Archive | April, 2008

Book Cover Comp

18 Apr

So I was pottering around the internet last Saturday and found a competition to design a cover for a book that HarperCollins (UK) is putting out in a couple of of months: ‘The Last Days of the Lacuna Cabal’ by Sean Dixon. I love books – both reading them and as objects and would love to get into designing book covers. There wasn’t much time left, though, with just inder a week before the competition closed. After thinking it over for a couple of days, I spent a bit of time with ole faithful, Illustrator, and came up with this.

Lacuna Bookcover_final.jpg

It was an interesting experience to draw something based on a brief – the author had picked out four excerpts from the book and there was some other info provided too. The composition I came up with is quite different from the first ideas I had. And, oddly enough, it was inspired by the fact that I couldn’t find my ruler when I was doing preliminary sketches! (I was using protractor instead and that inspired the setting sun). The rest of the composition loosely incorporates elements of the tale laid out in the excerpts – the Jacob Lighter Building, and a the ferry boat particularly. Although the excerpts did hint that ‘The Last Days of the Lacuna Cabal’ had a dark edge to it, the overall impression I got was of a rather quirky and whimsical story. I *suspect* HarperCollins don’t actually want whimsical in their cover, though, and will probably go for something edgier than this.

Like many slush piles the entries range from those who couldn’t event follow the basic instructions (dimensions and the text that needed to be included) to some really good ones (I like this one). The competition closes in about 12 hours from now and I think the quality of the entries is ramping up in these last few hours. I’m really interested in see what they pick.

(And I already have ideas of what I else can do with the image, in the likely event that it doesn’t win 🙂

Contact: Swancon 2009

7 Apr

Swancon 2009: Contact

The launch for Contact: Swancon 2009 was a couple of weeks ago and so the logo I designed (and all sorts of other info) is now no longer secret. In fact, the logo has been plastered on reports, websites, presentations and t-shirts! I’ve been really pleased with the positive feedback so far – someone’s even asked for an electronic copy for their phone 🙂

However, it’s not been seen in colour yet, so I thought I’d post that here. This picture is a 50:50 picture. All of it was done in Illustrator, however half (the left) was done with a mouse only, while the other half (the right) was the first thing I drew with my new graphics tablet! The tablet is great – I’ve got a lot more control of what I’m drawing and so (in theory) everything is quicker. My style is definitely different using it, thought I *do* need to spend some more time practising in general and also using the nifty pressure features the pen comes with.

My next big task for Swancon 2009 is to make up some poster designs and they’ll be in colour and so I’m looking forward to that. There’s lots to look forward to, actually. We had a planning meeting yesterday and there’s heaps of enthusiasm and good ideas (plus bananas!). I’ve got high hopes that it’ll end up being a really great con 🙂

(Was thinking of having a little competition to see who can work out what the logo is based on. But I think it’s pretty obvious, right??)

Swancon 2008: The Art Show

1 Apr

(I’m slowly catching up on myself)

Time Vortex

This is the ‘original’ artwork I made for the Swancon Artshow this year. It’s a companion piece to Exterminate! (duh), which I also exhibited (as well as my print of planeterry‘s A Lunar Odyssey).

Although it was pretty mcuh the same process, I spent *far* less time on the TARDIS than I did the Dalek, and I’m not quite sure if this was through necessity (I just didn’t *have* the time), or becasue it just didn’t need it. I’m quietly pleased with it, but I more quietly pleased with the Dalek (and T’s spaceman too).

Still, doing the piece gave me a good opportunity to do some work with transparency (it’s good to learn) and some other ‘flashy’ illustrator techniques. I actually quite like the uncropped version, even though it looks unfinished[1] as it has a much better feeling of 3D. I’m not expecting to complete a ‘3D’ version, but it’s something to keep in mind about composition.

The other thing I did at the art show was take photos of all (most?) the other entries, which are are now in this flickr set for posterity. Unfortunately it’s not a perfect set – some of the photos are blurry or have reflections. I’d scribbled down names and titles as I went along – scribble being the operative word. So if any corrections are required to names or title, please let me know 😉

[1]I’d always planned for it to be cropped – the uncropped version just shows the bits that went past the edges.