Chiming: A Senior Narrative Book Jacket by Christien Skousen (2017)
Click to read Artist Statement
This project was interesting because in many ways, it was a summary and reflection of another work of art I made earlier, the short story that the book jacket is for. So, the book jacket had to reflect the feeling of written prose in a visually, appealing way. A book jacket is also an unconventional type of art, in that it is a mix of consumerism and artistry. I had to flex my design muscles in InDesign to make it visually appealing, and I flexed my photography muscles to shoot a photo that I thought was beautiful on its own merits, as well as in the context of the book jacket. But I also had to add an ISBN and a price tag to the book jacket, so it could be a representative copy of an actual book jacket. This project wasn’t just about making a piece of art that I felt looked nice; it was attempting to build something that could be used professionally and commercially. For this project, a key struggle was balancing my desires to keep the art clean, and to let the photo speak for itself, against the necessity to add blurbs and summaries to the work. I personally wanted just the title, the by line, and the picture. But in order to make a book jacket, all of these other elements were needed, and I had to do my best to make them work with the art pieces. I think I did an alright job of that, but I know I could’ve done better. I expect to use these skills a lot in the future, especially since for my Zenith project, I am writing and self publishing a novel, and I will need to make a cover for that too. That will be interesting, since I’m going to have to come up with a cover that encapsulates a whole novel, as opposed to a short story on the smaller side of things. I’m very excited, though, because this project has shown me how much fun cover design can be.