Falling off of chairs: More about the Cloud & Ashes cover


I have mentioned Kelly Link before now. As well as being a wonderful author (I have plans for a costume based on one of her stories), she and Gavin Grant are the editors of Small Beer Press. Kelly and Gavin were meant to come to Australia to tutor at this year’s Clarion South workshop but circumstances conspired against them.

In February (days after the first of the posts alluded to above) I received an email from Kelly. In spite of being able to sit fairly calmly (I think) in a pub after realising we had unintentionally sat down at the next table to Neil Gaiman, I can be a fangirl when the occasion demands. I had checked the email while standing up, and I nearly missed my chair when I sat down again (this is pretty excitable for me).

Kelly asked whether I would be interested in doing a book cover for Greer Gilman’s new book Cloud & Ashes. I was quickly convinced, especially once I realised it heavily references one of my favourite poems, Hopkins’ ‘Spring and Fall’. So I accepted.

The book, by the way, is dense and beautiful and very redolent of the poem, which is impressive given that it runs to about 400 times as many pages.

Kelly sent through details of what they had in mind, the dimensions and extracts from the book as well as some reference images. Some of these were Samuel Palmer’s art, and others were works of mine that had liked (there were some surprises there, but I often cannot figure out other people’s tastes). She also sent through the font they were thinking of for the cover.

I had a few ideas and techniques I wanted to try running through my mind, so I rummaged around to find some references, printed the pictures and stuck them up around my desk.

Cloud & Ashes: Reference 2

Cloud & Ashes: Reference 1

Next: Roughing out of thumbnails

11 thoughts on “Falling off of chairs: More about the Cloud & Ashes cover

  1. OMG!!!! When you show me things like this I just get all giddy and excited!!! How wonderful. I love looking at an artist workspace! It’s a treasure being unfolded or something! I love these pictures. Thanks so much for stopping by! I really do appreciate it! Thanks!!!

  2. Heheh :) Thank you for stopping by, Vanessa, and glad I could have that effect! I’m going to be looking out for your picture book, by the way.

  3. May I link to this on my website (under construction)?

    Thank you for the beautiful cover, which is nicely attuned to the book. I’d love to see your illustration for “Spring and Fall”!

    Greer Gilman

  4. Greer Gilman – I am so glad you like it! You may use it, and when I illustrate Spring and Fall I will let you know.

    /Karen/ – thanks :)

  5. Pingback: Roughing out of thumbnails: Cloud & Ashes cover « Errantry

  6. Pingback: Anything as much fun as simply messing about in Photoshop?: Cloud & Ashes cover « Errantry

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