Riding out the Hurricane: Book Design & Illustration

Complete cover design and illustrations for 2011 Silver Nautilus Award-winning novel by Maeve McMahon.

With a cover endorsement by Bishop Desmond Tutu.

It's an excellent story about the disaster in Louisiana - and its terrible aftermath. The writer, Maeve, actually lived through the disaster herself and saw the school she helped to set up, and that she worked in - washed away.

Two previously submitted designs weren't hitting the mark so my services were called upon. The book and its cover was being judged by Louisiana people - including the black community. I've been pretty ignorant of the culture there but the finished cover has received a big big stamp of approval.

It was a very enjoyable and satisfying piece to work on and the conversations I had with the author and the many doodles and sketches I produced helped me to hit that mark.

The eureka moment was at 2am as I read the book. I suddenly wondered what shape a corrugated cardboard box would make if opened out? This item was the first piece of comfort the protagonists experienced in days following the initial storm and flood. As it happened - it didn't make a cross but with a little judicial tearing I was able to achieve an impression of it - subtly. Maeve's an Irish nun and she says the book has a strong spiritual element. I managed to hint at this but without putting too much weight on it.

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Front Cover Illustration:

The illustrations were executed in watercolours, inks and Polychromo pencils on paper.

riding out the hurricane book illustration front

Back Cover Illustration:

riding out the hurricane book illustration back

The eureka-moment sketches:

riding out the hurricane book cover sketches

Art Director, Designer & Illustrator: John White
Client: Maeve McMahon
Mediums: Pencils, Paper, Gouache paint, Pen; Adobe Photoshop & Indesign

Art Directed/Designed for

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