I drafted up this sketch to illustrate the general ideas and aim of the book cover. If you click on the image you'll see it more clearly. The tiff file (with the layers) will be provided to the artist.
Dimensions: The book itself would be 7" by 10", but there needs to be a half inch of bleed area around all sides for the printer. So the total dimensions would be 8" by 11" with the background extending into the bleed area to ensure a clean cut.
File: A 300dpi tiff file would be needed.
Background: The background would be black at the top and then fade into a maroon at the bottom. The bottom would have an illustration of fire rising up.
The Helmet/Mask: The helmet and mask is meant to be made of gold and under lit by the fire at the bottom of the cover, creating an imposing and looming presence behind the main characters. The helmet doesn't need to be in that particular position or even that small. I just positioned it there in the tiff file for clarity. I was trying to find a way to make it larger and lower so that the book title does not cover up much of the helmet, but as a sketch it was hard to tell what effect the "lit from below" might add to the image and compensate for a larger or lower placement of the helmet.
The Main Characters: From left to right - Mei, Fei and Lu. These are all young adults of Chinese descent. The story takes place roughly in the transition period from Ming and Qing Dynasties (the 1600s) in China.
Their clothing should all be composed generally of earth tones, though Mei (on the left) could have a bit more color in her dress, and Lu (on the right) might have a small trim of color in his more formal robes. Fei in the center though would have all earth tones.
The main characters should be floating over the background and not have their lighting affected by the fire.
Mei and Fei should have confident and playful expressions, while Lu should have a more concerned and slightly irritated expression. Both Mei and Lu are looking at Fei in the center who oozes confidence.
Using the Sketch: The sketch is really intended to help define a lot of the specific looks, such as the design of the helmet/mask, the clothing styles, the hairstyle of Mei, and the hat for Lu. It could be used as an initial draft and the artist would just build directly off of it, however it could also just be used as a detailed reference and everything is sketched out fresh in the artist's unique style. Whatever works best for the artist.
General Style: The overall style desired is something that would be closer to something Disney Studios would put out, or Avatar: The Last Airbender cartoon, rather than anime/manga style with overly large eyes. Making them look Chinese is hoped for. It doesn't have to literally be cell shaded cartoon illustrations, whatever fits with the artists own style is encouraged.
The Book's Audience: The story is aimed at an upper ages of childhood and into young adult.
Rights: The author wishes for this to be a "work-for-hire" job so that copyright is transferred over to him. The artists would be credited in the book and would be able to use the artwork as part of a portfolio.
Time Frame: The aim is to have the art delivered by July 4th, 2012.
Payment: Payment of US $150.00 via Paypal upon delivery of the final image file.
- Thank you for your interest!