Penguin Random House // Body and Soul Food By Abby Collete / Book Cover, Adult Fiction
Penguin Random House commissioned me for the cover illustration for Body and Soul Food, a murder mystery and thriller novel by Wall Street Journal bestselling author Abby Colette.
The brief asked for the main characters and mystery solvers, fraternal twins, Koby and Keaton, in a warm and cozy setting with something omnious and unsettling subtly going on. They were to be depicted in a soul food and book shop combination establishment. The author mentioned there’s archway leading from the soul food cafe side to the book shop library. The colours were to be bright and vivid with no gory details. A complete juxtaposition to the genre of the book. Dimensions of final illustration include bleed size.
I had fun creating the concept sketches and designing what the cafe/book shop library would look like. I am particularly proud of bringing vanitas art into this as we tried to develop ways to incoporate the “something unsettling going on” aspect, I was looking at the flower vases and objects I had placed on the tables when I thought they looked like still life compositions and thats when the idea to add a skull into the composition struck me. Vanitas art itself represents life and death, the brevity of it all and such a fititng meaning to a murder mystery, I also gave it a bright colour so it wouldn’t look like this warm and inviting cafe had an actual skull as its decoration (no gory details), but a skull used as decoration in a soul food cafe does seem...unsettling.
CLIENT: Penguin Random House | Publishing House
ART DIRECTOR: Vi-An Nyugen
THANKS TO: Mendola Artists
SCOPE: Illustration (Cover Design and Layout by Penguin Random House)
APPLICATION: Paperback Book Cover, Kindle and Audible Book Cover