Monday, January 3, 2011

A New Year's Gift from The Beast

Seems like a good time to remember to change your perspective regularly.

I accomplish this by going up on my roof. But you can also just get upside down in your living room or stand backwards in the elevator. Whatever works. Just make sure you don't look at everything the same way, all day, every day. Your Beast will thank you.

The Making of a Book Cover

Book Covers are really, really interesting.

Think about it - you're in a bookstore, or you're on a book website, and you're browsing books. Have you ever considered in detail what you are looking at?

Go to a section of a bookstore and notice how similar all the covers are. Go to the Crafts section and all the books have this touchy-feely, collage-like aspect to them. Buttons and fabric layered on there. Very smooshy and tactile.

Then try the Sports section. Half the books are green! They evoke fields, they have sports figures in action on them.

Then there's the Business section. Everything is really clean, lots of solid colors, maybe some smiling expert on there. But super focused. Really bold, action-oriented titles. They like words like "NOW" and "BEST" and things like that.

So when I designed the cover for Rick DiBiasio's new book, "When Do I Get to Be Me?", I had to think about all this. Where would this book find itself in the book store? How would people classify it based on its appearance? What would they expect to find inside?

It needed to be bold, not too touchy-feely, since Rick's not really a fabric collage kind of guy. But it did need that unexpected piece that the Creative Beast brings. So I combined a very clean look with a single bit of hand-drawn art, to convey the idea of being YOU in the midst of the world. That hand-drawn piece also transitions to the illustrations inside the book, which have that same sort of look.

Then Rick said, "Put red on there. I learned that with my last book." So I did. I happen to love orange, so I put that on there too. We also snuck a Beast onto the back.

And here's the result:

Thanks Rick for the chance to design and illustrate your book - what a lot of things there are to think about - and that's before you even read all the inspiring thoughts that he's put into it! Which, by the way, are well worth it. I am totally biased. But it's true.

Merry Christmas from December, 1945

Alberto Vargas
Artist: Alberto Vargas
Original page from the 1945 Esquire calendar

Event caricature live

Check out my live work: WWW.YOUTUBE.COM

Nicki Minaj by Khary Randolph

girl sketch
Artist: Khary Randolph

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