The Death Defying Pepper-Roux
The brief for this commission was to read and interpret the brilliant novel The Death Defying Pepper-Roux by Geraldine McCaughrean, into a detailed illustration, to be presented as an 18th Birthday gift. This book is the all time favourite of the young man in question, so I was under oath to give it my very best and detailed shot.
In order to make decisions as to what to include and amalgamate into the finished piece, it was vital to read and consider each twist and turn of the story line. Only then could I know what to put in and what to leave out.
The resulting graphic became a somewhat labour of love. Weaving in characters and detailed referencing obliquely and with ingenuity, without prioritizing any particular scene. A balancing act of line work, typography, hatching, characterisation, colour and space. I decided to keep the colour scheme limited and to emphasise shape and character rather than a technicolour. Capturing the tone and feel of the book was as important as the content, and a predominately monochrome pallet enabled space for interpretation over dictation.
The commissioners and recipient were delighted.
“Hey Imo. I thought I should write you a message to try and convey to you exactly how much your artwork means to me. The Death Defying Pepper Roux is one of my all time favourite books and has influenced me in a way no other piece of media has.
When I first saw the artwork, the first thing I saw was the tower. ‘Repeal Hongriot Pluviez Amendment’ was what my brain rapidly linked to the book and in under a second, as I took in the rest of it. I began to choke up.
It is without a doubt the greatest birthday present I have ever received, and I have you to thank for so beautifully bringing to life one of the books that made me me. Thank you so much.”