I’ve wanted to do an Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine (ASIM) cover for a few years. Last year, I did an internal illustration for Joanne Anderton‘s “Breathtaker” in issue #44, but this year Simon Petrie asked me to do 6 black and white internal illustrations and a colour cover for issue #51. All illustrations are done and away now, although the issue won’t be out for a month or two more.

The cover was to be in an old-fashioned storybook style, based on Thoraiya Dyer‘s “The Birds, the Bees, and Thylacine,” and caused me a variety of agonies. Finally last weekend I scrapped all the sketches I had made and did two small pen-and-ink drawings using an entirely different composition, and that worked. It worked so well I ended up with 2 different covers. So I will now keep “abrupt change of direction” as one of the tools in my sketchbox.

This is the cover which ASIM didn’t choose (the final cover is much softer and paler, and has apple trees). The space at the top and shadow at the bottom were for the title and contributor list. I agree with the final choice, but I still like this shade of yellow:

Thylacine - back-up cover

Now I have to work on a tattoo design, rhinoceri, historical diners and an illustration for one of my own stories, “Undine Love”, which is coming out later this year. It’s very difficult illustrating my own work because I feel as if I ought to know what my characters look like. I don’t. I could draw you a fairly exact image of the setting, and hazard a guess at the secondary characters, but the closer I get into someone’s head the less I know what they look like. I have even written down a list of all the friends I am prepared to subject to pressure to model for me (it is a long list, at least for female characters) and am considering their suitability.