Do Not Mix with Alcohol – The making of a novel’s cover

Author Ethan Collins’ next full-length novel comes covered by art having its own story. The image portraying “Do Not Mix with Alcohol” started as a sketch of a girl seducing the passer-by with lure of her irresponsibility. Though inspiration for her pose is not authorized for release, the best it could be communicated was captured by Scottish artist Ruby McMenemy-Taylor:

Do Not Mix with Alcohol by Ethan Collins

Copyright © 2014 ▲Church

This character wouldn’t be caught guzzling something she’d abuse more for control of her lover than herself- it wasn’t her poison- so ▲Church requested artist McMenemy-Taylor lower that beer bottle to her lips suggestively. Moreover, there had to be reward for following this character’s direction. Posture reflecting relinquishment over self-control via a relaxed spine was fed-back to the artist:

Do Not Mix with Alcohol by Author Ethan Collins

Copyright © 2014 ▲Church Publishing

Once artwork was complete, but before that got posted from Scotland, this artist fulfilled her contract by transmitting a photograph of the painting. Note author Ethan Collins is not determinate of the girl’s fate which rests upon perception of another character, the fireman, yet in Do Not Mix with Alcohol ▲Church publishing can confirm a girl died in a fire; therefore, subtle coloring of the shirt and streaks of soot showing in this photograph are not the result of poor photography- discoloration is intended to be symbolic:

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First photograph of “Do Not Mix with Alcohol”

Never-the-less ▲Church found that image blurry, having washed colors that lacked contrast. So without any idea of what Collins’ final cover would look like the publishing company contacted an Israeli painter specializing in digital re-touch. That specialist’s work showcases glamorous women in even more surreal states of portrait; what ▲Church enjoyed of his preview was how much softer her character appears:Book by Ethan Collins

Then in true irony almost worth international publicity, after taking physical receipt of “Do Not Mix with Alcohol” to make a book cover ▲Church Publishing encountered difficultly having the canvas professionally photographed. Perhaps some result of market price compared to value-added or labor associations, ▲Church worked for seven weeks to get this digitally captured. In the end the Publisher did great business and got excellent service from imaging professionals converting a 20″ canvas at 300 dpi into 32 million pixels. Note sharp color contrast compared to its first photograph in this file reduced to fit this site:

Author Ethan Collins

Copyright © 2014 ▲Church Publishing

But having a character’s portrait wouldn’t be enough for the cover of Collins’ book which also would require the author’s title and writing credit. So ▲Church Publishing got to work designing the book cover. A first observation to note is the relocation of this character’s arm so that glass bottle contacts her closed lips: Continue reading

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