Something different …. book cover illustration



this one is dedicated to the power of facebook ….

I’ve been doing quite a bit of sketchbook work recently, and I’d been posting on my facebook page about some zentangle work I’d been playing with ….

Zentangle 1 (1) (more of that in a future post, I promise)

An author friend of mine saw it, and asked me if I could do an illustration for his about-to-be-published Young Adult fantasy novel …… Sea Talker: Hated by the people around him, sixteen-year-old Mercaj expects everything to change for the better with the arrival of his predestined soulmate. After she fails to show up, he’s forced into exile where he discovers long-forgotten powers over the sea, which despite his efforts to carve out a peaceful place of his own, might just destroy the whole world.

To fit with the themes of the book, he wanted a pen & ink line drawing that felt like a polynesian tattoo …… after some panic and hyperventilating, I thought I might actually be able to do this, and dug into some research …. turns out that there are layers and layers of meaning in the symbols used in these tattoos …. which made my life a bit easier ….


book cover illustration - Sea Talker

Working with those symbols – the ocean (life, death, the world beyond) represented as waves, jagged sharks teeth (guidance, power), the stylised turtle (the navigator who moves freely between land and sea, family, unity, harmony) and matching them with the themes in the book made it easy(er) to develop an idea ….

book cover illustration - Sea Talker


and refine, and simplify …. the suggestion of a vortex with the spiralling whirlpool of waves, and the mirroring so that the front and the back cover, laid side-by-side, made a heart-shape ….. very much fun, once I’d got over the odd-ness of working with pen, brush and ink instead of needle, thread & fabric ….

book cover illustration - Sea Talker

to get to the finished pieces ….

sea talker

Sea Talker – Alex F Fayle
(click to go to site)

Looks good, I think!!!! Makes me feel a little light-headed to see it!! It’s a great story, too ….




3 responses to “Something different …. book cover illustration

  1. Amazing and well done

  2. Gorgeous! And now I’m going to have to take a look at zentangles – it looks very meditative! Xx

  3. I was really impressed when Alex showed off the cover and said you’d done the art work — I remembered your zentangles, and thought this was really cool. And now, seeing the work behind the cover, I’m even more impressed. Kudos!

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