12 May 2009

Taming the Beast

Book publishing is a different beast sometimes. For months and months, you slave away on projects, never getting rid of them. As soon as you pass the artwork in, it's like you never hear from them again. They never call, they never write! But about six months later, something magical happen. They come back to you, different, but BETTER! You see them all put together with the text. Very exciting. And any discourse you had with the images while making them, seems to be past.

I wanted to show the evolution of a chapter book called Flight of the Phoenix, Nathaniel Fludd: Beastologist. Written by R.L. LaFevers, this books promises to be the first of an amazing many. I had so much fun working on it. In fact, I am rounding out book number two's artwork. Even more action packed than the first!

I gave a taste of the cover a month or two ago, so now I want to show the evolution of the whole cover. Nothing crazy exciting, but seeing the sketch process is fun sometimes (?).

We wanted to get an aged look, without it being too... "this is meant to look like an old book" kind of thing.

I tried to remember all kinds of way to fasten pages together.

And all sorts of intricate closures.

Then I remembered old movies, and seeing kids run with their books belted together. Just the kind of thing a young explorer would need while flying, camel riding, and escaping Bedouin assailants!

Then came the painting.

Which was fine and good, but I agreed with master art director, Scott Magoon, that it was a bit too subdued with colors. It needed an extra pop. So he tweaked it a bit to become this:
PHEW! That's exhausting! So... it comes out this September, and I cannot wait to see the first official proofs. SO EXCITED!


Christina E. Rodriguez said...

I absolutely love the belt detail. So "old school" and hence delightful!

Sabbio said...

Just perfect... hope we'll get this book in France for me to offer it to my daughter.

Robin L said...

You really are too brilliant for words! Very fun to read how you developed the cover idea!

Nina Crittenden said...

Excellent, Kelly! It looks fantastic, and thanks for sharing how it all came to be!

Anne-Marie said...

Sooo cool - I will have to pick myself up a copy. Dee would really like this one too! Wicked sweet!

Judith Shimer said...

I love belts on books. This is wicked clever and I'm going to have to find it when it comes out. (Hi, by the way, I don't know you much, I'm about to graduate from Montserrat and your blog is sweet, I put you on my blogroll. Yeah, hi!)

Pamela Francisco said...

Wow thanks for sharing a bit of the process! it looks just great!

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