Cover art for an upcoming non-fiction graphic novel about the construction of the Taj Mahal. I was commissioned to create the cover only.
The challenge was coming up with a fresh take. Everyone knows the story, and the monument is instantly recognizable. So I focused more on King Shah Jahan and the idea that the Taj Mahal is really a monument to his grief more than anything else, in that it was born from the pain of her absence, not her presence.
Not sure how clear that idea is. But the assignment was both challenging and fun.
The Taj Mahal was drawn by hand on a lightbox on Copic Marker paper and a set of Staedtler fine pens, using a printed out photo as a guide. The king and "cut-out" queen were drawn separately and the images merged quickly on Photoshop.
The grays were added for my own satisfaction, as the final cover will be colored by the company's own in-house artists for print.
What I can't wait for now is the final, finished, published graphic novel to hit the stands and I get to hold one in my hands. There's no guarantee that I won't pee my pants in joy and pass out when that happens.