Book Jacket Design

The Lady who Sailed the Soul

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This is a book jacket cover I did for a possible Cordwainer Smith anthology in which I illustrated a story that would be featured, "The Lady who Sailed the Soul." I wanted to express the emotional themes presented in the story while also referencing certain events that occurred. I also added a yellow tone to mimic retro sci-fi novels as this story was written around the 60s.

Process

Brainstorming

Before illustrating, I established what imagery I wanted to represent. I decided I wanted to portray more of an emotional and surreal relationship with the narrative. This story is a science fiction that deals with isolation, love, time, and age. Since the story is very complex, I wanted to create an impression of nostalgia and chaos that also contains the various themes that I previously mentioned.

Sketching

After I solidified what I wanted to achieve, I started to do thumbnail sketches. While sketching, I tried to identify what were the most important elements I wanted to include. For example, I wanted to include the eye as it is an element that is brought up throughout the story. In the story, the people of Earth are constantly watching the female protagonist. Additionally, she is able to understand and fall in love with the male protagonist through looking into his eyes. 

ESTHER ZHAN

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