My illustrator, Taylor Lucas, has been hard at work the past five months sketching and inking Rapunzel the Hairbrained. Ready for the big cover reveal?
Taylor was a joy to work with. You should check out his artwork on his website. We emailed back and forth about a dozen and a half times to really hone in on the details of the final product. Surprisingly what took the longest – for me at least – were the words on the cover! What font is readable yet whimsical, and will stand out from the background?
Other than Rapunzel herself, perhaps my favorite part of the cover is the curvy purple shape behind our names – looks like a lock of hair! On the back cover (left as you look at it now) you will see a dangling vine that is a running theme in the interior illustrations. The color scheme throughout heavily features purples, yellows, greens, and a hint of red.
This is the first time I have collaborated directly with an illustrator. I’ve worked with local artists for ekphrastic poetry. That’s how I met my good friend, Alys Caviness-Gober. She painted Marilyn Monroe inspired by one of my poems. And Aili McGill drew an illustration for a short story I wrote about Snow White’s dwarves in the Old West. But thanks to a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission, it took it altogether to the next level to work on an entire book with an illustrator.
The extent of my art training was middle school standard art classes. Sometimes I found myself unable to see the same nuance Taylor did, or having an opinion about the artwork but lacking the vocabulary to describe it. But at the same time, it was a lot of fun to make the attempt! Taylor had to put up with me emailing him comments like, “Fewer of those circle things.” I learned a lot from him as an artist – what he valued in making an illustration functional. He did a lot to instill movement into the storyline.
Right now I am working on the second section of the book, which will include discussion questions and activities to help young readers analyze the story and consider what they traits they should truly value in themselves.
Rapunzel the Hairbrained comes out in April 2018. This project is made possible by the support of the Indiana Arts Commission, a state agency.