A Year of Poetry

As some of you know, to celebrate their 100yr anniversary Poetry magazine decided to commission different artists to do a version of their Pegasus covers from earlier years, for every month of 2012.
Old covers with some very beautiful and charming drawings.
The call for me came in March so I got to see the covers already posted here on Drawger by Cathy Bleck, and Felix Sockwell (worth revisiting just to see Cathy's embossed card!)
And I was told there would be upcoming covers by Milton Glaser and Yuko Shimizu....
So no pressure ;)

I knew I wouldn't be able to add anything comparable in charm, beauty or design among that group of artists.
So the only thing I could think of was to approach it conceptually.

First I focused on the concept of poetry sometimes being mysterious like a riddle.

Second I tried to reduce the pegasus conceptually rather than visually.
I sent both in, just in case the reduced one was too different.
The editors went for it, but really felt like it couldn't have any gradations, which was too different in execution than the other months.
So I quickly rolled out a more graphic one in under an hour.

Both of these pieces actually started out the same way, as an embossed line drawing on heavy paper board. It just depends on how thick, thin, wet or dry I apply the paint to my brayers and then how much pressure and speed I use when I roll them over the embossed line drawing. It's simple enough but almost impossible to really control and it involves alot of frisket and swearing due to complete wash outs and having to emboss a whole new board or trying to fix it in photoshop...
BUT the best part was being able to see what everyone else did. And that's why I waited until December to post this, so I could show the variety of the total year. A real selling point for the variety you can get with commissioned illustration.

Surprise-wise Melinda Beck's July/Aug cover is my favorite.
Design-wise my favorite is Yuko's June cover, I guess I'm a sucker for symmetry.
Art direction and cover design by Alex Knowlton.
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