in time for autumn

March 26, 2008


This is a cover for the Worship & Music team—part of their forthcoming (autumn) instrumental line.

It’s a template design, so I just had to choose a color and an image. The editors wanted an “Asian” image. They also wanted images of unconventional instruments that the performer could play along with the organ (I guess), like temple blocks and bell trees and finger cymbals.

I had to chuckle a bit at the most vague & specific request I’ve had here yet. “Asian image”? Line art of finger cymbals flitting about?

I’m no illustrator, but thankfully others are. I found the plum blossom illustration on iStock and manipulated it slightly, and the result, I think, is stunning!

The editors loved it and so do I. I wish I could create illustrations like this. At least even being a layouter is fun, when there is some creative license allowed. I felt the stars align for a moment when I positioned the bird’s beak to meet just so with the color beneath.

Call me dramatic, call me excitable—oh well! I’m glad I can find pleasure in the small things.

These are a few comps that I played with but didn’t show—I liked the blossom image the best and figured I didn’t need to show the others.


The pillar-like painting is a Japanese style of painting called Suibokuga. (Don’t ask me to pronounce that or spell it from memory.) Once you apply your ink & wash, the stroke can’t be fixed or erased, requiring masterful confidence and skill. There are some really beautiful paintings I found online. I read that Suibokuga only uses black ink, so maybe this is a variation on the style since it contains scarlet.

Again, I wish I could do something like that. sigh. As my mom would say, maybe in my next life…


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