Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday Flourish: Rafe Ryder + The Well of Wisdom

Happy Friday Everyone!

I have another fun project to share with you this week, one I'm immensely proud of and sincerely hope you guys end up loving as much as I do.

Author L.L. Reynolds got in touch with me thanks to the amazing Katie Cross (who has been one of my biggest supporters), and as soon as I read the words "middle grade fantasy" in her inquiry email I hit reply with record speed. What followed was a collaboration full of laughs and over the top enthusiasm on both sides, and I can't thank L.L. enough for her unwavering trust as she handed me her book and simply said "do whatever you need to do to make this cover the best it can be".

Since this was middle grade, we both knew we wanted an illustrated design, something full of color, texture, and movement that would really draw the eye of readers young and old. I also wanted to design this first book with the entire series in mind, creating a Rafe Ryder brand that would be carried through each subsequent book, so I started with my core elements (which included the title treatment and a pair of wings) and then built out from there.

Since this first book is titled The Well Of Wisdom, I wanted to make sure the well itself appeared on the cover along with its very important counterpart, The Tree of All Knowledge, and I then completed the design with a few other small elements to try and bring this fantastical world to life.

For fun, I thought you guys might like to see the initial sketch I sent to L.L. for approval before I began putting the design together on the computer, if for no other reason than it will give you a good laugh. For all that I'm artistic, drawing on paper really isn't my strong suit ;-)



Glorious isn't it? *pats self on back*

I think the final version turned out a touch better...



Strange things happen when the place you call "home" is no longer your address.

Twelve-year-old Rafe Ryder's year couldn't get worse. His parents have shipped him off to live with his grandmother and he doesn't know if he'll ever see his sick father again. Arriving in Maine, Rafe plots his return to England, but the possibility of a homecoming slips further from his grasp when an adventure in a corn maze at his new school goes wrong, and he and twelve of his schoolmates are mysteriously transported to Mystfira—a realm of angels, leprechauns, gargoyles and fairies—and home to an elite angelic training school. Forced to co-exist with student angels and surrounded by more danger than he ever could have imagined, Rafe searches for a way home only to stumble upon a scheme to destroy the heavens. Can he find a way to save himself and his friends...or will they be lost forever?

Rafe Ryder and the Well of Wisdom is set to release next month, so I hope you guys add this one to your lists. I've also done some interior artwork for this book, including a full map of the fantasy world of Mystfira, so I'd love for you all to check it out when release day comes around!

39 comments:

  1. Oh I love this one, the colors are so appealing! Beautiful!

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  2. You are beyond talented Jenny, I just love it! It turned out amazing!! Thanks so much for sharing this with us, I hope you have an amazing weekend!!

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    1. THANK YOU!!!! I'm particularly proud of this one, I had such fun working on it with L.L. and I think that comes through in the design:)

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  3. It does look like it could appeal to MG readers :)

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  4. OH MY GOD, JENNY, YOU ARE SUCH AN AMAZING COVER DESIGNER!!!! :o :o :o :o that cover looks so pretty and so vibrang and so EVERYTHING. When I release my horror book, may I avail your cover services??? ;) ;) IT JUST LOOKS STUNNING!!!!

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. YES YOU MAY FAYE! Even though I'll probably scare the life out of myself doing a horror cover ;-) So glad you love how this one turned out!

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  5. Jenny this cover is simply gorgeous, you know how much I adore your designs, but you have gone all out with this one. I think you have the eye catching aspect of this one completely nailed!

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    1. Thank you so much Jasprit! I couldn't be happier with how this design came together:)

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  6. This one is so great, Jenny! I love that you did some interior work as well....the book nerd within me got really excited to hear there's a map! I love when authors include a map. So fun! I hope you have a great weekend!

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    1. YES! I can't wait to share the map. I thought about it, but then I didn't want to give too much away, so maybe after the release date I can give you guys a peek:)

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  7. Jenny! This illustration is so amazing! As always, I'm in awe of your talent. :)

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    1. Thank you, thank you!

      Also? Let's do more covers together:)

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  8. OH MY GOODNESS!! This is utterly brilliant Jenny!!
    It is true that the hand drawn sketch isn't exactly a DaVinci, but it was enough to convey the idea, and oh boy... did you make it into an awesome reality!!

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    1. *snort* What do you mean Pili? Are you saying you wouldn't frame my sketch and hang it on your wall? WHY NOT?! ;-) I'm better on the computer for sure:)

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    2. I'd totally put it on the fridge, Jenny! ;)

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  9. This is one of my favorite covers! Just gorgeous Jenny! And I must say your reputation proceeds you that L.L. trusted you when she saw that drawing hehe. Beautifully done ;)

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    1. Ha! Yes, my sketch did take a certain amount of faith in my Photoshop abilities in order to give any kind of approval:)

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  10. Your drawing had me laughing! But OMG! That is SUCH a beautiful cover. I think this is my favorite of yours. I seriously can't stop staring at how beautiful it is.
    Seriosuly Jenny, fantastic job!

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    1. My sketch was EPIC Nick. EPIC I SAY!!!! ;-)

      Thank you so much, I've been dying to share this one since we finished it and I'm so glad you love it as much as I do!

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  11. Brilliant...I love how the colors just pop...it was fun seeing the sketch.

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  12. Ooh, I love that you showed us the sketches for this too! The concept is so different and unique and I can't believe you made it SO BEAUTIFUL on the full-fledged version! Amazing job, Jenny!

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    1. THANK YOU!!!! I think I made some definite improvements between sketch and final product ;-)

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  13. Very eye catching, I think your sketch is good, you captured everything in it that you used in the final. Another terrific cover, Jenny.

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  14. You nailed it! I love everything about this cover, Jenny, and I still stare at it for 5 to 10 minutes everyday, because "it is all that and more!" I have loved every minute of our hilarious collaboration, my wonderful new friend! There hasn't been one moment that wasn't fun! Thank you! *cups hand to ear as angelic choir above begins to sing*

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    1. ME TOO!!!!! *high five for teamwork* Can we start on book 2 yet? ;-)

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  15. OMG! You did the interior illustrations too!? I must have this one! LOVE that cover and stop it with the self-loathing on the sketch. It was perfect since it conveyed everything you needed. You are so talented. Can you share some of that talent or are you going to keep hogging it all? ;) LOVE this!

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    1. Yaaaaaaaay! I'm so glad you love it Melissa! Thank you, thank you. And I've done a full map of Mystfira that will appear in the interior as well as some cute cast of characters graphics:)

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  16. I love the posts like this where you show us the steps of the project, or something as simple as this. It's a gorgeous cover.

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  17. You must be such a joy to work with Jenny! But beyond that, this is GORGEOUS! I adore the font that you chose and the Tree blending into everything else around it ♥ The well is a great detail and I love the touches of colour the bird, fruit and leaves add to the mix :D You're brilliant!! Thanks so much for sharing^^ xxxx

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  18. I’m always very curious what’s going on behind the scene, thanks for sharing. I love this gorgeous cover, very vibrant and eye-catching!

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  19. Great post dear! Have a wonderful weekend:)

    irenethayer.com

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  20. Jenny, I love that you showed us your initial sketch this time - very cool and creative to see it finished and so gorgeous!!

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  21. JENNYYYY IT'S BEEN SO LONG! AND HOLY CRAP I ABSOLUTELY ADORE THIS COVER. It's whimsical, and has this sort of cute 3D feel to it, and the colors and fonts are spot-on as usual! <3 <3

    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings

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