Cover creation: Divine details inspire artist Katie m. Berggren
When I first saw Katie m. Berggren’s work on Pinterest a few years ago, I instantly dreamed of her art on the cover of my still-not-finished book. With excitement, I went to her site to see more … and, oh how the butterflies in my tummy flew rapidly as I read her tagline: …could this moment be yours? Katie captures the small moments of motherhood that matter. How perfectly that fits my book’s message! Plus, she has a way of painting the depth of love motherhood makes. I adore the movement, emotion and magic her brushstrokes bring to everyday moments – and to my book, Everyday MOMents: Discovering Christ in the Details of Motherhood.
Prior to becoming a mother, Katie’s colored pencil and digital media creations could be found in magazines – she mostly created animals. But like so many women, when she welcomed a new life into her heart and home, Katie underwent a mothering metamorphosis … and so did her art. It all started with her baby boy’s nursery wall. As she loaded her paintbrush and saw the texture spread, she knew her art and her heart were permanently evolving. For the past 12 years, Katie has painted mother-child moments. She’s been cited as the No. 1 motherhood artist in America; and her paintings and prints hang in homes of families in more than 54 countries.
What an honor it is to have Katie’s first custom book cover be Everyday MOMents! Three or four other writers have used her paintings for their books (like when Katie created 12 custom paintings for Mama’s Milkies, by Japan-based author Stephanie Craft), but this is the first from-scratch, custom-made cover creation – and what a joy it has been to watch the creative process.
Here’s how the painting, “Divine Details” came to be:
- It started with an idea. I emailed Katie in 2013 to see if she’d even consider doing art for a book, and then reached out a second time in 2015, upon signing the publishing contract. To get us started, I sent over photos of my children and told her about the book’s content. Katie wrote back with an initial idea for the cover image: A mother with arms encircling her children and looking skyward. Perfection. Soon after that, I received Katie’s first sketch.
- Paint kissed canvas and opened eyes. Katie purposefully positions the eyes of each person in her paintings – and their gaze guides my eyes too. In this image, the little boy looks up to his older sister, as she looks to her older sister. The oldest girl’s eyes are closed, in complete content and bliss because of the enwrapped love. The mother looks up for guidance and inspiration … which reminds me to intentionally direct my sight too.
- Adding life, color and divine details. During the next few weeks, the painting’s energy really came to life. Notice those happy little white dots in the next image. They represent the molecular affection, emotion, connection and closeness between humans. We can’t see those molecules with our mortal eyes, but they’re sparkles of energy that Katie captures on canvas. Katie also felt inspired to have the little boy hold something in his hands – she gave ideas to pick from, like a dove, a book, a bouquet of flowers … the tree sapling fit even more perfectly than planned.
- Deeper meaning. Katie told me that she placed the children tightly together as if they’re a unit in themselves. The young ones nurture the young sapling, while the wise willow tree in the background nurtures the mother, who seeks heavenly wisdom as she nurtures her children. It’s a layered, spiral connection of caring for others. Also, the hair (I love the hair!) appears wild, because motherhood is wild sometimes (and it grew more wild as the painting process progressed). I also think of how the world is windy and wild, but we can have an inner peace as we look for further light and knowledge from Him above.
- Final touches. After Katie and I felt pleased with the painting, it was time for the publisher’s review and input. They requested one minor tweak: less blues, more greens. They felt the image looked a little too mermaid-like with the aqua as a prominent color (and interestingly enough, Katie was painting a lot of beautiful mermaid mamas at the time!). In came the greens … and wa-la, the painting, “Divine Details” was complete.
The original “Divine Details” hangs in my bedroom – but I will host a giveaway with a print of “Divine Details” when Everyday MOMents releases in March! Also, you can purchase a print directly from Katie … or you can even request your own customized, commissioned painting. To learn more about Katie and see more of her work, please visit www.KmBerggren.com.