Wednesday, July 20, 2011

11 book covers.

I was interviewed by Computer Arts a couple of months ago and I was asked what I was working on at the time. I couldn't remember what I'd said, so when I read the interview back recently it was a shock to read my answer was

'two ad campaigns, some point-of-sale for Crabtree & Evelyn, a logo and 11 book covers'.

Hmm. That would explain why my holiday was welcomed with such wide open arms and strained eye sockets, then.

But actually, that's really not an uncommon scenario. I'm grateful of course, all busy freelancers are, but there are times when the work flies out so fast you genuinely can't remember what you've done. Here, in the name of remembering that period, is a round-up of some* of 'The Holiday Eleven' - those covers which were all jostling for position in the weeks before I disappeared for a gratefully-received rest!

*some can't be brazenly waved around in public yet, since I've not had the 'final word'!

'Boys for Beginners', for Quercus - this one's gone into my file of 'favourites ever'! Mainly because Debbie, the art director, loved the felt pen look and just went with the flow.
(looks even better in miniature on Amazon's site, for some reason!)
Working on the follow-up as I write.

'A Month Of Sundays' for Macmillan, USA. I like a bit of drama, can you tell?

'The Memory of Blood' - the latest in the Bryant & May series, all of which I've done covers for.
Above is the published version - but I prefer the version I first sent in, this one: fact, the VERY first version is my favourite...if a little dark:

'Booze for Free', for Transworld. Looking forward to making these!

'Unraveling Isobel', for Simon & Schuster, USA. Inspired by this self-promotion illustration from my website!

'The Blue Sword', for Fanucci, Italy. I love non-English titles, they challenge my brain/pen architecture. (At the same time as this, I did a Polish version of a cover I originally did in English a couple of years ago.) This one's a proper 'fantasy' story! Swirling long hair, medievel dresses, swords...brilliant.

Finally, three titles for the New York Times' crossword series, all done in felt-tip pen.
For some reason I've been asked to do a lot of cake lately. I'm doing one now, in fact...
I love the wobbly warts'n'all quality of these - it's not that often an art director embraces that - see Boys for Beginners, above.

Particularly pleased with my ice cream on this one!

Awkward Subjects.

As I'm sure I've told you before, I get all the good stuff. I've done constipation, contraceptives, lube, deodorant, AIDS drugs and medical apparatus; this is the latest.

Kotex, the mammoth 'ladies' things' brand, have built a lively website aimed at reassuring young girls that their period is normal, safe and above all, to be endured for most of the rest of their lives! It has a section on 'Myths vs Facts' - something I'd probably have found useful aged 11+ along with 'Opening Lines', a series of illustrated suggestions on how to get those 'awkward questions' answered. The internet...well, it's an amazing thing - I can only imagine the turmoil and fretting which might have been avoided if such a thing had been around decades ago!

There were 15 illustrations plus backgrounds, all drawn in fine-liner and pen'n'ink.

The website is here, but here are a couple of screengrabs. They've animated the illustrations - check out the anxious girl convinced 'everyone will know'!

Take your tablet.

I've just got a copy of the print ad I drew on for Hewlett Packard's Touchpad tablet.

I know, I know - I'm an Apple girl to the core (ouch) but this was a nice job, requiring me to draw tiny paraphernalia associated with being a busy Mum, exploding out from behind the tablet. It's in stores too, on point of sale and displays, but only in the States.

Fellow B&A artists ilovedust also contributed a piece to the campaign.

Here's the complete artwork, plus the poster.

About the Touchpad.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Mockingbird framed.

Melissa Austin in the US has just had this print of my Mockingbird cover framed up. It looks lovely - appropriate choice of frame, I think, and the double-mount works really well.
Well done Melissa, I'm very humbled to be gracing the walls of your home!

The Great Inkymole Giveaway Part 4.

Every time I complete a book cover, I wait a few months then get a copy of the book in the post, as it's important I get to see the finished result. Since I've done over 150 books, this is starting to create something of a hefty pile.

Now I do seem to have done a lot of chick-lit. You know...beach reads, girly fiction, romantic heroes, affairs and happy endings...bestsellers, but not my cup of tea. So although I like the covers, the poor things have sat unread on my shelves for months, and I've decided to give them away to people who would like to read them!

If you want any of the titles below, it's yours for a donation of £1 minimum to Mind which as you may know is Inkymole's supported charity. I'll cover the postage! You can have one book or several, but it's first come first served! You can always 'Amazon' something if you're not sure. And since holidays are coming up, it's a good time to pack some serious brain-off reading matter for the sun lounger/train/plane/back of the car.

So, email me (sarah (at) inkymole (dot) com) if you want anything! It's all got to go. And there'll be more where this came from!

There's a list after the photo!

Louise Bagshawe:
The Devil You Know
A Kept Woman
Career Girls
Tall Poppies
Monday's Child
Tuesday's Child

Adele Parks
Love Lies

Chris Manby:
Marrying for Money (hardback)
Marrying for Money (paperback)
Girl Meets Ape
Second Prize
Getting Personal
Deep Heat

Jessica Fox:
Gard To Get
Always The Bride
(Mccmillan's 'Little Black Dress' series)

Sophie Kinsella
Remember Me? (hardback)

Heather McElhatton
Pretty Little Mistakes

Neris and India's Idiot Proof Cookbook

Kristin Harmel
Italian for Beginners

Some children's books:
Princess Diaries 9 (I have two copies - 11-14)
Cathy Hopkins' Zodiac Girls (young teens)
Oxford University Press Maths Trackers 'Dance Fever'
(teaching counting using dancers and dancing!)
Collins' Big Cat series - Percy and The rabbit, illustrated by Nick Butterworth

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Mole and the Giant Turnip.

Just look at this lot:

This afternoon, these insanely bulbous turnips were picked for us by Walter Rickard, head of the Rickard clan, who with his wife Rose and their family run Willow Farm in Congerstone, where they've grown vegetables, fruit and plants for decades.

The fat broad beans and little luminous peas (which were squeaking with excitement) were picked by Leigh, Wally and I together, and let me tell you, there's nothing like getting on your knees in a dry sunny field and picking your own dinner. The lettuce I was allowed to cut with Wally's knife (an honour - that knife will have been with him for decades) - he showed me the right way to do it - and the calabrese we chose from three rows of the stuff. It wasn't the biggest there, but bloody hell, we're only feeding two of us.

We've been buying veg from the family almost every week for at least eight years - except for those weeks when we've not managed to eat our way through the previous box - and it never fails to impress us. You won't find this calibre of vegetable in any supermarket. You simply won't. Organic, local, huge, bulging with taste, and picked the same day. And everything you see in these particular photographs cost us a fiver.

Don't whinge to me about the occasional bug in the lettuce, or the wonky carrots, this is the real deal. If all you're interested in is cheapness, you can't do better. If all you're interested in is the environmental and health aspects, you can't improve on this. And if you're a taste connoisseur, it stops right here.

To get all four, twenty minutes down the road, is nothing short of a precious miracle. Albeit one fuelled by a family who work seven days a week 365 days of the year, in all weathers. We owe a large part of our health to the Rickard family, and tonight we salute them with a hefty serving of gravy.


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