My cover art for Laura E. Goodin’s debut book, After the Bloodwood Staff was commissioned by Odyssey Books Australia.

Since this story quite self-consciously adopts, and then subverts, the tropes of Victorian adventure fiction, the brief was to emulate those vintage book covers; think, ‘Boys’ own adventures’ kind of look. Specifically, this artwork called for faux-embossed borders, characters in action, a sense of place and an overall ‘preloved’ (vintage) feel.

My final cover art depicts the three main characters running through the glow-worm cave at Wollemi National Park (providing a sense of adventure and place), flanked by snakes (a hint of danger). It’s a scene that visually represents the subversive nature of the book – characters, like the story, moving between one reality (the darkness inside the cave) into another (the lush foliage and bright world outside the cave). The back cover features more site-specific foliage (and, it’s creepy crawlies), edged with Wollemi pine. And, it’s all framed within faux-gold, faux-embossed decorative borders, and treated to look ‘worn’.

I drew each picture by hand (graphite, pastel), then brought them together into one cohesive design digitally.

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