Posted in artists, design, Interview, Limelight, mock covers, Photos

In the Limelight: Laszlo Zakarias

Laszlo Zakarias became my new GD Hero (Graphic Design Hero) when he designed the book cover for my soon-to-released series for Fiction Vortex and Fictionite. The brief for the artwork had a particular request I thought would be hard to manage. But Laszlo succeeded so well, and exceeded my expectations of the cover so much, that I absolutely had to look at more of his work! And ask him a few questions. I know you’ll be just as delighted with him as I am 😀


You design book covers, illustrations and Photoshop art. Can you tell us why these projects interest you?
I’ve always been interested in reality—especially in changing the reality somehow. I worked as a video editor for more than 10 years, which was a way to modify the objective raw material to produce emotions, and thoughts, in a viewer’s mind. Later I found this possibility on other platforms too, like drawing illustrations and modifying photography, and I found this very-very exciting 🙂

As for the book covers: I read a lot. I was in love with book covers since I was a child, so it was only a matter of time to bring together these three (or four) things: the books, the illustrations, design, and me.

What did you most like about working on The Quest For The Wholly Pale fantasy cover?
Making the photo!

Coming soon to the Wizards in Space Storyverse from Fiction Vortex and Fictionite.

I was searching for the right photo for the cover, the one I imagined, but didn’t find anything quite similar to what I had in mind. So I decided to shoot the photo myself, of myself. I put the cover together in my head, then I set up a little studio in my living room, found some old sheet, took a paper and a pen in my hands as place-holders for the paper roll and the wand, and shot a few photographs. It was really fun.

Your brief for the The Wholly Pale had a strange request: a man’s six-fingered hand. It’s a difficult detail to get right, but you did it beautifully! Can you tell us a little about how you did it?
Yeah, fortunately I have six fingers on my left hand, so I just took the photo and that’s it.
No, just kidding. It wasn’t as hard as it seems to be. I just duplicated the little finger and made it look like part of the hand.

Have you had other book or illustration requests which had you thinking ‘out the box’? Can you tell us about one or two of them?
Yes, I like those requests. I don’t really like to make the same thing twice, or something similar to other works. There are a few styles I like and use repeatedly, but I like it most when I can try out something new.

I love visual metaphors, associations, and telling stories with visual elements, so if I have freedom in my work, I usually work with these. Though these are not book covers (yet), here are a few examples.

You’ve done other covers for Fiction Vortex: Gridiron and FuturePunk. These two covers have a different look and feel to your other FV covers. Do you prefer working on a special Laszlo look, or do you think of yourself as a design chameleon?
I don’t think that there would be a special style that could be called my own, and that’s not my goal. The FuturePunk cover was made with 3D software which I just learned to make the cover.

For the Gridiron cover I looked through the internet to learn something about these Aztec-style tattoos and drew them myself. I like to use different styles. It’s much more exciting for me if I can find the right style for the actual task.

Your other work is also fascinating. I love your musical typographical art. What gave you the idea to create them, and how do you choose the songs to use?
I saw this typographic art somewhere, and loved it. I did some quick research and experimented a lot. Then I found out how it goes and started to make these. I only choose songs I love, and which have a special meaning for me.


There’s lots of fun stuff on your website, like the illustrated quotes and your photography. Do you ever get to sleep, or are you permanently hooked into your machine while drinking coffee? 😀
I quit coffee a few years ago, so I sleep well 🙂 But seriously, yep, I’m trying to spend my time being healthy. I work, sleep, eat, do sports, meet people; so I try to keep a balance between doing and experiencing.


About Laszlo from
I’m Laszlo Zakarias, a Hungary-based freelancer graphic designer. I studied IT but never worked as an IT guy, but have decades of experience in video-editing, photography and graphic design. I’m interested in movies and screen-writing, books, photography (as a hobby), and especially in philosophy—philosophy as a practical science—even if it sounds strange :). I think of Earth as a living being, and humanity as the part of this one big living thing.

Find Laszlo and his work




Posted in #Quest2016, mock covers

Two x Two Stories

#Quest2016 Tracking Wonder

Question 12: Jen Louden, personal growth pioneer who helped launch the self-care movement and author of The Woman’s Comfort Book(HarperOne 2005) and A Year of Daily Joy (National Geographic 2014).

Two Stories
What’s the story you most desire to bring to life in 2016?
What’s the story your just-right client most desires to bring to life in 2016?
Where do your two stories overlap?

What’s the story you most desire to bring to life in 2016?

m_Quest 12 Same Story Sane story 2It should be easy for a story-teller to tell their story for 2016, right? So why is this turning out to be the hardest prompt for me to answer?

I guess it’s because the story I most desire to bring to life in 2016 is neither new nor unique. It’s the same story I’ve been working on for years now–the one in which finally all my ‘dues’ are paid, my work is both recognised and earning me a comfortable living, and I reach that point where life is fun and full of wonderful adventures every Wednesday. Don’t ask me why, but most of my adventures have begun on a Wednesday… So, I’m hoping by next Wednesday to have this story start moving briskly along instead of being stalled as it appears to have done for most of 2015.


My just-right client and their story?

I have two just-right clients to consider: my readers and my design clients.

m_Quest 12 readers adventureI’ve been fortunate in already ‘meeting’ my just-right readers.

They are the Melissa Roses and Rachel Pauls of the world. Woman with a sense of humour, adventure, and a sense of honor and how to honor others.
My just-right reader is also my parent’s friend who read my novel every morning and evening in the carpool drive, and my critter friends who read and comment.
All of my just-right readers call me out on things they don’t like, enjoy my writing anyway, and support me further.
Their story for 2016 is to find new stories or old stories with new twists, to read about adventure while learning about new cultures, and having a little bit of a laugh with and idea to chew upon.

My just right design client and their story for 2016?

m_Quest 12 Not Buying inThey are following their integrity. They are leading from the front. They are open to new ideas, reinventing the old, learning from history and not making the same mistakes twice. They are much like me in their visions for a better future, and not buying into the doom and gloom mythos with is currently pervading much of the collective experience.




Where our stories overlap?

m_Quest 12 Overlap
Their intuition, and mine, will tell us where our stories overlap–past, present or future. And if our stories don’t or won’t overlap, that’s fine too. You can’t have a walk-on on every person’s life-stage, but you can still provide them with a good service 🙂