September 20, 2012

The Lord of the Rings bookcover

My first illustration project this year - a book cover illustration - which was one of the most challenging tasks for me idea wise. The intent was to make a bookcover for my favorite book - the Lord of the Rings. The challenge was  - there is too much awesome art done on the Lord of the Rings already. Will I be able to transcend my magical special feeling of this book through my cover illustration? Most of the books I've seen had beautiful cover designs, and I knew that the technical level of proficiency of the artists and the inspiration that people get from their works were high and challenging to match. Nevertheless, pretty much all of them to me had nothing to do with the main idea of the book - they were mostly separate snapshots of scenes out of Tolkien's narrative, which had a reference to one of the leading themes but by no means encompassed them all and did not transcend the ancient mysterious spirit of the novel. So I have based my work around this main problem - how would I say everything that this book is about to me through one image?
The solution came to me through quite a bit of thumbnailing and the main two things that I did were -
eliminating all the characters from the cover, because it is reasonably hard to tell, which ones out of all are the main, and trying to transcend the general mood of the book through the patterned shapes and the colors of the cover, as well as the materials, which are chosen to give a certain feel to the novel.
The book would be made in leather cover with a tapestry illustration pasted into it. The main motif is the Ring and the Eye of Sauron seen through Galadriel's mirror at Lothlorien, the mirror, which shows the Past, the Present, the Future, and That, which Would Never Happen. This to me signifies the intertwining of the "Dark world", "evil" side of the book with it's lightest, hopeful, beautiful side. The complexity of the patterns translates the complexity of the story and the roots are like the many lines of the plot intertwining in one single tapestry.
Please tell me what you think, your comments are really precious to me as that is the only way I can know for sure what works and what doesn't.
Thank you,
<3 Olga. 

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