Spotlight On: Kendra Egert, Artist
September 14, 2009
Spotlight On: Dan Dos Santos, Artist
September 16, 2009

Judy York’s soft, exquisite style creates some erotic and memorable cover art. As Spotlight On week continues, we invite you to join cover artist Judy York for a morning cup of coffee and some great visuals here at the Daily Dose.

Are you a solo artist, or are there other artists working with you / for you?


Are you making a living pretty exclusively doing illustration, or do you have another gig?

This is it!

Do you have any kids’ books in you?

Certainly. You always think: “When I have time”…..

Is any of your illustration work digital, or is it all analogue?

It’s all digital and has been for many years. Before that I worked in oils.

Who owns your cover art? (i.e. Owned by you and licensed for use?)

That depends on the client.

Can you walk my readers through the process you use to create a cover? Do you read the book? Do you just go from the author feedback or the blurb?

Sometimes I’m given a manuscript, sometimes a fact sheet or concept. After researching background reference I select models and book time with my photographer for a photo shoot. The photographer matches the lighting and camera angle of my background reference and photographs the models in a variety of poses. I’m given a CD of the shoot, from which I chose an image to incorporate into the background. After that I use digital brushes to create artwork.

Do you think that book cover art is actually art? Can it be consider something beyond selling the book?

Definitely, though some move than others.

What is the single most important element about book cover art?

It should be beautiful of course, but more importantly it should stand out in some positive manner on the shelves. After all, the point is to attract the reader.

Are you trained as an artist? Did you go to art school? Do you have a degree in graphic design or something in the fine arts?

My B.A. is in art history. Afterwards I studied illustration at Pratt Institute in New York.

What is the difference between hardback and paperback book covers?

Sometimes only the cropping of the art (hard and soft-covered jackets have different proportions). Sometimes the hard cover is more “literary” in appearance, which contribute to a “softer sell”.

Are you an in-house book cover artist?

No, I’m strictly freelance at this time.

Have you ever done a book cover and thought, I really hate it?

Sure. I’m willing to bet that everyone has. But sometimes you see it again months later and find you like it after all.

Have you ever done a book cover for a book you didn’t like? (You don’t have to name names)

Of course, but that never stands in the way of trying to create an excellent cover.

Is there an book cover that another book cover artist that you admire or want to emulate? Is there a cover that you wish you had done or that you just really love?

Yes. Inspiration comes from many sources.

Is there one you have done and really love?

Yes, but it’s hard to single one out. I’m fond of quite a few of my images, each for different reasons–which is why I have them in rotation on my Homepage.

Do you think book covers sometimes hurt the sales of a book?

I suppose…..but NEVER mine! 🙂

Do you feel that a cover should accurately reflect the characters inside the book? Based on the recent controversy over the American cover for the book Liar, how do you feel about covers that may be viewed as inaccurate representations?

Yes I do, but sometimes we have to work around that. Plain “Jane Eyre” type heroines are often shown from behind or in lost profile. A protagonist with a disability or disfigurement is shown with that feature disguised. Thankfully, I’ve never had to deal with Liar-level issues.

Do you think that a lot of people stay away from romances because they are too embarrassed by some book covers?

I have no idea, but perhaps covers featuring landscapes and still life vignettes are attempting to address this issue.

If someone was interested in getting into book covers, do you have any suggestions about how they can go about doing so?

First, get both traditional and digital schooling. Assemble a portfolio and show it to artists’ representatives for consideration. If you choose to (or must) go it alone, put up a website and contact art departments to find out how they prefer to see new work.

Do you have any upcoming books coming out?

As I do a number of books each month, there’s always something coming out. I don’t know specific pub dates.

Last question, what sets your covers apart from other artists?

Any answer I give to this might sound as if I’m putting down other artists, which I don’t like to do. So I leave this for you to decide after viewing my work!

You can visit Judy York’s website to learn more about this fabulous artist and her covers.


  1. RKCharron says:

    Hi 🙂
    Thank you for the fabulous blog post.
    This was a great interview, thanks Judy York, for sharing.
    All the best,

  2. Stacy~ says:

    Great interview! And what gorgeous cover art. I love it. I'll have to go check out more covers now.

    Thanx Heather & Judy.

  3. Leontine says:

    I just uber love Judy Yorks covers. I was introduced to her via CL Wilson and the covers she did on the Tairen Soul series. They are just a visual choclate for the brain. The colors, the vibe it evokes…enjoyed catching up again and reading this interview. Thanks Heather & Judy 🙂

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