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Working on something fun!

Oops sorry it’s been a while again, really need to get back into better habits with updating this site.

I’m working on a great project at the moment, with my big bruv Dan. That’s right, the Crows are teaming up. It’s the cover of Dan’s upcoming book Skapninger!

Book covers are always really interesting to work on. They sort of play multiple roles- to attract readers and encourage purchases is part of it for sure, but also I think it’s important to respect the subject matter and give pointers and nods to themes in the book too. To echo the atmosphere in some way so that the cover doesn’t just act as a pretty wrapper, but works together with the contents of the book to add more. When done properly books can be such a joy as objects in their own right.

I think a lot of publishers have really picked up on that idea (or, perhaps remembered it is a better way to put it?) in the last few years too. There are some outrageously beautiful books out there these days and it makes me so happy. So yeah… I could just spend all my money on books except I’d have to buy a new place so I had room for them all, but then I’d have no money left to buy ALL THE BOOKS… But I digress.

I can’t say too much about this one just yet as it’s still a work in progress and I don’t want to give anything away about the story, but here are a couple of sneaky peeks at ideas I’m playing around with. Mmm skulls. As you know, any excuse to go to the Natural History Museum for some research. That building is just a delight. I mean, look at the Hogwarts vibes in the photo below!

Anyway, in the meantime go check out Dan’s website and his Twitter and Instagram feeds and read more about how he’s getting on with the book! (And while you’re there, come see me on Twitter and Instagram too for more regular updates, photos and sketchbook nonsense)

 

Diary of a Headcase book cover

I’ve been wanting to share this for a while: my lovely friend Faiza* has written a book about her experiences following a brain injury she got in a serious car accident. She asked me to do the cover for it and here it is.

Diary of a Headcase cover illustration by Lara Crow

The accident and Faiza’s recovery are not my story to tell, but I thought I’d write a little bit about working on the cover and the ideas behind the image.

Chatting to Faiza and reading bits of the book, I was thinking about the things she mentioned when piecing together life after the accident. I wanted to represent something of that, so there are the odd puzzle piece, a map, letters, notes, books, photos and receipts. (incidentally my desk looks a bit like this, only with more half drunk cups of tea and pencil shavings).

I like the idea that these solid, fairly mundane, everyday objects can give you a window into the more elusive internal life of memories and ideas. I wonder if that’s partly why people find it interesting to look at other people’s bookshelves and desks when visiting? (or is that just me? Oh dear *blush*). Ah no come on, I’m not the only one. There’s that whole ‘shelfie’ thing. Mmm books.

Although we originally discussed a more science-y and crisp design, I wanted to keep this cover from becoming too clinical. I tried to find a warmer, more personal side because to me, this seemed more a memoir than a science textbook (although it does have a lot of scientific discussion and I learnt a lot!). Hopefully Faiza agrees!

Working on it took ages. Dah, I think I need to buy a new computer, this one is getting so slow and chuggy! A few unfortunate crashes and I ended up doing lots and lots of changing something, paranoidly saving the file. Change something else, save it again! SAVE SAVE! Argh!

So anyway, that’s about it from me, why not buy a book from Amazon or Lulu and read more? I can recommend it, it’s a lovely mix of personal story, humour and neuroscience. A winning combo for sure! A donation from the sale of each book goes to Headway too.

*A nom de plume! Dah, I want to be a writer so I can have one of those!

Shop is open!

prints I’ve been beavering away this weekend and just added a shop to the site! Phew! Very exciting all round.

I’ll be selling prints, papercuts and mirrors, with new items coming soon, so stay tuned.

If you’re looking for a beastie print to brighten up your wall or a papercut present for your favourite person- have a look! It’s up there in the menu. Nice.

If there’s anything you don’t see in the shop but wish that I sold, drop me an email! It’s always nice to hear from you.

A happy ending

mags

I just added the last page to my Canada diary.
Hope you’ve found it vaguely entertaining!
Despite stressful times at the start when Maggie was missing, it was a lovely holiday (but I was glad to get home and see the troublesome beastie too)!

Here’s the happy little (well, quite big really!) runaway hound- untroubled by her adventures and looking pretty cheery in the park!

I’ve also just started a little cartoon of all the things she has chewed up that she shouldn’t have. Can’t decide if she just loves the taste of cardboard and plastic or if some of them are comments on my poor taste in films. Will try to put it up soon.

I spent most of today decorating the flat, M was unimpressed with this and my failure to post her picture sooner! Apologies disapproval hound.

week 2 of diary- thinking about werewolves!

14 days of nonsense for you to read about are now in the diary. Not much more to go! On day 14, Steve and I saw some ridiculously turquoise lakes and had conversations about loup garou
(loup garous?). Digging your jean-shorts there dude.

doodle of a werewolf by Lara CrowI find the idea of werewolves quite interesting. I’ve got a couple of books about monsters called Beasts (which are so beautifully illustrated, you should definitely ask someone to get them for your for your birthday) which have lots of different monsters from around the world. A lot of them are cautionary tales for children- don’t wander alone near the lake or the lake monster will get youuu etc etc. But I find it interesting that so many of these beast tales involve a human becoming a full-blown monster for doing something ethically monstrous. I like that it sort of ties the two ideas of ‘monster’ together like that. I’m sure there’s a thesis in there somewhere.

Anyway they’re great books- here’s a pic of one (open at a cheerier beastie!) on my scruffy desk.

Photo of Beasts book

7 days are up

Ah diary week. There are 7 pages now added to the Canada travel diary and new ones will appear each day. I know you are bloomin excited to read more about bears, hats and soup cake. Stay tuned for all that… and more! MOAR!

Doodle of misty woods by Lara CrowDay 7 just appeared. Here’s a little peek at the misty mountains. So atmospheric and lovely.
I’d like to just sit and draw them all day, but had to satisfy myself with quick doodles as we were driving quite a lot to get to Tofino.
Walking on the train tracks by Stephen Ingram

 

Day 7 also includes me and Steve walking along a disused train line. It was excellent in a weirdly lonesome post-apocalyptic way. We didn’t see a soul and it was eerily quiet.

Here’s a photo Steve took of me wandering down the tracks. He didn’t enjoy walking over the bridge, which was very high, with big gaps between the wooden slats- so fair enough, no photos of that bit! I was thinking about zombies and feeling a bit ill-prepared. Didn’t even have a cricket bat.

Cricket bat doodle

This week is travel diary week!

This week I’m starting to put up the pages of my Canadian travel diary so stay tuned for a new page every day. Follow my very exciting life as I travel around, staying in strange spheres in the woods, drinking tea and looking at wildlife. Horror! Intrigue! Bacon!! 

Cartoon of an evil otter by Lara Crow

There’s a couple of pages already up there, more coming very soon!

Hope you enjoy them! Here is a little sneaky preview of a cartoon you won’t meet till day 8: evil incarnate. Dang, the stories I have heard about these cute little critters -sigh- it would break your heart.