Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Connections, The Sea, and Fate

I recently completed the July/August cover for Cicada magazine, and I'm really excited to show you. John Sandford, my art director, was my first-ever art director when I worked for him at Carus Publishing in Chicago as an intern/in-house illustrator during the summer between my sophomore and junior years of college. John also happens to be an extra-talented illustrator in his own right (check out his work here!), and understands that giving an illustrator creative freedom will often yield the best results. I love doing assignments for John. There were no rules with this job-- he only told me some of the general themes of the magazine for that month: Connections, The Sea, and Fate.

I wanted to try something different. I wanted to do something epic and fantastical. I wanted to take the style of my "just for fun" Game of Thrones illustrations and turn it into something that worked for jobs. I love editorial, but I would also love to illustrate more in other fields too (hey book publishers!), and I know that I can rise to the challenge.
My sketch. After looking at a lot of nature photos from old National Geographics (from this tumblr), I got really into the idea of a ruined seaside civilization. The cover image needed to wrap around and the back cover illustration had to be relatively free of distraction so text excerpts/callouts from the book could be placed on top of the image.

I thought of the girl as a traveler/descendant come to pay her respects and meet the last remnants of the civilization. Or possibly she is the last remnant. It sounds a little bleak, but I like the idea of intrepid youths carrying on ancient traditions, and I thought it fits with the themes of the magazine issue nicely. The final:

Final with cover text & address label area:

One thing I learned-- rocks are kinda hard. Kinda easy, but kinda hard. One day I will do some rock studies.
Thanks for looking! I hope to do some more illustrations like this in the future!

17 comments:

Renee Kurilla said...

Gorgeous :) I know what you mean about rocks, I have the same problem with trees/leaves. But you rose to the challenge and they came out great!

LandPainter said...

Absolutely fantastic!!! Well done!

Mado Peña said...

I like a lot how you get into the style, the illustration is amazing from the very sketch! I just got issues with the text barely dissappearing into the sky... Aside from that, is perfect! :D

Nimit Malavia said...

sooooo beautiful Kali!! I love her costume design, and the ruins have the perfect ancient world feel to them. Wonderful!

Nicole said...

This is fantastic! In every sense. I really love the feel. It really puts you in her world.
Also always love seeing progress pictures. Really cool.

Brian said...

very cool, very beautiful

Clo said...

I absolutely love it! The mood! The character showing her back is surprising for a cover but it adds a lot to the illustration in the end! Gorgeous work Kali!

Louise said...

i think it looks great! I love the atmosphere of the whole thing. its really an intriguing illustration

Samantha Hughes said...

Ohhhh, this is gorgeous. Beautiful and atmospheric and with a juicy story to discover too ^___^

Will said...

=) looking mighty good =) I like the layout and the nice details and the rock structures =)

Eugene said...

Holy Moly! Will there perhaps be a print for this in the near future?

Britt said...

BAJEEBS!

Daron Leah Nefcy said...

great illustrations! love the colors on this!

Alexis said...

Soo gorgeous!!

Kali Ciesemier said...

You guys are too nice! Thank you so much!! So glad you all are enjoying it.

And Eugene-if you're interested in a print, just send me an email!

Delidel said...

Ryan Pequin sent me here. I'm glad I came.

Brian Elliott said...

It's a beaut.