The other day as I was working to format my Milkweed Manor animal fiction books for Kindle, I thought about the old predictions about the demise of print books. Thankfully, as far as I can tell, that simply hasn't happened. Instead, we have another option.
Despite the convenience and affordability of e-books, so many of us treasure the feel of a physical book in our hands. So maybe the physical books we have are even more special. And surely they all deserve a beautiful book plate!
A book plate! Yes! What a fun project and with so many possibilities. I've done a hand full of series over the years and have invariably enjoyed them. So what about a series of bookplates?
Here's the first of my collection-to-be, "Heroes of the Felidae." The little ginger cat has her serious moments, and this is one of them as the heroic tales of members of her feline tribe capture her imagination. She actually reminds me of myself in seventh grade, planted to a chair in the school library devouring everything I could find about Greek mythology - a nice memory.
The design was a little challenging. One problem was that I was so excited about doing the cat, I didn't really think through the overall design. I wanted to do a linework border, just because. But that type of border doesn't seem to have much to do with the cat. It just seemed sort of vintage to me, and I liked that idea. Anyway, I think the design is a hodge-podge (not good) of unrelated elements.
I didn't give adequate thought to where the name on the bookplate would actually go. Originally, I had the cat higher in the design with the linework border going all the way around. But there was no room for the name, go I moved the cat down. But I didn't want to go beyond my 8" x 10" size, so I put her in front of the border along the bottom, which doesn't necessarily make all that much sense.
Given all that negativity, though, I like the finished piece.
For now, this is simply an 8" x 10" painting. (Actually, the painting doesn't have the white patch for a name. I added that with Photoshop. Also, the scan didn't quite get all the border on the left.) Wouldn't it be nice framed or mounted on a cradled panel and hanging on the wall next to a bulging bookcase?
My intention is to investigate making this design into an actual bookplate. My first thought was to create a page with multiple images in Photoshop then print it, maybe on sticker paper. But then I thought of printing websites where the customer can submit their own artwork. The quality would probably be better going that route. This is research I should have done before I created my artwork, as there appear to be standard sizes.
In any case, turning the art into actual bookplates is on the back burner for now, but I'll probably try creating a few more designs for a bookplate series because I had so much fun with this one.