The Queen of Nothing, the third in Holly Black’s Folk of the Air trilogy, and sequel to The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King is now out! I’m visiting Massachusetts at the moment and got to ride along to Holly’s first event of her tour, at An Unlikely Story. But now I can also show you the map.
I have loved adjusting the map for this series (although altering wave patterns in ink with each new ocean detail, and splicing them in digitally, was certainly a challenge!).
Under the map (above) are sketches of possible treatments of the corners and new details. But other new pieces came from the little thematic sketches I made along the way (no spoilers).
A few of the little original ink drawings of tiny new details are now available at Book Moon Books in Easthampton, Massachusetts (or will be by tomorrow, when I am sketching there!). Below is the tiniest.
(The cover art is not by me. Sean Freeman has been illustrating those, with design by Karina Granda. BUT I did draw the foil designs under the dust jackets on the hardcovers — and got to meet a girl with the Cruel Prince design tattooed on her arm, which was very exciting!).
Art by Sean Freeman, design by Karina Granda, tiniest fox by me, SNAKE by Holly Black
Diana Wynne Jones is one of my favourite (and formative) authors, and it was such a delight to be able to do this cover for her novel The Power of Three, for Utz Books.
Here are some of the preliminary sketches: reading the book again (a lovely twisty, funny, mystical plot, with that sliding-through of perspectives DWJ does so well), getting details right, working out how I wanted to draw aspects.
Then narrowing down the cover treatment — the format had to match other cover designs, which is both a challenging and liberating consideration.
Finally, developing and refining this cover and a treatment and style that would fit the other covers (similar textures, etc).
This is a banner illustration I drew for Cassandra Clare’s Queen of Air and Darkness, the final novel in her Shadowhunters trilogy, The Dark Artifices.
It was of course a lot of fun (mitred corners!), but also an interesting challenge to do an illustration of an object that contains an illustration by a character, which is itself in a different medium (and not the first such Shadowhunters illustration I’ve done, either!). But there is a reason, after all, that I love sketching in art galleries.
I was also able to drop into the Simon & Schuster offices and admire paperstock. Shout-out here to Art Directors Russell Gordon (now of 1000 Jars) and Nicholas Sciacca, who have been a delight to work with.
Finally, here is a glimpse at the process behind it: rough positioning and ideas in my notebook; pencil layouts and different treatments; test for a woodcut effect in scratchboard; pen and ink tests.
And now it’s out as a patch from Topatoco, too!
Welcome to the March calendar, brought to you with the support of my patrons, who make this much inking time possible, and who get the calendar early — and other things.
This month’s design finds its origins in a combination of William Morris designs and red-figure pottery (both of which are much livelier in real life than in reproduction).
Below are versions you may download and print at home, pre-coloured or to colour. I’ve also put the colour version up as a print on Redbubble. No scarves, etc., (yet, or at least not without some heavy intervention), as I did not design it to fill that shape.
If you do use and/or colour the calendars, I’d love to see photos in the wild — please feel free to share! And if you’d like to join on Patreon (or otherwise throw a few dollars at the calendar) — thank you for helping make these images happen!
Over on Bookish.com, there is a reveal for my cover art for Kerstin Hall’s upcoming novella The Border Keeper, to be published by Tor.com. It includes a video of the art process (if you glimpse a bandage, it was from a julienne-ing incident, not the craft knife).
Light Grey Art Lab, as well as its many other marvellous exhibitions, is currently exhibiting and selling Small Art For A Big Cause, featuring many of their regular artists. You can find the images on their Instagram (always worth following in any event) under #smallartforabigcause or on their website, and framed prints can be ordered from the Light Grey shop.
My piece, Be Bold, was inspired by the heroine of “Mr Fox”, and other fairytale ladies.
It began, of course, as a silhouette:
With colour added subsequently.
It is available for a limited time through the Light Grey shop.
Update: The Light Grey prints have finished, and the original art has sold, but the design is now available in white-on-black through Redbubble as an art print, but also on notebooks, etc.
GennaRose Nethercott – The Lumberjack’s Dove
I have just had the opportunity to design a second enamel pin, this time for GennaRose Nethercott’s beautiful poem The Lumberjack’s Dove, just out from HarperCollins. My copy just arrived in the post this week, together with a beautiful poem by GennaRose just for me (and, separately, Tom Hiron’s Falconer’s Joy – another poem of a very different modern mythology).
I really enjoyed designing this pin. It was a completely different proposition from the Creature Court enamel pins, in both style of book and of art. The approach, however, was similar: to create an image that would undeniably connect to and represent the book but also function as a beautifully (if mysteriously) iconic design in its own right. Something people might want to wear or admire even if they hadn’t read the poem (or novel), but with a connection it would be difficult to forget.
Below are some of the process sketches (supporters on Patreon got to see this one in more detail as it developed).
And here is the final pin. I have not yet worked out how to photograph gold properly, but it so very shiny!
For information about opportunities to get a pin, follow GennaRose. The National Poetry Series Competition winning poem is now available from HarperCollins: The Lumberjack’s Dove. And for more behind-the-scenes art than I can share entirely publicly, check out my Patreon page.
Oh, and I design pins now.