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Brian Stauffer
This Won't take But A Minute Honey
posted:
Last year my dear friend and a brilliant auther, Steve Almond, contacted me about doing a dual cover for a combined 2-in-1 book he was just finishing.
 
On one side the book is a collection of bitter-sweet short stories.  When the book is flipped over it reads as a series of hilarious how-to lessons for young writers.  Steve wanted two similar but separate covers that convey the sweet/ pleasure of the short story side and the medicinal/educational content of the how-to side.
 
The first edition of the book contained the Nurse/Dominatrix imagery suggested by Steve.  After viewing them in print I thought it might be nice to take a more serious approach to honor the tone of the brilliant writing in the short stories.  I just felt like the dominatrix was too playful.
 
For the next printing I developed the "skulls in flowers" images which more correctly reflected the somber tone of the stories.
 
And when it was time for a third printing we thought it might be fun to just keep going and create another.  This version features a woman sprouting thorns.  A version of it was created a few years back as a cover for one of Steve's other books.  A gutless publisher over-rode us and went with a stock photo so we thought we'd freshen it up and use it here.
 
An unexpected phenomena has come from the realease of three editions.  People are buying all three as a set even though the writing is essencially the same.
 
It's been a fun project and I thank Steve for having the guts to want something unconventional with the format.



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Stauffer is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!