April Calendar: Magic Mirrors

The April calendar is brought to you, as ever, by my delightful patrons, who keep art in my life when the exegesis is nearly due. (Patrons also get the calendar early).

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This month I decided for magic mirrors. I don’t quite remember why, but here we are. I had several ideas, but they kept turning into Dissertations Requiring Comprehensive Research on Aarne-Thompson Classification Systems. So I stripped this back, kept it pretty multi-purpose (there are a few specific references, of course), and tried to add a hint of Gorey. I particularly like the bat.

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It is in two colourways: a nice wine/plum, and a horrible peasoup green which is one of my favourite colours because it reminds me of Ruth Park’s Playing Beatie Bow. (By the way, if you like Ruth Park, Australian literature, creativity, writing history, etc, I highly recommend Ann-Marie’ Priest’s small, delighted, indignant book A Free Flame – and there’s a podcast episode here with the interview that made me buy it: Avid Reader Podcast).

So here they are, printable for personal use, whether pre-coloured or to colour yourself.

 

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.

This Art Is Not By Me (but the story is)

Art by Audrey Benjaminsen

In all Owl Abbas, before it burned (after the Falling but before the Cartographer’s War and the Recurrence of Owls), there were among its many windows only two that need concern us

This is the illustration reveal for Audrey Benjaminsen‘s beautiful charred, byzantine illustration for my story “The Heart of Owl Abbas”, which is to be published by Tor.com in April. It’s the first time (as far as I recall!) that a story of mine has been illustrated for publication by someone else, and I am so happy with it. Look at all those tiny engraved details, and the little lace cuffs, and that muscular, visceral heart.

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Cover art: Arcanos Unraveled

Arcanos covers

Meet Anya Winter, junior professor of magical textiles at Arcanos Hall. She spends her days designing invisibility cloaks and teaching reluctant sophomores to knit. If she can avoid her conniving ex-boyfriend and steer clear of campus politics, that’s a plus. But everything changes when her secret university is unshielded by a saboteur, placing the entire magical community at risk. Joining forces with a rebellious princess and a mysterious engineer, Anya must save her school—and her reputation—before it’s too late. But can she really change the world with just a ball of yarn?

This are the covers (e- and print) which I illustrated and Stewart Williams designed for Jonna Gjevre‘s novel of magic, knitting and computers, Arcanos Unraveled. (Print, Kindle).

Stewart did a splendid job, and if any of you are looking for a cover designer (and you should be, they are worth their weight in gold), his website is: Stewart A. Williams Design.

Every so often a project comes along which forces me to dust off my needles and knit a swatch for art-reference. I couldn’t find the needles this time, so ended up knitting with a pencil and the handle of a paintbrush.

Arcanos cover thumbnails 1

In the end it was decided to do a design that could function as two covers or a wraparound – there was some refinement, with boots.

Arcanos cover thumbnails 2

And sheep were cut out. They have these beautifully, misleadingly patrician faces. For scale, those are half-inch squares on the cutting board.

Arcanos cover art - sheep

I cut the illustrations out as two separate images which could be joined over the spine if so decided (although in the end they were framed by blue).

Arcanos cover art

Then I tidied these up, and sent the files away to be turned by Stewart Williams into something marvellous and blue.

And if you want to get early sneak-peeks and process details on projects like this, I post those for supporters on Patreon.

Arcanos cover art - sheep

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All the 2017 calendar art


Happy new year! This is a little round-up of the art from all my 2017 monthly calendars (made with the support of my wonderful patrons on patreon.com/tanaudel). More to come this year (January is already up, if you missed it: Clockwork Birds).

January calendar: highly artificial

Welcome to 2018 (almost)! I’ve started the year with a little clockwork bird calendar, because they are so cheerful, and also because I have a story coming out in April from Tor.com (!) in which I picked up a few threads from “The Emperor’s Nightingale” and ran with them. It is called “The Heart of Owl Abbas”, and like this calendar has a noticeable lack of owls.

As has been the case all this year, the calendar is brought to you with the support of my patrons over at patreon.com/tanaudel. If you’d like to sign up to support the calendar and other art (for as little as $1 a month), you’ll even get it a few days early!

There are two colourways this month, as I was feeling indecisive. Pattern to follow. Please feel very free to print these for your personal use – pre-coloured, or to colour yourself! And if you did colour any calendar pages this year, I’d love to see photos if you’re happy to share.

December Calendar: The River Bank

The December calendar is here!

Clearly I haven’t quite got Kij Johnson’s The River Bank out of my system (and if you are looking for gifts for this time of the year, it is an excellent one – the Washington Post agrees, and included it on its list of “50 Notable Works of Fiction in 2017“!). I’ve started a series of posts about the process of illustrating it – they begin here: The River Bank Process – First Response.

While The River Bank doesn’t make it into winter, The Wind in the Willows of course does, and the image of the mice singing carols outside Mole End is one of my enduring memories of that book. So I ran with that.

I think Toad in his moments of mellower, generous pomposity would have the best tree, and insist on (recognisably) playing Father Christmas.

Beryl skating was one of the first sketches I made for this idea (also, if this were a climate in which sweaters were warranted, I would want hers).

Went a bit stocking mad here.

Now, all these pictures take a lot of time! They have been sponsored all year by my wonderful patrons at patreon.com/tanaudel – they get the calendar early and $3+ patrons also get occasional downloadable stationery (there will be print-at-home cards using some of the images from this calendar). If you enjoy the pictures, and would like to keep seeing the calendar happen, and want to be a patron of the arts, see sneak-peeks, etc, you can join in here at Patreon (a few more supporters and we might yet be able to restart the Dalek Game!). Or if you use the calendar and would like to fling a few occasional dollars in the direction of the artist, this is my PayPal link: paypal.me/tanaudel.

And at last! Here is the December calendar, to print at home – precoloured, or to colour yourself.

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