Thursday, October 07, 2010


There's been a lot of discussion going on lately amongst my colleagues and with art directors about the future of books and specifically, book covers. Most of us were raised in households filled with books and we grew up loving them. Nothing nicer on a rainy afternoon than curling up with a good book, that kind of thing... So we don't quite know what the younger generations are thinking about books. Do they have the same attachment to the traditional medium? And what about the covers? Will Kindle books not need them? At the moment Kindle is still in black and white, but other devices now come with color, so our covers can be displayed.  But you have to decide to look at the cover, instead of it being there throughout the reading experience. I enjoy having a beautiful cover, asking to be picked up and read. Another question is how are the books going to be sold, if the cover is only digital? Will there be full color displays in the bookstores? Will there even be bookstores? So many people have told me they respond to beautiful covers by picking up the book, greatly increasing the chances they'll buy it. I do the same thing.
One of my favorite things to do in Sarasota on a Sunday was to go into the Sarasota News and Books on Main Street. You got great coffee or cappuccino and croissants, all while perusing the latest books chosen by a very knowledgeable buyer. Sadly, like so many bookstores around the country, this place closed early this year.
Which brings me to the question, how do you pick out books? Do you read reviews? Are you a browser, who likes to pick up the books and read a bit?  Do you latch onto one author and read everything he or she writes? How  does the cover influence you? What do you think about ebooks?
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Wednesday, October 06, 2010


This is a two part cover for the book, When Beauty Tamed The Beast, by Eloisa James, previously known by its working title, A Kiss At Midnight,  Published by Avon Books. The theme is vaguely reminiscent of The Beauty And The Beast, but my illustrations imply that the beast is a statue of a lion, which perhaps contains the handsome prince. Ms. James has been doing a series of Fairy Tale inspired romances, a previous one was Cinderella and they are continuing. I think it's rather cool, and it gives me a chance to play with the fantasy side of romance.  From the start, I was heavily influenced by the 1960s film, La Belle et Le Bette, by Jean Cocteau, a masterpiece of film making that is infused with an incredible atmosphere of magic. Unlike the dumbed-down version of the story that Disney offered up, Cocteau dives into the psychology of the story, exploring the deeper meanings in the myth, with profound results. In my image I tried to stick with the feeling of longing in the girl, alone embracing her stone lion. Why is she there at midnight? who is she waiting for, or is she dreaming it all? The second scene doesn't answer much, she could still be dreaming. But the dream has it's happy ending.
Models were Steven Muzzenegro and Bonnie. Photography was by Shirley Green and costumes by Sharon Spiak. Thanks again, team!
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