Hi Klaroliners! I had the chance to ask some questions to the winner of Most Underrated Fanfiction Posters Maker from the Klaroline Awards: eriberry89 aka the amazingly nice Erika! Check out her answers!
KM: Congratulations on your award for Most Underrated Fanfiction Posters Maker! How does it feel and what does it mean to you?
Erika: Amazing!! I create fanfic covers with the hope that it makes someone else feel special and inspire them to continue writing. This award makes me feel great and lets me know that my hard work is acknowledged and valued. Thank you all so much!
KM: For those who don’t know you, can you describe yourself and as a klaroliner?
Erika: I’m a Chicagoan, born and raised. Definitely a sports fan (Blackhawks, FCB etc etc) but with an intense passion for Klaroline and this fandom. I found tumblr and all you Klarodorks at a time when I needed to get lost in something, I was out of college, had been watching TVD since it aired, and needed something to dedicate myself to, I found it in Klaroline. I appreciate it so much more now that that chapter is coming to an end (well at least TVD is), I firmly believe Klaroline is rising.
KM: How do you get inspired to make graphics?
Erika: Well, for every fanfic poster I make, I always try to read the first few chapters and/or ask the author to give me an idea of what their story is about if it’s not live yet. I try to find an image that can fit with the story and then add certain touches to make it perfect for them. Sometimes it’s just a little something from the first chapter that stuck with me.
KM: And what about Klaroline inspires you to make graphics?
Erika: It’s gotta be because Candice and Joseph are so pleasing to the eye. Most of my graphics are AU scenarios because deep down I’m a sucker for rom-coms and they would be LIT in any situation.
KM: What’s your process in making graphics?
Erika: I keep a folder of random couples’ images for a rainy day, like most kc graphic artists do, and if none of those fit with the fanfiction I’m working with, then I spend hours on google images. While I scour the internet, I keep in mind that I need not only the perfect image, but the perfect image with which my skillset will allow me to manipulate and not look like total garbage. Believe me, I’ve had plenty come out like garbage at first, then I either delete everything and start over or I look for another image to use.
Then I look through my collection of Candice, Joseph, Caroline, and Klaus images to see which fits best, keeping in mind the head positioning, quality of the image, and facial expressions. Once I find the perfect one to use, I manipulate it until it blends perfectly, then move onto the next one. After they fit to my liking I’ll start messing with the image as a whole, it can be particularly tricky to find the best positioning for the title and author’s information. Many times I need to step away from my work for a few hours because it can get really frustrating when things won’t just make themselves look good! 😀
KM: What is about fanfiction that inspire you to make graphics? How do you choose the fanfictions?
Erika: Fanfictions are the backbone of this fandom, it’s what we’ve been able to hold onto and what’s kept us sane. I feel it’s our responsibility to make writers feel necessary and appreciated, and since I don’t read very much fanfic these days, I figured making their posters would be my way of saying thanks!
I don’t really have a method for choosing fanfics to make posters for, if you ask, I’ll make you one! However, I have my first and most loyal clients, Lindsay and Kaitlyn, who were there for me when I first started playing around with PS, so anything they write, I’m always ready to make something for them. As the lead for Klaroline Magazine’s The Klaroline Helpline, I’ve been able to really stretch my legs in terms of fanfic posters. The requests that come through the Helpline are distributed among the other artists and I always include myself in the rotation to make sure we spread out the work, it’s given me a chance to get a feel for someone’s story quickly and allow my mind to come up with an idea. I also, from time to time, check out the lists of updated fanfics and choose one at random to create something.
KM: Do you have any favorite fanfictions and writers?
Erika: Yes, of course, I used to worship Alyssa (idiot-wind89) and still reread her stuff when I’m feeling nostalgic, a smut that keeps me warm is Burn Holes in Your Skin by Elisabethjj, an AU/AH that I love is TOHFMIY by livingdeadblondequeen, and Coven by loveoblivious will always have a place in my heart, even though I can’t bear to read it again until it’s completed. Soapmaniac22 aka Kaitlyn fills my fluff needs and more recently my smut needs too, while Bellamywinchester aka Lindsay kills me with angst and borderline M smut (hint: I like smut). Since I mostly read drabbles these days (because I’ve taken a vow to only read Completed fanfics), I gravitate towards anything and everything written by Laine, she has fluff and smut and just an overall enjoyable writing style.
KM: What do you think about Klaroline fandom’s creativity? Does it inspire you to make more graphics?
Erika: Actually, I was just thinking about this earlier while imagining how much anti-klaroliners are going to want to deactivate when we get our endgame.
Of all the ship fandoms from TVD/TO, I covet none of their abilities.
That’s right, not DE, not SE, definitely not SC, and claw my eyes out with CKer’s ugly ass edits. I’m serious, I don’t think there is one fandom in the whole TVD-verse than can rival ours for sheer talent. Others may not like us and say we’re delusional, but you can’t deny: Fandom’s got skills (please tell me you read this in Kingsley’s voice when he said “You may not like him, Minister, but you can’t deny: Dumbledore’s got style.” If not…rewatch HP. Now.)
I’m absolutely inspired by this fandom to create more. Everyday I see one of my peers create a badass edit or poster and I’m like WOW! That’s so amazing! I need to open up photoshop immediately!
KM: What can we expect from you in the future?
Erika: Hmm, 25DaysOfKlaroline is coming up and I think another round of Klaroline Hallmark movie posters will be needed. I’m a Hallmark movie junkie and I intend to watch every damn cheesy holiday movie and cry and laugh and edit them all so I can have Klaroline feels and create my own fanon.
KM: And finally, anything more to say?
Helen and Amanda, my fellow finalists, are truly talented individuals and I’m so honored to have been running against them. We all support each other which is what I love about this fandom’s artists, so continue being each other’s cheerleaders.
Lastly, thank you to all who voted for me, ily! Oh, and Klaroline is endgame. xoxo
Check out her edits here!