Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Work of Cover Art

Queries aren’t the only thing I’m behind on. I’ve also fallen behind on my Bravo TV watching, and since Bravo seems to take up the majority of my DVR space, that’s saying a lot.

Finally though I’m catching up and watching Work of Art, the Bravo reality show for competitive artists. Believe it or not, this show is much more interesting than I would have thought. Of course, anything that uses the format behind Project Runway and Top Chef can’t fail in my mind. One of the reasons that I love watching these shows is that I feel in some way it gives me insight into my own world. Fashion design, cooking, and creating art are not that much different from writing a book. All of these people bringing their art into the business world.

Work of Art is particularly interesting, though, because of one episode. In episode three the artists were asked to create a book cover for a Penguin Classics book. This was probably the first time I actually felt I knew what the judges were talking about. In some cases, the art was interesting, but there was no way it was marketable as a book cover, and in other cases the art might have made an interesting book cover, but it wasn’t necessarily great art. The trick for these artists was finding the balance between the two. And this got me thinking: Have you ever seen a book cover (other than your own) that’s really stuck with you simply because it was a great piece of art, a piece you would like to have to hang on your wall? Have you ever bought a book because the cover was so gorgeous you couldn’t resist?