Interview with Tamian Wood, Graphic Designer and Cover Artist.

Here’s a fun interview! Today’s guest is the delightful Tamian Wood, Graphic Designer and Book Cover Artist. It seems like she has some vital skills which authors lack, and desperately need. So read on, and enjoy!Profile3

Hi Tamian. I understand you wanted to be a writer, once.

Well yes, that’s true. As an avid reader, I have always wanted to be a writer, but alas, my creative writing instructor in college advised I stick with designing. We have remained fast friends in spite of her honesty, mainly because I know my limitations. Trust me, I am a WAY better designer. 😉 ) Right now, following so many illustrious writers I feel a little like a preschooler amongst academia, but I shall endeavor not to embarrass myself.  But let’s dive in anyway, just for fun…

Ok. Do you dream at night? Tell us as much as you can remember about one of your latest dreams.

I am constantly regaling my poor darling, bleary-eyed husband with some wacky tale of nonsense. In fact, back in the days when I dreamed of writing, the telling of one of my darker dreams was going to be the opening scene of a book I had planned to write. If it’s not too embarrassing, and if I can find it, I’ll share….

Disappointingly, I’m sorry to say that I can’t find it. I wrote it about three computers ago and I think it was on the one that crashed completely and unrecoverably. RATS! It was one of my best pieces of writing!

So, you’ll have to be satisfied with a telling of last night’s dream where at first I was a very tall, thin Amish preacher woman, dressed in brown and bonnet, standing on a block in front of a congregation. It was my job to recite something and the people to answer back, but I couldn’t remember the words to be recited and had to be prompted for every phrase. I went to visit a man to consult about whether or not I was really in the right profession… I’m guessing not, since later I morphed into a VERY rotund pole dancer, with glow-in-the-dark fingernail polish, waiting to perform, but frantically searching my bag of makeup and glitter and feather boas for my missing music. (When we get to the “keep fit” section, that will make a bit more sense.)

toss, turn, repeat…

I think the theme here is “forgetting,” which is an all too prevalent theme in my waking life, and perhaps a bit of body image angst, also prevalent.

Let’s move onto the next question. What is your favourite smell?

Okay, this one may be a shocker. Spent diesel fuel. Even weirder, the reason – because it reminds me of England. HUH? *head scratch* Well, it’s a bit of a story. I was born in Oxford (Witney to be precise) and from there adopted by a British woman in the Royal Air Force and a man in the American Air Force. After their tours ended, I was brought to America. Every time we would go back home to visit friends and family we would travel by bus, all round the country. So the smell of a diesel bus was forever imprinted on my brain as a reminder of home.

Most of my British friends and family say I’m all American since I lost my accent in school, as the direct result of much teasing. And my American friends just think I’m weird for saying things like “Ta”, “peckish”, and “porridge”, and properly pronouncing the “d” and “n” in Wednesday. And trust me, trying to teach my friends in school the proper way to pronounce “water” has always been a never ending source of amusement. *eye roll*

My four legged furry son knows my full on British accent, and my feeble attempts at French, God bless his pointed little head.

So the smell of spent diesel fuel makes you speak with an English accent! Interesting. Next time I meet an American tourist, I’ll ask them to stand behind a bus, to see if their accent changes!  Now on to the next question. What are you most grateful for?

There are so many things I am blessed with it would be impossible to choose just one. My darling husband, and my furry four legged son. They are the absolute loves of my life, both, but depending on any given day’s events, not necessarily in that order. All my true heart soul mate friends, my health, the abundance in my life, my newly found sister and actual blood relatives in Banbury, and last, but certainly not least, my job.

I had an astrologist client tell me that based on my charts and such, that my purpose (dharma?) in life is to make others shine. Wow! What a lovely purpose! I love that I get to create beautiful – and sometimes purposefully NOT beautiful – things that make others shine.

That’s a great answer. Ok, now for the question you hinted at in the dream section.  What (if anything) do you do to keep fit? Describe the most – and least – enjoyable parts of this activity.

OMG – this could be the longest answer yet. Where do I start. In the recent past, ballet and bellydancing, but currently, water aerobics, swimming laps, synchronized swimming, scuba diving, (believe it or not, it is a workout!), yoga, tai chi, bicycling, couples dancing – west coast swing and cha cha – and pole dancing.

Pole dancing? Really? 0

Yes, pole dancing. I can assure you it is a fabulous work out and never once have I removed a stitch of clothing. But, I must confess, I do have silver stripper shoes. 😉

Now you’ve really got me interested!  That does sound fun. What do you actually do? Do you hang upside down?

I did hang upside down once. Nothing got broken, but I’ve not been brave enough to try it again.

What do you wear?

In my workout classes we wear tank tops and shorts. And the 5 inch stiletto shoes, of course.

What is most enjoyable about it? Obviously men find it sexy to see a half naked girl doing it – is that part of the attraction for the dancer, or is it annoying?

I think most men find half naked girls sexy no matter what they are doing. The pole is just a symbol, if you catch my meaning. But I have to admit, it is kind of fun to let your inner naughty girl out to play now and again.

Which are the most fun moves?

A lot of what we are practicing are moves that spin around the pole, (and a few rolling ’round the floor.) They have fun names like “show girl”, “flirty fireman”, “sun wheel”, “sexy secretary” and “Tinkerbell”. It takes a great deal of grip and upper body strength to master these twizzles, so I’m getting a great work out at the same time.

Is that the most fun you have keeping fit?

It’s a lot of fun, but I’d say Yoga is the most fun since, really, if you think about it… who doesn’t love an exercise regime that starts and ends with a NAP!  Oooo, and I just remembered one more of my favourite workouts.  A spirited game of badminton. Mainly because you get more exercise from laughing than anything else.

The most enjoyable part is that all of these things are fun. No drudgery here! I can’t stand to exercise for the sake of exercising. It HAS to be FUN!

Is there anything you don’t like about all these keep fit things you do?

The least enjoyable part is the expense, and getting there. I somehow manage to drag myself out each morning out of habit. Even though I do all that, and it’s loads of fun, I am, at my very core, a couch potato. Shhh, I am playing hooky just now from my water aerobics class.

You’d think with all that I’d be skinny as a rail, but alas, no. I also like to eat.

I think you’d need to eat, after all that exercise. Ok, here’s another question.  Do you have a picture of an object, place or animal which is important to you?DIGITAL CAMERA

Oooo, I had such a hard time narrowing pictures of import down to just a few. Most of these are of one of the greatest places on earth. The Florida Keys, just minutes south of where I live.

The first is a shot of my darling husband and I diving at the Looe Key Underwater Music Festival. I swear that is not posed. We really do dive holding hands. (Did I mention he’s the love of my life?)

TwDolphinNext, swimming with the dolphins and diving for lobsters with my high school besty in Key Largo. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Then finally, paddle board yoga with my besty just round the corner from my house.PaddleboardYoga

The theme, water. I fell in love with the warm water and sunshine here in Florida.

Now I understand why you can’t be a writer. You’re too busy with all these fun outdoor activities to spend time sitting at a desk.  Tell me, how did you find out you wanted to be a graphic designer and cover artist?TakenByPassion

It took me FOREVER to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. For years I had an aching, empty feeling in the pit of my stomach that felt like I needed to create something beautiful. After all manner of odd jobs,  —  petrol station attendant, secretary, sandwich maker, manicurist, accountant, tech support rep…I could go on…  I finally earned my degree in Computer Science, then Graphic Design and never looked back. I’ve been designing for 17 years, but I’ve focused on cover design for the last 11. Somewhere along the way I noticed the ache had gone away. I’m living my dream job.

I work with a few publishers, and independent authors who self publish their works, creating what I like to call “gotta have that book” covers. EverdarkGateLRIt is my joy — and my dharma — to bring to life the words of others and make their work shine! But I also do all kinds of other print work including book marks, promotional materials, trade show banners (for book signings… wink, wink, nudge, nudge.) and even bill boards (for when you get really famous).

Here are a few of my favourite covers, but if you’d like to see more – here’s a quick 2 minute video my good friend Cathy Helms from Avalon Graphics helped me with:

And you can see more covers and other designs at my web site

Thanks for making it all the way to the end. Live long and prosper.BriannaCoverFlat

Thanks for an interesting interview, Tamian.  Now we’ve heard about your superfit lifestyle, I feel inspired to put my coat on and take the dogs for a walk. That’s about my limit for exercise these days. I stumble through the snow, they whizz around barking. Take care.



About Tim Vicary

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4 Responses to Interview with Tamian Wood, Graphic Designer and Cover Artist.

  1. Kerry Dwyer says:

    What a lovely interview. The covers are lovely. I would love to hear you saying ‘spent diesel fuel’. I have never tried pole dancing but this made me want to give it a go.

  2. Nice work. Nice interview, tho’, as a book designer, I’d’ve liked to hear more about her sense of the connection between a book and what its cover projects. That said, as another desk jockey, kudos to Tamian for her commitment to exercising. I run, when I’m not filled with flu or the winter cold gets the better of my commitment.

  3. Tamian Wood says:

    Hi Stephen, thanks for the kudos and compliments. I took the interview to be a bit more lighthearted than that, so I didn’t go into much detail. To answer your question, I feel the cover should be a tantalizing sneak peek into its contents. It should grab the book browser and instantly say “TAKE ME HOME, I’M JUST WHAT YOU NEED!”

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