Award Winning Fantasy with a Twist!

How Do You Picture A Leprechaun?

One of the challenges of going wide is that your job as the author suddenly expands to all the bits and pieces of publishing from editing to cover design! I had the great good fortune of finding and working with Dina Arakcheeva, a freelance illustrator and former Foothill College student, in creating the new book covers for The Fayetteville Fairies. Book 1, Feeling Lucky is now live – the rest to come! Today, Dina shares what it takes to be a freelance illustrator:

(interview conducted by my brother Jack, also a graphic design student)

1)  What software do you use for the bulk of your marketing work?

I use Photoshop and Illustrator.

2)  Can you recommend any courses or software, which is a must for this type of work?

There are plenty of free tutorials on YouTube. I just search for whatever I need there. Many classes like those found on Skillshare or Udemy are for beginners, but you can still find some helpful information there sometimes.

3)  If I were doing freelance work, what should I charge for logos or ads?  Does it depend on the length of a project?

I guess there is no right answer for it if you are freelancer. Just figure out how long it will take you and charge your per hour rate multiplied by hours it takes you. If you need some ideas on how much to charge, you can look how much entry level graphic designers in your area make on Glassdoor.

4)  Have you ever had all your roughs rejected?  Do you start over or drop out of the project?

Yes.  I started over.

5)  Could you see any positions in graphic design being eliminated by tech?  Maybe by a program that generates type?

There are sites like 99designs, Fiverr, and others with so called design competitions where people from all over the world are working for free, hoping that their design will be picked by a client. There are some professional design agencies from overseas ready to work for next to nothing too. So yes, technologies created more competition. I don’t know any programs that generate type though – maybe there are some.

6)  What are your favorite projects to work on?- Signage, brochures, etc.?

While I still do some graphic design work, I am an aspiring illustrator and motion designer. I enjoy creating custom illustrations.

7) Have you ever turned down a position for ethical reasons- For example,      maybe packaging for cigarettes?

No, I would probably if I had any.

8) What’s the longest time you’ve had to spend on a project?  What’s the shortest?

Couple of months when I created book covers. 2-3 hour for a small illustration.

9)  I’m finishing my AA in graphic Design; I was wondering if BA in necessary or preferable?

While I think that having BA certainly helps, your skills, portfolio and experience are more important. If you are able to get an internship while you are still in college it would probably help more than getting another degree. Many if not most employers want you to have BA or relevant experience in the field instead (that’s 4 years of experience).

Thanks for the insight into graphic design, Dina. You can contact her at:

2 comments on “How Do You Picture A Leprechaun?

  1. kathybryson
    July 17, 2019

    Thank you, Joanne! I’ll get right on that!

  2. Joanne Guidoccio
    July 16, 2019

    Beautiful covers! I’d love to feature the series on my blog. Let me know when it’s ready to go. 🙂

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This entry was posted on July 15, 2019 by in Writing & Publishing.
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