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Strawberry fields

Red and green illustration for a disc cover of the song strawberry fields

For my first book, “Dreadful Beauty “, I could not resign myself to entrusting the cover design to another person. After all, I can draw. I found, somewhat by chance, an interesting course on the site Domestica: "Illustration of a book cover: unraveling the essence of a story" by Silja Goetz.

I set to work with enthusiasm and quickly realized the extent of my ignorance. Because artist-painter, illustrator, and graphic designer are not the same job. I lacked the basics of certain drawing programs to get through the project, and I had no experience with typeface, which this course did not cover. For those who are wondering (I have already been asked this question): no, it is not enough to choose a font of a Fantasy genre and apply it to the illustration.

Sketch of Strawberry fields project

So I signed up for: “The Art of the Record Cover: Illustration Meets Lettering” by Steve Simpson. This artist offers an exercise that integrates drawn letters with an illustration. Participants must choose a title from a list of songs from the sixties, and then create a record cover with psychedelic style, characteristic of that era.

Sketchbook pages of Strawberry fields project

I decided on "Strawberry Fields Forever" because I have loved the Beatles since I listened to music, but until then, I did not know the memories that had inspired this song for John Lennon. As a child, he lived near a Salvation Army boarding school called “Strawberry Fields” and loved going to the wooded garden behind the building to play with friends. I liked this memory of a lost garden. I carefully observed the photographs of the boarding school, of its red gate in front of a tree-lined path.

This illustration, which required many hours of work and is not yet finished, taught me a lot and helped me to understand that my stubbornness about making the cover was going to delay the publication of my book by several months. Several months of hard work and uncertainty. Not to mention the kidney pain due to prolonged sitting, eyes glued to a screen, and hand clutching a pen.

See you soon,


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