The Border Keeper — with video

7KJennings Border Keeper

Last year, Kerstin Hall’s novella The Border Keeper came out from, and I did the cover art! It was revealed last year on Bookish, but that post has vanished now, so here are some process details — with a video.

It’s a beautiful, luminous, vast novella, and I recommend it. But to capture that, the art process went through a few iterations — a very clear initial concept had to be shelved (for good reasons) and then it was an adventure to capture the sense of shifting through of the book. Here are a couple of the later sketches.


Since it covers multiple worlds (one of the reasons it feels so spacious, I think) there were many elements to try and include.


Not least among which was everyone’s favourite crab-baby.


With so many details I had to cut a few test patches, to see how fine I could get the (e.g.) barbwire (the crab-baby, alas, had to be further simplified).


Usually my silhouettes are a single piece. This time, to catch the difference in colouring and allow for some sizing adjustments, I cut it in three pieces: trees, wire, and Border Keeper.

Here is a video of part of the process (time lapse, obviously, and if you catch a glimpse of a bandage it was not from the knife — I had an incident with a julienne peeler):

And here is the final cover for the novella.


5 thoughts on “The Border Keeper — with video

  1. Pingback: February post round-up | Kathleen Jennings

  2. Pingback: Failure is always an (entertaining) option | Kathleen Jennings

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