Reimag­in­ing El i Mon­press

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Studio Profile -

Lau­ren Panepinto, Or­bit’s cre­ative direc­tor, on the think­ing be­hind cre­at­ing new art for Rachel Aaron’s The Leg­end of Eli Mon­press Or­bit com­mis­sioned Sam We­ber to il­lus­trate the cover of The Leg­end of Eli Mon­press. “Sam does great char­ac­ter por­traits,” says Lau­ren Panepinto. “We wanted him to cap­ture the main char­ac­ter, who’s very funny, arch and rogu­ish. A lot of our il­lus­tra­tors are good at char­ac­ter de­sign, but Sam is also very good at con­vey­ing emo­tion.” Rachel has since writ­ten a fourth book.

Or­bit’s brief asked for some hu­mour, ro­mance and epic­ness – but not

too much of each.

Char­ac­ter sketch

Per­fect pose

“Sam came back with those ini­tial thumb­nails within a week. We thought it was dy­namic to have the pro­tag­o­nist in this Spi­der-Man-es­que pose, which con­veys a sense of fun. He looks a bit more heroic in some of the other sketches.”

Com­bined con­cepts

“We put two of Sam’s sketches to­gether and flipped things around so it looked like he was leap­ing off. I quickly Pho­to­shopped them to­gether at our cover meet­ing. Sam mostly works tra­di­tion­ally, so we needed to fac­tor that into the timescale.”

Fi­nal touches

“We knew we would need to put colour in the type as Sam’s style uses very muted back­grounds. We gave the type less char­ac­ter, how­ever, as the il­lus­tra­tion does all the work. This edi­tion re­ally breathed new life into the se­ries.” “I sent Sam the manuscript and a phys­i­cal de­scrip­tion of the char­ac­ter. Hu­mor­ous but not too hu­mor­ous, epic but not too epic, ro­man­tic but not for a ro­mance book. Th­ese thumbs came out of his imag­i­na­tion – he re­ally nailed the at­ti­tude.”

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