Book cover: Mountains of the Mind

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.

KJennings-MOM-Thumbnails

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.

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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.

KJennings-pencilling

Then I have to lift the design out without breaking any delicate bits.

KJennings-Punchingout

There’s a pure satisfaction in working the design out of the scrap paper and leaving the offcuts entire.

KJennings-Leftovers

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.

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And here is the final cover, designed by Wolfgang Bylsma of Gestalt Comics, art by me, book by Gillian Polack!

KJenningsMoM-Front-Cover-LowRes

(And if you like regular behind-the-scenes process glimpses, I show them (along with calendar designs, etc) to patrons on patreon.com/tanaudel).

June Calendar: Firebirds (feed the stars)

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:)

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May calendar: Selkies!

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!

(Oh, and the Angela Carter foxes are up on Redbubble as individual stickers and many other things)

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Hugo Finalists!

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 Creature Court returns…

Here is the finished banner illustration I made for Tansy Rayner Robert’s Creature Court Kickstarter campaign, which is now live!

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.

March Calendar – Be Bold, Be Bold…

This month’s calendar, brought to you with the support of my patrons (who get it early, and you can too!) is for the folktale “The Story of Mr Fox“: “Be bold, be bold, but not too bold, lest that thy heart’s blood should run cold”.

Mr Fox has no actual foxes in it, a feature in common with one of my other favourite folktales-with-a-rhyme (“the bough did bend, my heart did break, to see the hole the fox did make”). That one is about murderous university students, at least as I heard it, although there are many variations on the theme. But it had been a while since I drew foxes, and I wanted to update my fox-and-flowers designs. I’ll add some of these to my Redbubble store once uni deadlines ebb a little.

March 2018 Calendar - art

The picture is also, of course, an homage to the authors who do such marvellous versions of this school of stories, such as Angela Carter and Angela Slatter.

The full, printable calendar images are at the bottom of this post – pre-coloured, or to colour in.

In other news:

Patreon support has just crept into New Dalek Territory, which means I’m restarting the Dalek Game! It’s just for supporters on Patreon (at all levels) for now, until I build up a reserve.

Also! The clockwork birds from February’s calendar are up on Redbubble, with the original version, one with a dark background, and a blue and white variation. They are in my queue to add to my Spoonflower shop, too, but…  I have an MPhil to finish.

And here is the calendar!

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Inktober: Furious

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A Rumpelstiltskin in pen, brush and ink, with a little imitation gold leaf, for Inktober prompt “Furious”.