A couple of years ago I created my own book cover for The Jungle by Upton Sinclair for a project called “Recovering the Classics” over at the Creative Action Network.
Last week I learned that Recovering the Classics is partnering with the New York Public Library and the Digital Public Library of America to create a pop-up gallery of some the book covers, mine included. The exhibition will take place this Friday, May 29th from 6:30pm – 9:30pm at the NYPL. You can RSVP and get more details here. I’m so excited to be a part of this and I wish I could be there for the show. It just so happens that I’m in New York now but will be leaving tomorrow. So, if you happen to swing by, take some pictures and send them my way!
Last week, I had the pleasure of working on an illustration for Prospect magazine for a story that hit very close to home. The piece is a short story titled “Animal, Vegetable” by Kate Clanchy that is about “you” and your slightly higher achieving friend with the perfect life and the seemingly perfect daughter. Without giving too much away about the short story, it really tugs at the heartstrings of anyone with children so the fact that I have a six-month-old at home meant that I felt the pain of this story very intensely. I’m very happy to have had the chance to work on a story that I could connect with so personally.
Below are some process shots of the painting. Thanks to Creative Director, David Killen.
In this instance, painting in the background first was surprisingly satisfying. The figures as just negative space were striking. So much so that the thought crossed my mind that I should leave it this way. And below I briefly considered leaving all the flesh tones white to give it a more stylized look but, ultimately, it looked better completely painted in. It does make me want to try some of these techniques on future illustrations, though.
You may have already seen my recent cover and interior illustrations for The Writer’s Chronicle. Sometimes when you send your art director sketches there is more than one that you want to take all the way to the final. That was the case for this cover assignment. Amongst a very busy season and taking care of a six month old (my adventures in freelancing with a baby are being chronicled here), it took me several months to finally finish off this painting. And it was worth the wait.
I feel I really was able to push my composition with this in a way that paid off. If you didn’t see the original cover, it went along with an essay on Henry James and his craftsmanship on The Portrait of a Lady. As per usual, I made some digital tweaks, but the original painting is not far from this version and is for sale, so please get in touch if you are interested.
I intend to write another baby-related post in the near future, but even my good friends are due emails or visits so I will get to it as soon as I can.