Thursday, April 26, 2007

a cover in the making

So lazy time is over. I'm now working on the artwork for my astronaut book. Hopefully some of you may have noticed that I usually hand letter the fonts for the covers of my books. I did this with Show Dog, Aliens, Mona Lisa, Strong Man, and now for Astronauts. It's not guaranteed that this font will be used but I'm pretty happy with it so I hope so!

(the final cover may or may not look like this!)

This time I'm painting the font separately but for all my other books I’ve painted it on the artwork. This is a risky thing for a lot of reasons. Suppose the publisher doesn't like the font? Then what? Suppose I screw it up? Then I have to repaint the whole cover! It's a lot of pressure but the reason I do it is because i like the font to blend. I want it to be part of the art, not just sitting on it. For Astronauts there's a chance the font won't be the color that I would have painted it (I'd paint it white if I had to pick a color) so that's why it's not a big deal to letter it separately. Of course I need to make sure it'll work, though... so while working on it I placed it over the artwork.

I think the point of me sharing this is (although I admit I’m not always sure what my point is!) that when I do a book the entire design is important to me. A lot of illustrators leave aspects up to the designer but not me. The great thing about working with certain publishers/designers is that the process can be collaborative. We will talk things over—the font, the layout, etc. That’s important to me and I’m thankful to be included in the process! I think the best covers and the best books are done this way.



Courtney Pippin-Mathur said...

i just wanted to let you know that my 3 year old daughter was looking over my sholder, saw your cover and squealed, "astronaunts, cool!"
we'll be buying the book when it comes out.

Meghan McCarthy said...

Heh. I always like a good squeal!

tanita✿davis said...

This is REALLY COOL to know about this part of the process. This is where my next-summer book is about now - in the cover design stage. I don't know much yet about how it works for YA, but I think what you're doing is cool.

And I love the blonde astronaut's hair.