velocipede races close up

Velocipede Races Cover

This time last year I was reading a quick and fun book by Emily June Street called The Velocipede Races, preparing to illustrate its cover. The book centers around a young woman’s passion for cycling, is tinged with steampunky Victoriana, and is also digestibly feminist. In short, I totally enjoyed it and had no trouble finding inspiration to design its new cover. I decided to use a papercutting/scherenschnitte style and incorporate the corset, trying to capturing a mood… of a sporty lady craving to burst out of that delicate corset.

Here’s what I initially submitted to Elly Blue over at Microcosm Publishing:

velocipede races early design

To my surprise, the advance copy went black, which I’m glad was a temporary shift! It still looked cool, but I hated to see the illustration’s depth and contrast lost.

advance copy velociped races

We hashed things out because Joe at Microcosm is addicted to pink, especially hot pink, and he needed pink on this cover. Joe chose colors based on my request for his closest Pantone match to Hollywood Cerise (one of the only pinks I can stomach), and a blackish blue that could be used in varying opacities. I tried my best to apply them in a 2-color ink format that I wasn’t prepared for when I did the initial illustration. That was tricky! I was able to keep most of the 3D of the initial design, but had to ditch subtlety and swap it out for inevitable optical illusion. But it worked out, and we have a colorful book cover guaranteed to catch the eye and dazzle it.

Velocipe Races Cover Jan 2016

Here’s Velocipede Races with another of Elly Blue’s projects called “Our Bodies, Our Bikes.” I’m also honored to be an author in Our Bodies, Our Bikes, helping to write a piece about lady bits and bicycle saddles.

Put me on your bookshelf!