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Linocut design for book cover concept

A few of weeks ago I got an email from a big well known book publishers.

The editor liked my work and I was asked to create a book cover concept for one of their new titles.

There must me some mistake? It must be a fake email?

Well it wasn't!!!

This was on a Thursday. They needed the concepts by end of Monday.

I was having a much need 2 day break with friends in Grosmont. Eeek!!!

I was awaiting approval from the National Trust on my linocut test prints too. Another project with a tight deadline and one I couldn't let slip.

Before I knew it the words came out of my mouth saying YES!

How could I say no after all?

On the Friday I did lots research to understand the target market. Before I went on the Saturday I put together a pack of colour samples and print samples to accompany my concepts in London. Sunday we came home early as the weather was awful, sleet and gale force winds. I curled up on the sofa with my sketchbook and bashed out ideas.

Although I'd not been asked to provide actual linocut designs at this stage, I felt I needed to in order to get my style across. After all it's not every day you get chance to have your designs shown at a big book publishers!

I'm allowed to share this bit. My initial linocut.

I went onto scan and colour the design up, showing how it would look on the cover. It also meant I could show the design in several colourways. There are other elements too that I could layer on top in Photoshop.

Should my artwork be selected there were bound to be changes. I'd re-cut the design and print it in colour, before scanning.

I'm disappointed to say that at the covers meeting the sales team decided to stay with the current in-house graphic style that they are currently using on the authors series. A shame as apparently the editor and top bosses really liked my cover artwork.

Despite all of that, they were a lovely client to work with and is often not the case, paid me for my concepts too. I was down in the dumps and lost my mojo for a bit but a weekend of teaching workshops brought it back. :-)

It's very easy to focus on the negatives. This was their feedback. I need to keep focused on that.

"I hope to work with you again in the future, as the editor and I thought you were super professional."

So I've now got fire in my belly that I'd like to design book covers. If you've any good contacts or can point me in the right direction of publishers that would suit my style I'd love to hear from you.

Thank you


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