Pursued by a (small) bear!

I’ve mentioned before how nice it is when someone takes away a drawing and brings it back as something shiny. Well, yesterday, when I was expecting an electrician to carry a sheet of melamine back through the open front door, Sue of Tiny Owl Workshop walked in, bearing treasure!

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Back in 2014, I illustrated a cover for Greer Gilman‘s wonderful Ben Jonson novella Exit, Pursued by a Bear for Small Beer Press:

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(Gilman’s 2009 Cloud & Ashes was my very first book cover.)

And Sue made the bear!

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Look at his little face! His nose! His paws!

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I love it so much. I keep stroking the bridge of its nose.

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See more Tiny Owl work at:

Welcome to Lauren Dixon’s new collection

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A new cover is out in the world! Welcome to the Bitch Bubble, a collection of stories by Lauren Dixon, is now available for preorder (consult your local bookstore, but failing one of those, see also B&N, Amazon), and will be published by Hydra House 12 May 2020.

The collection, per Hydra House, is “of stories both published and unpublished, including “Double Dutch,” “Floating Feathers, Red Wings and Wild,” “Sheela of the Good Shepherd,” “If You Can’t Take the Heat, Don’t Hire a Yeti,” and many others. Her fiction walks the line between the strange, the weird, and the humorous, often in unsettling ways.”

I’ll put up a process post a bit later (patrons have been seeing this in stages), closer to the release date, but here is a cyanotype test of the skeleton in a sundress.

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Oh, and it’s a full cover. Cover type by Andy Romine.

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The Border Keeper — with video

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Last year, Kerstin Hall’s novella The Border Keeper came out from Tor.com, 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.

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

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

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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).

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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.

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A Cover for Flyaway

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My Australian Gothic novella Flyaway will be released in July next year — but Tor.com has now revealed the cover (fabulous design by Jaya Miceli, from a silhouette by me).

REVEALING THE COVER TO FLYAWAY, AN AUSTRALIAN GOTHIC DARK FANTASY DEBUT FROM KATHLEEN JENNINGS

It comes with some useful links (although I’ll let you know more about pre-orders as that becomes available) and a few lovely words from Kelly Link, Holly Black, C.S.E. Cooney and Brooke Bolander — authors whose way with stories I very much admire.

I am extremely delighted with this cover, for which the designer and art directors should get most of the credit (and I adore the typeface), and I can’t wait (I must wait!) for the book to be a real thing in the world.

The Power of Three

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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.

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Then narrowing down the cover treatment — the format had to match other cover designs, which is both a challenging and liberating consideration.

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Finally, developing and refining this cover and a treatment and style that would fit the other covers (similar textures, etc).

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Orphan Black: The Next Chapter

In which it takes cutting out a surprising number of chains of paper-dolls to get just the right look.

A deceptively simple piece of a art for a very exciting new project from Serial Box!

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And here are just a few of the progress stages!

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Corella Press Mysteries

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I’m very excited to reveal these two covers from Corella Press for their first two editions of 19th century Australian crime and mystery.

The original designs (covers and logo) were, of course, cut-paper silhouettes, and very fiddly and gratifying they were!

These two will be launched at Avid Reader in Brisbane on 30 August 2019. The launch is free, and if you’d like to come, you can register here: https://avidreader.com.au/events/corella-press-historical-australian-crime-and-mystery

Border Keeper cover reveal

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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).

Cuckoo Song – Frances Hardinge

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My latest book cover for Utz Books’s editions of Frances Hardinge’s novels (previously: The Lie Tree). This is for Cuckoo Song, a strange, wild, kind 1920s tale of fey creatures, family, and urban planning. It is available for pre-order from Utz Books here (I understand). But if that is not your language, I recommend tracking this book down in one you can read. It’s a delight.

The process, from thumbnail sketches to detailed pencils to cut paper silhouette, is shown below. The details on the original are very small — the whole piece was cut from a sheet of A3 paper, but a lot of room was taken up by vines at the bottom/top.

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Creature Court covers

Tansy Rayner Roberts’s Creature Court covers have been revealed!

These city silhouettes were so much fun (and detail), and the silhouette of Aufleur, for Book 1, is at the World Fantasy art show in Baltimore right now.

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If you’re at World Fantasy, the art show this year is FABULOUS. And I’ve brought a lot of original art including this one.

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