I'm excited to share the cover for my debut picture book, ON A RAINY DAY. I wrote the first version of this story in Jaunary of 2017, and its kind of surreal to be at the point where I can search for my name and title on any well-known book vendors site and see this--my book cover.
And while you're here I have to mention--my book is now available for pre-order BUT!! I'm planning on setting up a pre-order campaign with my local independent bookstore for those who want a signed copy. If you want to be sure and get notified about that and other news about my books and art, sign up for my newsletter! (Click NEWS AND UPDATES in the site menu).
I'd like to say first that there was a bit of a journey before we arrived at this cover! I wanted to take a minute to share a bit about the process I went through before ultimately arriving at the final cover image.
My early sketches were... okay, I guess. I was focusing on communicating the mood and situation in the early part of the book, when the character's outside fun is interrupted by a sudden rain storm.
But those images just... aren't that exciting, are they? Bit of a downer, really.
It was suggested I try a scene from the middle of the book, but shown from a different angle. I really liked this option.
This image is much better, in my opinion! Its cozy, and it has a BLANKET FORT. How could you say no to a BLANKET FORT?
By this point the interior art was finished, so the art director and team were able to look at all the illustrations while thinking about what might work as a cover. I was asked to do MORE sketches for a cover--they specifically requested sketches of the characters puddle jumping, to "reflect how active the interiors are".
Learning to draw characters that look active (rather than stiff) has LONG been a struggle of mine. I still haven't been able to forget the moment was informed by my freshman Figure Drawing teacher that I was receiving a B instead of an A because my drawings "looked like statues, instead of living, breathing people."
I have NEVER been good at gesture drawing (quick loose drawings that focus on capturing the movement/action of a character). In every class where I've done gesture drawing the teacher always had *ahem* PLENTY of feedback for me, while passing by my classmates with a simple, "Good job! Keep it up!"
I know, I KNOW, comparison is just asking to feel bad about myself. It isn't productive. But its hard not to get caught up in it! We all fall into that trap sometimes I think. I'm no saint.
So I graduated knowing that I was bad at drawing action and gesture... and never really stopped believing that about myself.
So if I was surprised by the fact that an ART DIRECTOR who works with dozens of amazing illustrators called MY art active? It was because it challenged a long-held belief of mine, a long accepted weakness in my drawing skills. So yes, I was happy to try for something active! Time to prove my figure drawing teachers wrong! We were sad to let go of the blanket fort image--so, we put it on the back cover.
Overall, I'm very happy with this cover. My one reservation about showing puddle jumping on the cover of my book was.... its kind of a spoiler. Can you spoil something as short as a picture book? The puddle jumping scene is basically the climax of the book. I tried to set up some doubt in the story as to whether they would prefer to just spend the day inside. HOWEVER, it is a fun, happy, active cover that I think is much more enticing than the other options.
What do YOU think? Are spoilers in picture books a thing, or are they too short to bother? Would it have been better to go with a less active cover in order to preserve the surprise of the ending?
I'm working on getting some links on my BOOKS page (see the menu on the left) where you can pre-order ON A RAINY DAY.
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