I’m amazed to discover yet more artists using needle and thread as their illustration medium. Recently, we gazed at the fabric work of Adrienne Yorinks, and Anna Grossnickle Hines; then the 3D fabric collages of Salley Mavor.
Check out these book covers, designed and embroidered by Jillian Tamaki.
Hmm. I wonder if there will be any white type within the front flap’s horse-tail?
Inspired by the burgeoning Etsy-oriented handcrafting movement, Viking Penguin is launching a classic literary series called Penguin Threads. Jillian was commissioned by art director Paul Buckley to provide the design and illustration for three covers. Each piece started initially as a line sketch that, in turn, was sewn as embroidery.
Each cover was printed to include raised embossing of all stitching, resulting in a tactile book package that feels hand-made.
The cover illustrations wrap around the entire book, extending to the French flaps (extensions of the paperback cover that fold inside the book). All three titles will be released in the fall of 2011.
I had been familiar with Jillian’s beautiful illustrations from the YA graphic novel, Skim (story by her cousin, Mariko Tamaki), winner of a 2008 New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books Award.
Since Jillian sketched her drawings before applying embroidery to them, it’s no surprise that how no matter what medium she uses, it still appears to come from the same confident hand.
“…What a dream project. When I first did my Monster Quilt (see below), I said I wouldn’t take commissions in embroidery… unless Penguin called me for a Penguin Classics cover. Sometimes you get what you wish for (times three)…
[On creating her Monster Quilt, which was started last October] …It was pleasant to work in an unfamiliar medium with some real inherent limitations. And, oddly enough, it was kind of nice to produce something that must be seen in person to be fully appreciated. STILL! How to get a great photo of embroidered quilts… ?! It’s tough! If you have experience on such matters, let me know…”
I think Jillian would enjoy comparing notes on photographing textile and other 3D works with Salley Mavor
Visit Jillian’s blog here: