The General Illustration II class covers many career options for illustration students to try to experience for the first time. Our first project was to create a book cover—some type of design to grab a reader’s attention if it were in a book store. Our professor left it open for us to do whatever we wanted, like the title of the book (real or imaginary), medium, and style. The only goal was to create a cover that would grab attention.
Before we started the project, we looked at old sci-fi book covers from the 50’s and 60’s. A lot of the covers were amazing, the illustrations were created smartly and were very well designed. They had so much detail and strong color palettes that a lot of artists don’t think to use as much today.
To give an example for the project design, I created a book cover design for the title Life of Pi. At first I had made a really realistic type of design with painted waves and a boat that I had scanned into the computer, then I had gone in and made clouds using Photoshop. When I wasn’t sure how to design the tiger in the boat I had started messing around and made a random tiger that I wasn’t going to use just for the fun of it. But my professor walked by and loved it more than the actual cover I was working on. In the end I went with the design I had no intention of using. From that I learned that you’re not always stuck using a design that doesn’t necessarily work, you can always change what you’re doing. You might even like it better in the end if you do.