Today’s the day! Illustrator Emily Sutton and I are excited to reveal the cover of our next book! Look at that gorgeous cover. It’s so beautiful and perfectly highlights what’s inside– the courageous tale of an 1800’s woman who began keeping the light and saving lives at age twelve.
Ready for the inside scoop on how this cover came to be? I’ve got the details straight from the talented illustrator herself, Emily Sutton. I have been a fan of Emily’s work for a very long time. When I discovered she was joining this project, words cannot describe my excitement. If you are not already an Emily Sutton fan, allow me to turn you into one!
Anna – What grabbed you about Kate’s Story?
Emily – I was immediately drawn to Kate’s story by her fierce determination and strength of character. Like all the best heroes she fought back against the expectations of others and stood true to her values in a time when girls and women faced huge discrimination. I also loved her independent spirit and ability to create a different yet very important and meaningful life.
Anna -How challenging was it to create this cover and could you take us on a visual tour and tell us a little bit about your process?
Emily – The initial concept for the cover art came to me pretty quickly but it required a few goes to get the composition just right. I knew I wanted the drama of a night sky with the beams of the lamps piercing though. I thought it emphasised how daunting Kate’s task was, but showed her looking bold and determined in spite of the storm.
When designing the cover I began by doing several small versions in my sketchbook, testing out different variations in the composition and changing up the scale and elements.
Once I’d decided on the composition I made a slightly more finished small scale drawing, putting the text in place and refining the details.
The next step was making a colour study, plus working on the hand lettering.
After I’d completed all these stages I scaled up my drawing and lightly traced it onto a sheet of watercolour paper before going in with watercolour washes, coloured pencils and a dip pen and ink to create the final piece. I inked up scraps of fabric which I pressed onto the dark blue painted sky to give the feel of the whooshing wind, and added lots of tiny lines to define the wavy sea (a small reference to one of my all time illustration heroes, who actually lived not too far from Kate- the amazing Edward Gorey).
Anna – Emily, thank you!
Readers, did I tell you or what? She is so talented (and a complete joy to get to know). Here’s where you can order other books and additional items from Emily’s creative brain! Coming up next week, we’ll talk to Emily again about who she is an artist, advice she has for young illustrators-to-be, and more.
Until, then, friends, thank you. Wouldn’t want to make the journey without you. As always, thank you for your support! COURAGE LIKE KATE is available for pre-order now. You may also request that your local library order a copy or two or three or ten!