I've been illustrating since the late 80's and in that time, I've had some noteworthy assignments that venture into popular culture and are the kinds of jobs I might mention to a lay person to describe what I do.
In the past few years I've been doing the cover art for Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games series. The first book has been on the New York Times bestseller list for more than 100 weeks and Hunger Games second book 'Catching Fire' has been on it for more than one year.
On August 24th the final installment of the Hunger Games trilogy, Titled "Mockingjay" was released to the public. The tale of survival of the heroine Katniss in a post-apocalyptic world has enthralled readers for a few years now. The anticipation of this final chapter was huge and like Harry Potter, book stores had lines of people waiting for the doors to open. The initial printing is 1.2 million copies.
The cover was designed by Scholastic's Creative Director for Hard Covers, Elizabeth Parisi.
I take pride in working out a concept for an illustration but must say that the idea behind this series is all Elizabeth. She reads every book she designs and works hard to find just the right look for all her covers.
I met Elizabeth 20 years ago August 8th and we've been working together ever since. Doing work with someone you live with can sometimes feel like sailing into uncharted waters. It's great to know that after all these years we still enjoy working on covers together. Now if we could just finish our kitchen.
So, as most people know I'm a traditional painter. I work with sketches and photoshop all the time but finals are painted on a panel, photographed and sent to clients. For this series I decided to do the art digitally.
As it turns out, this was a good decision as the series became so popular. The artwork had to be a large enough file to enlarge into huge posters.
The final cover
Here are some shots from a book launch event for booksellers several weeks ago.
From the upper left clockwise;
The three books, Tim O'Brien and Suzanne Collins, Suzanne's introduction before the breathless booksellers, There were many little gifts and a handsome bag for all in attendance, my cover and finally Suzanne seemed to speak to everyone in attendance.