Thursday, 26 January 2017


It´s been quiet here because I have  been ill. Just the basic winter influenza that is one of the few reason that can force me to slow down..

The last project I made before I got ill was a book cover. I have made quite a few book covers for a small publishing company called Kvaliti. This one differs from previous ones because I was able to use allover print in it. What an exiting and surprising place to use all over print!
The wild swans
The book Nokkosmadonna is written by Kaija Lehmuskallio. She is a specialist of old Finnish mansions and she wrote this fictive story into a realistic and truth based milieu. This story tells the lifestyle in a fictive mansion called Gentgård during the last wars. It´s about the shaft between the rich mansion owner family and their subordinates who take care of the mansion.
Malmgård mansion in Pernaja, near where my mom lives. I like to go there and imagine the life on it´s glory days. Now days they have a small brewery and they make good beer.  Of course Malmgård´s estates were in my mind while making the book cover.

To make a book cover I must know the story and together with the publisher and writer discuss what are the key elements I will use in my illustrations. We found a fine connection from the story to an another story written by Hans Christian Andersen called The Wild Swans. Swans felt also a nice starting point because the book Nokkosmadonna is an honouring for Finland´s 100-year old history of independence. Yes, in Finland we have a big celebration year this year 2017!

I sketched the swans with a pencil and finished the print in Photoshop. You can find three different swans from the print but I think it looks that there is even more and that makes the repeat good.
Ready made swan sketches

The brown back ground color was selected amongst many color options. My first favorite was muddy blue with white swans, but it seamed too patriotic since the Finnish flag colors are blue and white. We also wanted to avoid feminine colors like shades of pink to not drive away all the male readers. The book name "Nokkosmadonna" can be interpret as a feminine book but actually the story is really good for anyone who is interested of Finland´s history and mansions daily life in it.

Together with the flying swan print I made a calming stripe to the inner covers. Making print families and couples it´s good to remember that bold prints need to have a calming friends by their side. The stripe is also symbolizing the wallpapers from the mansion. So when you open the book, you will enter to the imaginative but still so realistic world.
Wall paper stripe

Colors of Finland, blue and white

It would have been nice to have a picture of the real book but it is coming out in the end of March. I´ll promise to update it here when I receive it! Now you can pre order it from here

For the honour of 100-years independence of Finland I presented The wild swans -prints in blue and white color way as you maybe already noticed. Congrats my dear Finland!

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