Endpaper illustration for Juliet Grames's "The Seven or Eight Deaths Of Stella Fortuna"

Client: HarperCollins USA | December 2018 | Pen on board
Publishers HarperCollins commissioned me to create this illustration for the endpapers of the new novel "The Seven Or Eight Deaths Of Stella Fortuna" by Juliet Grames, the fictional tale of a woman's upbringing in rural Calabria, Italy in the 1920s, her family's emigration to Connecticut, USA at the start of the Second World War and the difficulties of her new life and family relationships. The illustration depicts the main character's fictional home village, Ievoli, a Calabrian village situated on the side of a mountain. In creating the illustration, it was important to get the shape and style of the buildings correct, particularly the distinctive slanted roofs on the houses which are a typical feature of Calabrian villages. Several important locations that feature in the story, including the village church, the school, the house of one of the main characters and the orchards outside the village, are all labelled on the illustration.

The illustration as it appears in the endpapers.

An example of an antique illustration of an Italian town which served as inspiration for my design.

An early rough sketch.

Work in progress, October 2018. The illustration was drawn using a fineline pen on Bristol Board.

Detail of the title banner.

The book jacket design by Allison Saltzman