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10 Questions for Amanda Hudson

Amanda is a senior art director at Faceout Books in Oregon

10 Questions for Amanda Hudson

Amanda is a senior art director at Faceout Books in Oregon

Welcome to 10 Questions, a new interview series between INABC and our talented friends from the Book Cover Designers’ Directory. In our inaugural interview, we spoke with Amanda Hudson, a book cover designer based in Central Oregon who currently works as a senior art director at Faceout Studio. Special thanks to Amanda for not only kicking off the series but for creating the series’ cover illustration. You can visit her full portfolio site here. See projects she oversaw at Faceout here.

1. Visually take us through your professional journey. Create a diagram that summarizes your career to date.

2. When did you realize that you wanted to become a book cover designer? Did you stumble into this career or intentionally pursue it?

Amanda Hudson: I 1000% percent stumbled into book cover design. For a long time I moved around trying to find a place that felt like “home” and chased whatever opportunities came my way seeing where they’d take me. I’ve always been super motivated in my career, but never had a clear path of where it was going. I feel like that actually worked in my favor because my experience is pretty varied and I learned a lot about what I like and what I don’t like in a job. So for 8 years I bounced around and my career looked a lot like dating in your 20’s. I landed my current job at Faceout Studio with a cold email looking to drum up some freelance. Crazy.

3. If you couldn’t design book covers for a living (or hold any job in the creative field), what’s another career that you think you would’ve excelled in or have wanted to try?

Amanda Hudson: I would have loved to be a chef! Time spent in the kitchen is some of my favorite and cooking is how I often show love. It’s still creative, but it brings people together and has more a common ground. There’s an element of control and organization while you prep, and a part that’s more exploratory and feel as go while you cook – I like that balance. I also love fast paced environments and have pretty thick skin, I think I could thrive in a kitchen. I also often think I missed my calling as a tattoo artist. Shoot. 

4. Do you ever go through periods where you feel completely creatively tapped out? How do you refill your cup and then get back to work? 

Amanda Hudson: Absolutely, and there’s never a perfect formula to getting back on track. It’s usually a mix of looking at other creative work and feeling inspired, spending time outside, and a touch of complete dissociation. For as much as my brain likes to be creative, and as much as I like to be productive, sometimes letting myself do absolutely nothing…is exactly what I need. 

5. What’s one creative skill you wish you had time to pursue so that you could incorporate it into future designs?

Amanda Hudson: There’s so many. I do bit of illustration and I wish I had more time to develop that for sure. But I’ve also been a bit nostalgic about photography classes from high school and college and would really love to get into film photography again despite it being trendy as all heck. 

6. Spread good design. Who is one (non-book-cover) graphic designer or artist that we should check out? 

Amanda Hudson: I recently attended a creative conference where I go to do some workshopping with Studio Muti. They have such insane and varied talent. Thanks to them I’ve added the lofty goal of some editorial illustration to my designer bucket list. 

7. Which celebrity memoir are you dying to work on?

Amanda Hudson: Mine wouldn’t be a memoir…but a cookbook for Molly Baz would be amazing. Although living up to the amazing design of her current one’s might be too much pressure. 

8. We all know that great covers get killed. How often does something you submit get chosen in the very first round, and how often do you have to go through multiple rounds before you get final approval?

Amanda Hudson: I’ve had a couple of those elusive white whales that are approved with no changes. But there’s something unsettling about them…I’m always waiting for someone on the team to decide it wasn’t quite right afterall. The typical project absolutely goes through some sort of revision process whether it be small tweaks, big overhauls, or even a full on restart.  

These covers were completed while working at Faceout Studio.

9. About how many times have you written “a novel” on a piece of paper and then scanned it? (IYKYK)

Amanda Hudson: My collection of these is actually a source of pride. 

10. The INABC Exit Question. You’re at a party and you just told a stranger that you’re a book cover designer. What’s the most common response you get from people when they hear this? 

Amanda Hudson: I’m not always ready to share that I design covers because we all know it 1000% becomes this whole conversation.

When I do, the question I always get is “Do you read every book that you design the cover for?”

For more Q&As from our pool of talented designers, explore the 10 Questions series page.
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