Updated: Jul 14, 2018
See how I take a novel and create a companion piece of art.
Basing my creations on the words, places or themes (sometimes all three smashed together) the book presents. Basing my creations on the words, places or themes (sometimes all three smashed together) the book presents.
It's a strange hobby to be sure but no stranger than these...
Vicious Rumer by Joshua Winning
Here is his striking book cover designed by the magician Mark Ecob.
Vicious Rumer is a book about a girl called Rumer, who is cursed. She scraps by, working for a dingy London detective agency, but she lives in the shadow of her mother. A violent criminal dubbed the ‘Witch Assassin’ whose bloodthirsty rampage terrorised London for over a decade.
I was very keen to read it and was very glad I did. It's a high paced novel that introduces us the the crazy world of Rumer has to navigate to stay alive.
I’m holding a hammer. It’s already bloody and the guy in the chair is screaming. When he’s not screaming, he’s sobbing like a baby. Like he needs his mummy, but mummy’s not here and I figure if I shatter a few more bones, he’ll remember that.
Thinking about how to create ideas around Rumer, wasn't hard at all, the story screams Graphic Novel, so when I put this to Josh, he loved the idea.
It was one of the earliest scenes which held a striking the visual of Rumer with a hammer and a willingness to use it.
I sketched out a very rough plan.
I drew two Rumers one with her back to us in her in her stalking uniform of dark hoodie and jeans, and the other was with her face as half a skull. Death has followed her throughout her life and drawing her this way this was a Gothic visual I couldn't resist.
The centrepiece turned out to be the surge of blood dripping from the hammer. I researched waves in art and kept coming back to the beautiful painting of The Great Wave off Kanagawa which is one of 36 woodblock prints by the Japanese ukiyo-e artist Hokusai. I love the way the waves look like tiny threatening hands trying to grab the fishermen.
So here's what we came up with...
I put the man who was being tortured for information down a long corridor, so your eye is drawn 'into' the picture. I created texture and shadowing with a technique called cross-hatching when working with ink pens, it adds depth and interest.
Josh had the idea to turn the blood punk pink instead of red, which I think was inspired. Bold, unusual colours against black and white images makes everything else pop.
I also put other features from the novel into the artwork. The gravestone covered in pink graffiti as a nod to the 'backstory of Rumer', along with the newspaper ripped out tucked in her back pocket.
Between Josh's storytelling and my doodling skill, I think we've created something rather marvellous, and I hope both he and you enjoy it.
His book Vicious Rumer is out now, nab yourself a thrilling read.