illustrations

Guest post by Heidi from Uncovered cover art

Uncovered Cover Art features reimagined children’s book covers. Professional and amateur artists can submit artwork, and new illustrations are added daily. Art directors, designers, and agents are all frequent visitors.

When you browse through the bookstore or the stacks of a library, a book cover makes all the difference. A good cover provokes an emotional reaction and instantly lets the reader know what the book is about. Every artist has their own unique style. That’s why it’s so fun to see a book illustrated again and again. As a children’s book editor, I’ve always enjoyed the process of finding an artist and working with the art director to design a new book cover. And I LOVE when we get a chance to go back and refresh a book with a new cover. It makes all the difference and I fall for a book all over again.

There are so many talented and creative artists in our world. Uncovered Cover Art is my way of celebrating them. I really hope this website will be a matchmaker for artists, art directors, and agents. I’ve been amazed by the response to the website with agents encouraging their clients to submit and artists sending in new work every day. I’m so excited each time I get a new submission. Here’s what I love to see…

I love art that feels loose and alive.

I discovered Jana Christy on Seven Impossible Things and her Little Red Riding Hood is a favorite on Uncovered Cover Art. She is so sassy!

I love color.

Meg Hunt gets it completely right with her Alice in Wonderland pieces.

The Princess & The Pea has been a source of inspiration for so many artists because it offers so much room to design amazing textures and contrast colors in fresh ways. This piece by Heather Ross would make me return to the book again and again.

I love texture.

Kate Slater’s The Owl and the Pussy Cat is the ultimate example. I could not care less about this poem, but there is so much here to draw you in.

Kevin Stanton’s homage to Where the Wild Things Are is so dreamy. I just want to stumble along the edges of this paper world and fall in.

I love being surprised.

Some of my favorites are those that just completely reinvent the book.

I absolutely love Quentin Blake’s artwork, but this illustration of Matilda is stunning. Chrystal Chan created this piece for the Gallery 1988’s Required Reading show in Los Angeles. It’s gorgeous, poignant, and made-you-gasp memorable.

This version of The Little Prince by Jennie Lynn Paske is so surreal. It truly feels like Le Petit Prince has landed on another planet.

Billy Nuñez’s Chinese take on Goldilocks is just right. His work has been hugely popular on the site because it feels so obvious (How Has This Not Been Done Before?) and yet, so fresh.

Dokino hails from Mongolia and gave an entirely earthy and unexpected African twist to Alice in Wonderland.

Berk Ozturk’s punk Rapunzel is funny, dark, and suggests this story could be updated for tweens and teens.

To celebrate the launch of Uncovered Cover Art, the three most popular artists will receive a copy of Show and Tell: Exploring the Fine Art of Children’s Book Illustration. If you know someone who should submit to Uncovered Cover Art, I would be delighted if you spread the word to your friends, any all other souls who are passionate about children’s books. Voting ends August 30th.

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Scott Bedford from the blog What I made wrote in to tell me about some crafty projects he has been making and posting on his blog – I liked them – here is one – cheeky fortune teller! His illustrations are very cool and then I got sucked into a few more posts on his blog – like this twitter factory drawing and his son’s visual alphabet. Go there now!

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book: over & over

by kath_red on August 30, 2008

in Books

Over and Over: A Catalog of Hand-Drawn Patterns by Michael Perry published by Princeton Architectural Press; 1 edition (August 4, 2008)

Book review of Hand Job: A Catalog of Type, Mikes previous book here.

This is a delicious book, full of hand drawn patterns by illustrators from around the world:

Claire Scully (the quiet revolution) with her meticulous and surreal line drawing of feathers and wood grain. Pietrari Posti (pposti) from Finland with his mixed media prints. Brie Harrison (briedee) with her gorgeous fashion prints (see pages below)

Yoko Furusho (yokofurosho) from Japan with her fairy tale story illustrations.

I think I will be spending a lot of time looking at this book – a must for illustrators, designers, artists and anybody who loves or is inspired by pattern.

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book: at a crossroads

by contributor on April 8, 2008

in Books

At a Crossroads: Between a Rock and My Parents’ Place by Kate T. Williamson and published by Princeton Architectural Press; 1 edition (May 1, 2008) by the same author as A Year in Japan.

From the first illustration, Kate Williams captures the essence of what it is to be at a crossroads in the often confusing journey of the world. The awkward daughter arriving back on the doorstep of her parents house. The pink bedroom. The desire to learn all the words to a favourite song. Williams is open and honest in this graphic novel which is an introspective look at a herself during a time when she was at a crossroads.

The illustrations are frank in the same manner in which she approaches the issues which arise with moving back to the place she grew up in. “At a Crossroads” beautifully illustrates everyday scenarios everyone will be able to relate to – enrolling in a ballet class for children, or attending a concert with your mum. Aside from the illustrations, Williams is making a point about choice in todays world. That there is alot to do, and nothing is right/wrong/or a bit too daggy to investigate. A great graphic novel that takes off from where “A Year in Japan” left us.

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This book, with its relaxed visual style could be interesting to anyone. The storyline is merely suggestive and invites a reader to think about times or situations they have found themselves in which may be similar. It is definitely geared towards the female reader seeing that the main character is a woman. This is not to say that a
man would not find her illustrations lovely or engaging, just that the themes seem more sympathetic towards crossroads in a womans life. It is for lovers of illustration, for anyone who has the time to look and take a moment to think.

Being brutal, I find these style of graphic novels are hard to justify as purchases. I find I read them in 15 minutes, 2nd round is looking at the artwork and then thats about it. At a Crossroads did make me stop and think about some similar situations, but I still felt as if I was reading a diary and that there would be no real reason to go back.

However its lovely engaging way of telling a story provides insight into the authors world. Although she is brutally honest about all her shortcomings and struggles with the time she is at in life, its really not much more than an illustrated diary. Its purpose may be just that. To illustrate that problems slipping back in are similar regardless of age, country, place etc

About the reviewer: Heather is an illustrator and designer – in a crossroads of her own. She lives in Australia.

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