You may recall the BuzzFeed article I had mentioned the other day. I noted I was bewildered by its list of “32” book covers of 2016 that it asserts are “beautiful.” I wrote that frankly I believe NONE of them are.
Yesterday morning, I didn’t summon a meeting nor give a speech. But I had an idea along these lines. Having disagreed strongly with BuzzFeed there, in fairness let me share something of what I want to see on my coming (2017) new novel’s cover.
I needed a brief writing breather, too. So I decided to take out my “artist cap” yesterday and have a new go. The Conventions cover I’ve had on display for months is, for lack of a better description, a “working cover”; it is not necessarily to be the final one, although it may still turn out to be.
For some time, I have been considering using a portrait of a lady in all of her wide-brimmed-hat-wearing, eighteenth century glory. I would shift the current front cover to the back. I’m thinking I might include one or two other smaller-version eighteenth century portraits on that back as well.
I’m not saying it will be any of those three immediately above by eighteenth century French painter – who also did portraits of Queen Marie Antoinette and the royal children – Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun:
…and who, interestingly, also created a bit of a stir there, in the mid-1780s,
taking a selfie having painted herself (she was about age 27) smiling and with her mouth partly open and with her teeth showing. It was said that was artistically simply not done! #shocking #scandalous
I like the concept of a person filling the cover. And when I did up a new draft version yesterday, I thought the she I used for it made for, indeed, a “beautiful” cover.
But I’m still not sure about it. Why the doubt? At the risk of it being more eye-catching and “beautiful” will it also be – dare I say this – too “feminine?”
The other possibility is a gentleman. Unfortunately, the gentleman I would probably use looks in his portrait strikingly, I feel, like “Mr Darcy.” Not that there’s anything wrong with “Mr. Darcy.” However, Conventions is definitely not (even an attempt at a pale imitation of) Pride and Prejudice storywise.
Perhaps I’ll just combine the two? I don’t know. What a struggle. That so much of the book is completed has me increasingly stressed about its cover: the first impression anyone gets of it. I think I may need just to go back to the writing and have a further crack at the cover art in a few weeks.
Most certainly I don’t want anything along the lines of what I see in that BuzzFeed article and I don’t care how prominent or well-regarded its author happens to be. One aspect of “beauty,” to me, is it contains intangible qualities so aesthetically pleasing to the eye (and/or other senses) that it is seizes you to the point you are unable forget it. I last looked at that BuzzFeed list again the other day, and once more no cover on that list did anything approaching that for me.
Have a good day, wherever you are. 🙂