Justin McClure creates cover art for bestselling Beautiful Disaster

UPDATED — More than a year ago, Justin McClure thought he was doing a favor for a friend of a friend when he designed his first book cover.

McClure has Justin McClure Creative in Delano, but he wasn’t looking to start designing for the publishing world.

“It was an artist helping another artist,” McClure says.

The author was self-publishing her book.

“We were really doing a lot of, we thought, helping out.”

Courtesy of Atria Books

Now that book is getting a lot of attention. It’s Jamie McGuire’s bestselling “Beautiful Disaster.”

“We kind of knew it had been taking off,” McClure says of the book. He started receiving requests from international outlets for artwork of the cover.

Then, last week, a colleague was in an airport in Chicago when he saw the book next to a sign for New York Times bestsellers.

“He took a picture with his cellphone,” McClure says.

“Does this look familiar?” the employee texted.

“That’s how we found out.”

The cover shows a butterfly trapped in a jar.

“I kept thinking of a butterfly, this very beautiful creature, that was trapped in a glass jar,” he says. “That was a beautiful disaster right there.”

Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, is now publishing the book. And McClure is now getting calls about doing other book covers.

“We’ve been approached now by several people,” he says.

McClure charged what he calls a “small amount” for the “Beautiful Disaster” cover. So is he thinking of raising his rates?

Amid laughter, he says, “No comment.”