artwork is awesome.

So my dear Color-LES, if you’re reading this, I’m not the only one who is a fan of your artwork. My niece also likes your artwork too.

Then, the rest is history. I want her to do the illustration for Twisted Destiny.

The end result

After a few rounds of email discussion back-to-back, she finally came up with four different sketches for the book cover. While all of them are great, the third one (which is the one you see here) is the one that catches my interest the most.

I like the fact that the third one describes Takumi in a dark atmosphere, which I think summarized Twisted Destiny in a nutshell. Or maybe I do have a penchant for anything that has a dark atmosphere.

Once I’ve chosen the third sketch, she then started to work on her magic and gave me the final work a week later.

So yeah, that’s the one you see here.

All I can say is, I’ve never thought that Takumi can be this…ikemen. Yes, I’m so lost for word when I saw it for the first time.

Okay, I did want Takumi to be the ikemen because there’s no point for me to have a main character who isn’t an ikemen at all.

But dang, he turns out to be far better than I thought. And I love it! *sings McD jingle*

Over to you

What do you think about the brand new illustration for Twisted Destiny? Do you love it? Or do you hate it? Feel free to share your thought in the comment below.