Behind the Cover

The making of the cover for Susan Barker’s The Incarnations

Collaborative illustrators Good Wives and Warriors talk about how they created the sensational artwork for the cover of The Incarnations by Susan Barker. They have worked on commercial illustration projects around the world for clients including Tiger Beer, Swatch, Absolut Vodka and Tic Tac, but this is their first ever book project.

“We begin with image research and a discussion as to how the images are going to work together, and how we will divide up the drawing between us.

For this artwork, we worked on 2x A3 sheets – marking in the rough compositional outline in pencil and then working over in pen. For this type of illustration, we work together but on different sheets, regularly swapping over so that the drawing is a coherent mixture of both of our lines.

Although we have ever so slightly different lines, it would be almost impossible for anyone to tell them apart now. We used to have very different drawing style but have, over the last 7-8 years, developed a house ‘good wives and warriors’ style which is used on all of our work. This process has been a natural development, not a conscience decision and something that has just happened over time.

Finally, we scan the artwork in, correct any mistakes on photoshop and create a finished, printable version. Apart from the last bit, and copious use of google image search, it is a very traditional illustration process.”

The Incarnations by Susan Barker is published on 3rd July 2014.

‘A thrilling journey through a thousand years of obsession and betrayal, this is the most extraordinary work of imagination you’ll read all year’ ADAM JOHNSON, Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2013

‘An extraordinary novel. Erudite, intriguing and compulsively readable, Susan Barker, a born story-teller, has written one of the most remarkable novels of recent years’ JOHN BOYNE

‘A brilliant, mind-expanding, and wildly original novel’ CHRIS CLEAVE

‘What a ferociously talented writer Susan Barker is. The Incarnations is a hallucinatory ride. Highly recommend’ ANNA HOPE, author of Wake