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!