Monday, 12 November 2012

Showcase: Cover Artist Marya Heiman - Strong Image Editing

Hi Guys *waves*

I am here today to showcase a wonderful, talented young cover artist called Marya Heiman and her company Strong Image Editing.

So without further ado, I give you Marya....

First off I’d like to say thank you to Keren for showcasing me here at Gothic Angel Book Reviews. This is actually the first time I’ve been on a blog and she has been wonderful and patient with my lack of knowledge.

Now on to the nitty gritty details right? Who am I? What’s with the Strong thing? How does it all work?

Well, I’ll tell ya! I am Marya Heiman…. and I know many of you kinda just went cross eyed at the name. It’s pronounced Mah-rye-ah. Like Mariah Carey. The last name is my married name and that’s a long story so just suffice to say it made naming my boys interesting and amusing at times.

Strong Image Editing is named after my mother. She passed away in 2009 after losing a long battle with breast cancer. Her maiden name was Strong and her sister, my aunt, is an artist who took the name and turned it into Strong Visuals. So, when I decided to start my own business I thought it was perfect to continue the pseudo-tradition and name my business along the same lines. My mother was an amazing woman and I miss her every day. Naming my business after her is one way of keeping her memory close.

Speaking of my humble beginnings, this whole thing started about a year ago when my good friends Courtney Nuckels and Rebecca Gober wrote their first book, Night Marchers. Courtney was asking around trying to figure out how to put flames on some butterfly wings and I pipped up and said I could show her how to do it in the Gimp. ( Well… after about 15 minutes of trying to explain the ‘how to’, it came down to; “Why don’t I just do it?” And so I did.

I didn’t really think anything of it at the time. It was fun and I was just helping out some friends. Becky kept telling me I was so good at it and that I should take it further but in my head I kept thinking she was just being nice. But when the second book was finished, they asked me to do the second cover. I was excited but again just thought of it as something fun to do to help some friends, but this time Becky would not leave me alone about making it a business. People wanted to know who did their covers and she had to have a link to give to them!! So I gave in and came up with the name and made a Facebook page. ( Still thinking she was crazy and nothing would come of it.

But almost immediately I had real live paying customers! And it wasn’t until I got that first payment that I really thought to myself that I might actually be somewhat good at this.
And now I have a nice portfolio under my belt, I have a web page, I have several loyal customers, and my business is growing every day. It’s truly amazing to me, but I will be eternally grateful to Courtney and Becky for pushing me to realize what I am capable of. This really is my dream job and I am continually amazed that I get to do what I love.

I think I run my business a little differently than other cover designers, in part, because of how I started it. I keep hearing that most cover designers talk to the author, disappear into a cave, then emerge with a design that you can either approve or pay more for edits.

That way of doing things just doesn’t make sense to me. This book that you have created is nearly like a child. You have put your heart into it and you deserve to be a part of the creation of it’s outer appearance. So I work closely with my authors to take that picture you have in your head and make it come to life even better than you ever dreamed it could be. I go back and forth with mock-up’s and different back grounds, or different fonts, or different models. We try things both ways so that you can see your options side by side. We search for the perfect font and the perfect effect on that font. And then once we have all the elements in place I pull it all together and give it that polish and spark that makes people look twice.

A cover is SO important to a book. The saying goes, "Don't judge a book by its cover," but most people do. In the sea of covers that make up Amazon or Barnes and Noble, if your cover isn’t eye catching then it will be lost.

I also go beyond the cover and will work with you on things like book marks and posters. I work with you on Facebook images like profile pics or timeline covers and really just about anything else you can think of. If you need a full wrap I’ll make sure it’s sized right for printing on Amazon or what ever printer you choose.

That said, if you don’t know what you want on your cover, I’ll help you figure that out too. I am an avid reader and I’m also writing my own novel so I know what you are going through and I know what a great cover looks like.

In my personal life, I am a stay at home mom of two wonderful little boys. I’ve been married since 2004 and I have two dogs and two cats. I am currently training to run my first half marathon this December 9th! I am very excited about that and maybe going to consider possibly running a marathon this time next year. But we will have to see about that one. I also love Zumba, shoes, movies, reading, and girls' night!

Thanks again to Keren for this opportunity to ramble on a bit about myself. I hope you all enjoyed the read and will consider Strong Image Editing for your future works!

Please press play on the bar that shows below to see a slideshow of  images of the covers. Thanks x

Thank you to all who came by today. I'm sure you'll agree that Marya's work is awesome!


  1. What a fabulous post! Thank you for introducing us to Marya - she sounds amazing, and she is very talented. Those covers are gorgeous! Really enjoyed reading this post. Have a great day! <3


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