Illustrated Book Covers.

For my subject on illustration, I had to illustrate the covers for 3 Penguin Classics books of my choosing, combining some stylistic elements of my two previously emulated illustrators, Shel Silverstein and Miguel Calatayud.


For my illustration, I chose to depict a woman in aristocratic attire. The woman has been depicted without facial features, and her body hangs lifeless. She is being controlled by strings from above. In this respect, she appears marionette like, to represent the manipulation displayed by the scheming lead characters, the Marquise de Merteuil and Vicomte de Valmont. The marionette girl could very well represent either/or Madame de Tourvel and the young Cecile de Volanges.  In some respects, the marionette could also represent Merteuil herself, whose calculating nature stems from the strict ideologies placed on her as a powerful woman in an otherwise patriarchal society, which eventually leads to her public disgrace.


Alice in Wonderland is the first book I ever remember loving, so I felt almost obligated to provide my own take on Alice’s story. My first decision was to try and avoid depicting tea cups or playing cards – the two pieces of imagery probably most associated with the book. As I was using pop art/psychedelia, I decided to steer away from the otherwise quaint depictions we often see and draw more on the weird, cerebral elements of the story. I chose to illustrate a representation of the scene where Alice, while inside the house of the white rabbit she had been pursuing, inadvertently grows to gigantic proportions. The shrinking/growing of Alice is a recurring motif in the story, often occurring after Alice ingests a substance such as a tonic or a mushroom. The counter culture of the 1960s interpreted this as being symbolic of hallucinatory drugs, and depictions of Alice and other denizens of Wonderland (the hookah smoking caterpillar in particular) in psychedelic art are common.


Lindsay’s book is a classic Australian mystery, and it’s ambiguous ending has been leaving readers bewildered and enchanted for decades. For my illustration, I wanted to depict the arm of a Federation era school girl reaching out from inside a wicker picnic basket. This both symbolises the literal disappearance of the school girls, while also serving as a metaphor for the oppressive Victorian society that these girls felt trapped by. The enigmatic Miranda seemed to know she was not long for this earth. Did she believe there was something greater waiting for her on the rock?

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