I love to play in a wide variety of creative media. When I’m not taking photographs, creating films or writing articles/short stories/plays, I paint. But not many people know I also design books and logos. At the launch of Ayn Cates Sullivan‘s Sparkle & The Light, I met a prospective client who wanted to know what books I had designed. So I chose to finally let the cat out of the bag and make this post.
I was lucky to work with great team to create design showcasing Ayn’s magical stories and Belle DuCray’s beautiful illustrations. I’m grateful to book shepherd Ellen Reid, for bringing us together. And to designer Diana Musacchio and pre-press expert Quike Hernandez, for their invaluable technical skills and expertise.
I love designing books, especially children’s books. I’ve been fortunate to work with Tori Nighthawk, a thirteen-year-old writer/illustrator, on her gorgeous book Don’t Judge a Bird by its Feathers. Tori has a gift with color, and with words. Her effort has been rewarded with several national and international awards, just months after the launch. The interactive app of the book, coming soon, will have video, an excellent tool to highlight the flora and fauna of New Guinea featured throughout the book and in the informative glossary. I’m sure this won’t be Tori’s last book.
I’m eternally grateful to Joan Z. Calder, for whom I designed the very successful Airplanes in the Garden, already in its third edition. It’s a perfect story for young people and grown-ups, and it includes a guide on how to grow your very own butterfly garden.
Although I’ve been doing graphic design for many years, I landed on the world of book design thanks to Patricia Selbert and her autobiographical novel The House of Six Doors, now in its second edition, also with a host of awards. Her lyrical and captivating story as an immigrant 13-year-old girl from colorful Curaçao in colorless Los Angeles, her new home, provides courageous honesty and a new phrasing for what home can be. And it spawned a memoir version that is very well received among students of English as a second language. It was incredible fun to work on the team with such talented creatives as Patricia and Erika Römer at Publishing by the Seas. I also got to work with my talented wife Nancy Black on this project, as she managed production and communications, and with publicist Jenna Zelin. Thanks to their efforts, the book was featured on NPR.
Creating books brings all my passions together into one place. For The House of Six Doors, for example, I was fortunate to play with every one of my passions:
• Art: I did the book cover painting, chapter headers, and the map of Curaçao.
• Design: I designed the book jacket, interior pages (print and digital, including a Special Illustrated Edition), media kit, and the Publishing by the Seas logo.
• Photography: including book jacket photos, Special Edition photos, author photos, book trailers.
• Multimedia and video: including author interviews, a directed animation and video of the creation of the painting, Patricia Selbert author’s website and her personal blog.
• Words: I contributed to press releases, the media kit, web content, and co-wrote Inside the House of Six Doors, part of the Special Illustrated Edition.