A week later I get started on the actual project, which is part of The Penguin Student Design Award 2021, because it's its 15th year and is looking to discover the next generation of design and illustrated ideas. I was given a choose of two out of three book whether its an adult fiction, non-fiction or a children's book. The books I decided to use in this project are "Life Isn't Just Ha Ha Hee Hee," and "The Uninhabitable Earth." Before I could get started on creating any ideas for a book cover, I needed to do a little bit of reading in these books and pick some quotes or lines to help me get an idea of what book cover I want to create.
It was a little bit of a struggle in "Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee," because it's about the lives of three Indian women and they live in England. The thumbnails I did for a background has got more of India than England. When I was eleven years old I was on in a three-week holiday in India with my parents and brother. It was a good holiday and I thought this could be useful to create a book cover, but with one of classmates (Emily) who is also doing this book cover made me realise that the story is based in England of three Indian women, so before I create any more thumbnails I needed to rethink the background for the book covers.
This is what I want to do in this project, creating book covers is Lino-printing. I enjoy doing Lino-printing when I was in college, I made of lot colours in a lot of prints and I want to do the same thing when I'm creating the book cover designs. Before I could do any artwork, I needed some practice on Lino-printing. It has been a while since the last time I did any of it and it was worth the effort in the end. I start practicing by using my name "William Stewart Jackson", in a few typography fonts. It went alright (there were one or two letters I got the wrong way), but as a reminder, from myself and my tutor Dwayne is being careful with the drawing Lino-cutting, by not cutting myself. When doing these prints, they didn't go quite right, but using photoshop can help fix any problem and add in some more colours. After a little more practice, I went straight to work on finalising the book covers. I start by drawing the front cover and spine from the ideas I drew to create a book cover design before I did any Lino-cutting and printing with several colours. It took me over a week to get each layer carved and printed, the colours I wanted to use for a book cover design. I was getting a little worried that I might not be able to get all the prints done, before I could use any photoshop to finish up. But I've made time to get each layer coloured and done. When I got the prints done, I have a look at them carefully before using them, there are one or two from both book designs were a little better than I thought. But the rest were not quite good to use, there were several mistakes from the coloured layers I've made. The front cover and spine were in the wrong way around when I printed them out. When I showed the work to my classmates and tutor Dwayne, they agree with me that they could be better either separate colours, more practice, and draw the work back to front before cutting and printing them. The best thing I could do right now is use photoshop to improve the work a little further. I took some photos of all the Lino-prints making each shot clear for me to see, and a right angle as possible for when I use photoshop. Placing the artwork the right way like a proper book cover and then I added in some colours on either the titles, leaves, bubbles, etc... to make each book cover visible as possible. In the last design ideas were done in a mixture of concentration and a little bit of fun. The book cover of "The Uninhabitable Earth," I used one of the earlier prints I did before finishing with the rest of colours and is has worked a lot better, even with the light/brightness adjustments. In the other book cover "Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee," I used a lot of light/brightness and level adjustments. And I used yellow paint on the figure and on the road to make it little like is gold (or at least close to the effect). From both book covers I put in a little info of what each book is about by looking at the actual books on the internet and I made sure that I haven't miss spelled anything before finishing the artwork. I've waiting for a while for some feedback in this project. My tutor Dwayne thinks I may made a bit of confusion from this project to the experimental that me and my classmates have done, before we started on this project, meaning I might've not quite followed the instructions. He says I've made a lot of thumbnails, which is good, but one of them (he seemed to like) could be done a lot more thoroughly like I did with my last thumbnail ideas. Maybe with more type fonts or more research on the subject (ocean life). Dwayne was impressed for me being bold to use Lino-printing (which wasn't easy in the process), but when I scanned them on photoshop I need to stretch or squash the artwork so much and maybe not put in too much text in the back of the book cover. What I also need to do on photoshop was keep a bleed border on the edge of each book cover so everyone don't see a lot of white around. The good thing was "The Uninhabitable Earth," was more successful, because it's more visible and not too many colours from the Lino-prints. The book cover "Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee," more less successful, because there was a lot of dark all over, making it difficult for everyone see any shape or text in the artwork. So through all that, Dwayne is saying I've done not bad artwork, but keep working more thumbnail ideas and keep trying to make the artwork more visible.
This is something to work on in the next art project.
Quotes from the Books
By reading and picking out the quotes from both books, I started creating some thumbnail ideas using pencil. A week later I work on more thumbnail ideas with some colour on and they're a little better, with what I am struggling with is which is best to create a final design on for book covers.
I've chosen a few quotes from "The Uninhabitable Earth," which were:
The Early Design Ideas
I work a little further on the book ideas, this time with some colour, but I'm still struggling on which out of two books are the best to create the designs in this project.
When that was sorted, I created a few more thumbnails of "The Uninhabitable Earth," using the quote, "the oceans were more than a hundred feet higher," and "Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee," using quotes, "through new fallen leaves," and "mummified in red and gold silk," before I chose what idea to create in each book cover. Earlier from the last thumbnails, I was tempted to the quotes from "The Uninhabitable Earth," saying "there were five mass extinctions," and another saying, "one that killed the Dinosaurs," but because I have done a lot of artwork on Dinosaurs which I enjoy doing a lot I decided to do something else for this book cover.
The Best Choices
It has been a long time since, I last did any Lino-printing so doing a little practise in several colours and layers will help get the hang of this art skill again and it shouldn't be too hard to work on the book designs.
Printing the Book Cover
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