The Amazing Absorbing Boy – Book Cover Art

Posted by operator x On July - 25 - 2010


Above is the final artwork for a recent book cover assignment for Random House Canada. I was contacted by art director Jennifer Lum to illustrate the cover and 20 small interior illustrations for The Amazing Absorbing Boy, a new novel by Rabindranath Maharaj. I enjoyed this assignment very much, and working with Jennifer was a real joy. Like my last post, I thought I’d share here some of the process and roughs that led to the final art.

The book focuses on the culture shock experienced by a teenage boy as he immigrates from Trinidad to Canada, specifically to the Regent Park area of Toronto. With that idea in mind, I drew up 2 initial cover concepts, in colour like I usually do. Both the drawings below were drawn quickly and featured Regent Park, a distinctive area of Toronto, as a specific location:


While I liked the first concept, I hated the 2nd one. But I sent them both to Jennifer, to get her suggestions. After talking with her and getting the proper final dimensions for the artwork, I drew up another round of cover concepts: some were slight tweaks to previous ideas, while others took the cover concept in different directions:


After sending these to Jennifer, I was told that concept 6 was approved. She also sent back a rough mockup of the cover with all the copy in place:


That mockup formed the basis for the final cover illustration, which is at the top of this post.

I also drew 20 black and white interior illustrations, to be printed very small, as chapter openings. You can see a sampling of some of them below:


All in all, this was another highly enjoyable project to work on. Jennifer Lum gave me a lot of freedom on this, especially with the interior art, and was a great collaborator to work with.

For more information The Amazing Absorbing Boy, you can check out the the listing on Random House Canada’s website.

View full post on Michael Cho’s sketchbook

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