Monday, October 01, 2007

Soup Assignment:Rapunzel

This month, the Group Soup Gals were given our monthly challenge by the soon-to-be-Aunty- Frizz. The assignment? Create a book cover for the fairy tale Rapunzel. I have to say that this was not one of my favorite Grimm stories growing up. I mean, some pregnant woman needs to eat a vegetable so badly, she loses her first born to a crabby witch who then locks her in a tower? Puh-leaz! Needless to say, as result I has a hard time coming up with ideas. (I whined to my husband and he logically replied, "When you become a full-time "professional," you may not always enjoy the story you're given to illustrate, does that mean you won't do the job?" Obviously no sympathy there.)
Thinking that if I forced myself to sketch, some good idea would come to me, I got to work. Hmmm, no dice. I'm not even going to show you some of the pathetic ideas I came up with, but here's one of the more promising ones:

I mean, tree instead of tower-refreshing right? Problem was, I couldn't get the title in least not to a position that satisfied me. Plus, how goofy is that witch? I didn't have a clue as to what the damsel in distress looked like.
Then, while watching tv, I realized that this fairy tale had German origins. What if I created characters that were German folk? Thus:

Isn't the witch great? I loved her! And look at the prince...liederhosen and everything! (I also got a kick out of the braided border.) Then I thought, "How am I going to get a title in there?" Page two is the answer. I mean, it's a book cover and it needs a title-duh! Excited now, I got to work. I really enjoyed my little folk people and felt confident that the final product would please me. It's great, right? Damsel in distress? check. Prince in lust/love? check. Ticked off foster witch? check! A background with variety and depth? check. Fun border ? check. Author? check! What's not to like?
The more I gazed upon my final product with unchecked pride, the more I realized I hadn't created a book cover. Not really. What I had done was illustrate a scene from the story. A speaker whose workshop I attended at a SCBWI conference once said that a good book cover should be a summary of a story, not a scene from it. (There should be one iconic image as well.) Did I do that with this "cover?" Nope. (And I was so excited that I was going to post this to the soup blog on time!)
Back to the drawing board! This is what I then came up with:

There's the iconic tower, and I was still able to get that fun braid script in there for the title. I didn't get to do my fun German folk, but that wasn't the assignment. I needed to create a book cover. Did I do that? Go here and find out!

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