Thursday, October 16, 2008

Can't Be Arsed

Despite being but a few sleeps away from my 24th birthday, despite being so grown-up that top of my wishlist for my said birthday is a radiator bleed key, and despite, many birthdays back, Alanis Morrisette's best efforts to educate me, I still don't really know what irony means. This itself is ironic because I use it in speech all the time.

Now I've done a book cover- for a real book you can buy in Borders and on Amazon and in fact in loads of places, even Debenhams (it's true). It's the highlight of my illustratorial career and it was published just over a month ago. And yet I haven't yet been bothered to put it up on my blog. This is ironic, I think, because the book is called Can't Be Arsed. You see?

The book is by Richard Wilson, a big comedy cheese at Hat Trick productions (Have I Got News For You, Buzzcocks etc.) It's a genuinely funny anti-101 things to do before you die book, that is, it's a 101 things not to do before you die book. I had the good fortune of meeting Mr Wilson a week or so ago and by this point Can't Be Arsed had been out a fortnight and had already completely sold it's first print run, which people in the publishing world (technically that now includes me) say is an impressive feat.

Whether this initial success is a result of Mr Wilson's serious media connections garnering cover quotes from Paul Merton, Sean Lock and Boris Johnson and media coverage from The Times, thelondonpaper, Radio 4 and The Sun or in fact more to do with my name being there in 9-point text on page 4 is impossible to say. But either way, I'm proud.

Here's how the cover started. The art-direction was very specific: a man in an arm chair reading a book with his back to a load of the things you're not to do. For some reason I thought it was going to be in black and white.

Then I coloured it in and put in a funner bungee guy.

Brighter colours and some hand-type.

And some more type and colour variations.

In the end the publishers ditched the background elements from the front entirely, and used them as spots on the back instead. So the final cover actually looks a bit different to what I was expecting, but definitely stronger for that too.

No comments: