I’ve finally persuaded the deer from the August calendar into a repeating pattern. They’ll be up on Spoonflower as fabric once the test swatches arrive, but in the meantime, they are up on Redbubble (scarves, bags, shirts, phone cases, etc).
So, a little while ago I mentioned Tansy Rayner Roberts’s Kickstarter campaign to reprint the Creature Court trilogy. It was successful, and she has launched her new novella in that world: Cabaret of Monsters. This was another fun image to play with: Flappers! Wolves! Stars!
The cover design and typography is by Cathy Larsen.
The pins have also been produced, and look very shiny online.
I’ll show mine off as soon as Australia Post delivers the goods but in the meantime, here is Tansy’s photo:
I’ve known Gillian Polack ever since, having read Diana Wynne Jones’s Deep Secret, I decided to go to a science fiction convention in Canberra. So I was honoured when Shooting Star, a brand new press, asked me to illustrate the cover for her collection of short stories, Mountains of the Mind, launched at Continuum earlier this month.
Here is the first round of thumbnails sketches (with colour inverted for ease of visualising possible treatments). I enjoy the challenge, with collections, of trying to get in thematic references to most if not all the stories.
We went with the first design at top left. Some details, however, required refinement — attempting to combine readability with some degree of historical accuracy, a nuanced line when illustrating stories by a historian. Here are some of those further notes.
After a full pencil sketch was approved, I transferred the design to a larger than usual sheet of black paper: A3 instead of A4 — there’s a lot going on here and I couldn’t quite fit it inside the usual dimensions. I also forgot to flip the design before tracing it, so the original now runs the opposite way to the final design.
Cut, cut, cut.
Then I have to lift the design out without breaking any delicate bits.
There’s a pure satisfaction in working the design out of the scrap paper and leaving the offcuts entire.
Here is the image cut out and scanned in, waiting for a few minor tweaks where corners folded or joined, and general tidying. The grey overlay is to show the crop lines for the cover.
And here is the final cover, designed by Wolfgang Bylsma of Gestalt Comics, art by me, book by Gillian Polack!
(And if you like regular behind-the-scenes process glimpses, I show them (along with calendar designs, etc) to patrons on patreon.com/tanaudel).
Firebirds for June! A few white ones in there, as a nod to The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
‘m working on a series of bird illustrations for my MPhil novella “Flyaway”, so it was practice for that, as well. You’ll see one or two Australians in there.
The asymmetrical shape is to allow the design to fit into a repeating pattern. Here’s a glimpse (dodgy late-night photo!) of how it was constructed (Julia Rothman’s introduction to repeat patterns is a useful explanation).
As ever, the calendar is brought to you with the help of my excellent patrons, who get previews, process shots and stationery, among other things, from $1/month – if you’d like to join and support the calendar (and the soon-to-return Dalek Game!), it would be a lovely birthday present:)
Selkies for May!
These calendars are brought to you with the help of my patrons on patreon.com/tanaudel, and if you’d like to contribute, or are trying to think of a birthday present for me (it’s in May!) joining Patreon would be a great way to do it. Levels start at $1 a month, and there are many extra behind-the-scenes things, as well.
The colours were tricky for this one. Selkie pictures tend to be very muddy brown or too green. I worked towards these colours after consulting a number of William Morris designs and several photos of seals on beaches at sunset.
The page can be printed coloured or to colour yourself, from the files below. And please do consider supporting the calendar on Patreon!
The 2018 Hugo Award finalists have been announced. The list is full of wonderful professional and fan creators, publishers and critics – and I’m one of the artists! But the whole slate is marvellous, and you should check them out:
Best Professional Artist
The campaign is to fund the reprint of her previously published Creature Court trilogy (full of flappers, Rome-esque cities, animal magic and vicious skies), along with a new novella. I will be designing the new covers, as well as this banner and an enamel pin.