The Echo book illustration

By 18th January 2014 May 3rd, 2017 No Comments

Long before the incredible Gravity hit the big screen, I was busy drawing spacemen for an exceptional client.

The Echo is the stunning sequel to James Smythe’s critically acclaimed literary sci-fi novel The Explorer. Late spring last year, I was briefed by Harper Collins to illustrate the cover. Once in a while, a brief comes along that slaps a grin across your face from start to finish.

The thought of travelling back in time to tell my 6 year old self that in the future, I would be paid to draw spacemen resided in my head throughout this project. If Gravity had been out beforehand, it would have been handy for my image research, but to be honest, checking out old cosmonaut videos and photos was hardly a chore for me.

The image was created with 2 astronauts drawn separately in pencil, these were then scanned into Photoshop for some cleaning up and to layer certain elements for the designers at Harper Collins.

For a project like this, the illustration is just part of the process. The image goes through another transformation after it is handed over to the design team. Cover designer Kate Gaughran, worked her magic producing the luscious soft-touch matt lamination jacket that can be found on the hardback edition of the book.

These photos really don’t do the finished product justice. So, you are just going to have to get down your local bookshop and get yourself a copy. Buy it please, you’ll get funny looks off the shop keepers if they catch you stroking books in the corner of Waterstone’s.

A special thank you to Dom Forbes, at Harper Collins for a great brief.

James Smythe’s website

James’ profile on Harper Collin’s site

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