Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Book Cover: concept and final version

So, for my Project 4, I decided to create a book cover design. I picked The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, a novel from 1869 written by one of the greatest Russian writers. I've read it recently and fell in love with the story and the main character.

In The Idiot, Dostoevsky attempted to portray what he termed a “positively good man” in the character of Prince Myshkin. Endowed with Christ-like spiritual attributes and professing a childlike, innocent belief in the possibility of achieving heaven on earth, Myshkin obliviously enters a Russian society corroded by avariciousness, moral corruption, and spiritual desolation. The ensuing action presents a starkly apocalyptic and pessimistic vision of how inconsequential goodness and humility are in the midst of a society on the verge of moral and spiritual disintegration. The characters' hysterical preoccupations with amassing wealth, sexual conquest, intellectual egotism, and power all reflect the author's fatalistic belief that the Russian civilization was on the verge of a spiritual collapse and moral decay.

So because the main character Prince Myshkin, didn't really belong to the high class society even though according to his status he was part of it, in my design, I wanted to communicate the idea of contrast, isolation, individual vs. society.

Here are some of my original concept thumbnails:

I was inspired by the recent movie adaptation of the story and a brilliant actor Evgeniy Mironov who played Prince Myshkin, so I used this actor as my main reference:

I wanted him to look disturbed, almost crazy, kind of like a man from this famous Courbet's painting:

this was my first cover idea:

Then I got stuck there. I wasn't sure how to add idea of him being contrasted to society without overcomplicating the image..it seemed to me like visually it was complete, but conceptually it wasn't really communicating what I originally have intended.. so I started over, and came up with this design:

also this is my interior illustration:

I really hope to revise both of these by the end of the semester!!