Excited to start the new year off with a fun new project to share! I designed & illustrated the paperback cover of This Journal Belongs To Ratchet for Sourcebooks. A middle-grade novel from award-winning author Nancy Cavanaugh, it’s the empowering story of a girl trying to find her own definition of “normal”, as told through her journal of home-school assignments.
The story and format immediately inspired me, and I thought it would be a perfect design project to bring my illustration style & hand-lettering to.
The team at Sourcebooks is always really fantastic and open to my ideas, so I jumped into comps exploring a few illustrated directions. In the book, Ratchet is home-schooled by her mechanic father, whom she is embarrassed by at the start of the book but learns to appreciate & embrace. So the tools seemed like a great element to incorporate—both symbolic & representational, while lending to alot of fun graphic solutions.
They were well-received overall, but ultimately we went with the bottom left direction. A few color tweaks made it a bit more appealing to the girl audience, and I had a ball illustrating each letterform in the title. Here’s the final cover, officially on sale May 1, 2014 but available for preorder on Amazon now.
I’m taking Lilla Rogers’ 5-week Make Art That Sells online course. Lilla reps an impressive roster of artists, specializing in so many markets I’m interested in—papergoods, home décor, gifts, baby apparel, and more. Each week, she provides a creative assignment as well as tips and insights on trends, inspiration & resources for these markets, as well as interviews & advice from real-world companies like Anthropologie, Paperchase, Chronicle Books, and Real Simple Magazine. She takes time to look at every assignment submitted, and chooses several pieces from the class for an in-depth critique each week.
She offers this course in 2 parts—the first which was offered this past summer. I was unable to fit Part A into my schedule, but jumped on board for Part B as it covers specific topics I’m really interested in. I looked forward to starting “class” for months, and this was our first week. We covered the papergoods market—and our assignment was to create 2 holiday cards. Before being given the assignment, Lilla assigns a “mini” so we can spend a few days exploring the subject matter. She urges us to create work from separate icons/elements so that they can be multi-purposed and potentially used for entire product lines, which is common in these markets. This is very different from the way I have always approached image-making (since most of my experience has been in books and magazines), and proved to be more of a challenge than I expected. But a fun one! The hardest part was letting go of a sketched out “plan” and just allow myself to be open to happy accidents while working out composition. I also pushed myself to try some different things with color, keeping in mind all of Lilla’s fabulous insights.
Here are my drawings from the “mini” assignment, as well as the 2 cards I created for the project:
The latest in my series of illustrations for Hershey’s Bliss launched on their Facebook page this week. These “Blissisms”, or “truisms about life with a delicious chocolate twist”, are part of a social media campaign, and this is my third piece for the project.
This was a perfect opportunity to marry my hand-lettering & illustration and the creative team at W2O Group was fantastic to work with, making this one of my favorite assignments. Plus…who doesn’t love chocolate!
You can stop by and “like” the image on their Facebook Page, as well as check out the other images that are part of the campaign. I created their Facebook cover image as well as another “Blissism” (here), and am in great company with the other illustrators commissioned to be part of this fun campaign.