'Stories For Book Lovers' picture book. Publisher: Alma
I was commissioned to illustrate a book of selected stories by renowed authors such as Fitzgerald or Chéjov. The common thread of the stories is the literary world in its broader sense. I made 16 illustrations (7 double and 9 single pages), cover, endpapers and some spot illustrations
What I like the most about this project is having to work in two-inks illustrations, since the commissions I receive  usually must be in full color. Making these illustrations in 100% black&white and a yellow pantone made me explore expressiveness through line and spot. I chose not to use grayscale to achieve stronger images, using the yellow colour in a symbolic/poetic way. I also really enjoyed the challenge of illustrating a short stories book, mainly because of the good selection of authors and their texts.
Normally, when I have a book or a book cover commission, the first thing I do is read the whole text. Then I start gathering all the information about the writer and the story. Who is the writer? When did he or she live? Is this story relevant for literature, history etc? Then I read the story again. I do it several times, writing down all the concepts, details and thoughts that I think can be useful. This is the most important part of the process for me. I always ask myself the same question: 'What do I want to tell with my illustration?’. Then I start to draw.


This is the first illustration I did for the book:  'Afternoon of an Author' by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The story is about a well-known writer who has to write a commissioned story. As he is totally uninspired, he decides to go for a walk, and the walk ends up being the story itself.

'The Legend of Barcelona's Bookseller Murderer' is about a bookseller who is so obsessed with books that he starts to kill people to collect their books. There are some versions of the tale; in one of those, the bookseller starts a fire and goes into a burning house to get some rare books.In my illustration I tried to show an image that reflects this madness using smoke as a dynamic element.

'Chist!' by A.Chéjov .The main concept of the story is the need for silence to write, and how a writer finds it in the middle of the night, when everyone else is finally sleeping. I used the yellow ink to link the writer with the stars, to connect the act of writing to something out of our rational thinking.

'History of the Necronomicon' H.P. Lovecraft. The story explains how Lord Northam began his particular interest in the occult, in religions, and even in Satanism. As a child he spent long periods in a castle. There, he woke up to write his own dreams as he was convinced that could be an open door to other worlds. I tried to reinforce this idea using the light coming through the window; the light becomes a shadow of an inverted cross.

'Best Seller' O Henry. The story is about a man who is critical with the typical bestsellers' love stories, but at the same time his own love story is an example of that: a man meets a girl, and in spite of their social differences, they become happily married.
The illustration shows the man in front of his father in law's house. He is determined to talk to him, despite the difference in their social status.

'La Biblioteca Universal' Kurd Lasswitz

'El cuento más hermoso del mundo' Rudyard Kipling

'La vida de Ma Parker' Katherine Mansfield

'Bobok' Fiódor Dostoyevski

'La edad madura' Henry James

'Tesoro extraído de una novela' Raimon Casellas

'El último libro' Alphonse Daudet

'Palinodia' Emilia Pardo Bazán

'Un documento' Leopoldo Alas “Clarín”

'Carta a Eduarda' Rosalía de Castro

'Y va de cuento' Miguel de Unamuno

The publisher wanted a cover with 'books and a blanket, something cosy and classical, a reading corner'. I chose an early century typography for the title. The form of the character, the cat and the blanket could remind us of a classical dressed woman.  To increase this mood, I drawed a bookcase as a decorative geometrical element covering the front and the back; its contour was printed in gold.
As the publisher wanted a colorful cover I chose the same yellow I used on the inside illustrations and some more colours with the same colour range.

Awards:

3X3 International Illustration Show 2021 - Honorable Mention - Covers
3X3 International Illustration Show 2021 - Honorable Mention - Books
World Illustration Awards 2021 - Highlt Commended - Comertial Publishing
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