Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Closeup Reveal for the Cover of A Favorite Son

The cover of A Favorite Son, in both the ebook and audiobook editions, is based on my own mixed media painting. The main difference between the two is the proportions (square instead of rectangle.) In the original art I floated various paints on the paper, letting them drizzle and mix, to create an intricate, fiery flow of color. Then when they dried out I came in with a black pen, and drew just a few lines to suggest the figure. 

To me, this is what this image means: looking directly at yourself, facing the pain and the imperfections within, without any attempt to mask who you are—even if you find yourself on the verge of a meltdown. Which is the process the protagonist, Yankle, is going through in this story. He finds himself coming to terms with his core being, with how the tension between his emotions and needs has driven him over a lifetime. In a most profound sense, this is a story of crime and punishment.

As in my previous book cover designs for Apart From Love and Home, the  title and the author name cast a shadow over the image. If you look closely, the shadow has soft, fuzzy borders. However, one detail is different here: two of the letters of the author name cast a shadow like all the other letters, but the two glyphs themselves—U and P--are intentionally missing. Why? For two reasons.

First, because often in my art I discover that the
 eye is drawn to the unexpected, and the brain rises to the challenge when there is a missing link to resolve. The observer, then, becomes engaged with the art, and in a sense, becomes its creator. And second, because this missing detail is a symbol, an indication of the flawed character in this story. 
As with the U and P, the narrator's name, David Kudler, appears in shadow form only. This extends the graphical concept of the missing glyphs. It is also symbolic, because the voice is a soul. It fills our mind and heart, it resonates without having a visual, physical existence.

If your browser won't play it, try this

★ Love literary fiction? Treat yourself to a gift 
AudiobookAmazon US ★ Amazon UK iTunes
PaperbackAmazon ★ Barnes&Noble

"On a moral level  the novel had a powerful impact on me