Q&A: Tomekah George – Cover Artist, Autumn 2020

Tomekah George explores the ideas and process behind her artwork for The Author's Autumn 2020 issue

Tell us about creating this piece for the cover? How do you feel it captures the idea of handling adversity?

The cover illustration captures the adversity both ghostwriters and first-time authors face during the process of writing and publishing books. It depicts the process through a visual analogy of rowing a boat which, when tackled together, is a lot easier. The desk within the image mirrors my process of experimenting with ink, drafts and roughs before arriving at the final illustration. 

Above: Tomekah George's cover artwork, for Tom Henry's piece in the Autumn 2020 issue. 'Out of the Shadows'

This piece also works in tandem with your other illustration for Andrew Crofts' article on ghost-writing fiction. What was your thinking behind both?

My thinking was to capture the different aspects of the publishing process in both illustrations. Tom Henry's image was about capturing the importance of the ghostwriter and their relationship with the first-time author. The thinking behind Andrew croft's illustration was about access to publishing and how ghostwriting can offer opportunities to those who haven't had access previously.

The theme of this issue is handling adversity. How do you handle adversity, both personally and professionally?

I think I handle adversity in the same way anyone else would. I try and break down what is causing the adversity by listening and then looking for solutions. A solution can be a compromise, discovering a new perspective or sometimes leaving a situation. I've found this approach has worked both personally and professionally.

Above: Tomekah George's illustration for Andrew Croft's article on ghostwritten fiction

Your artwork is so distinctive. Who or what inspires you? Who are some of your favourite illustrators working today?

For as long as I can remember, I've always enjoyed experimenting with textures and shapes, so it's naturally become a part of my style. I think this way of working helps me to relax and stress less about the outcome. I take most of my inspiration from family and friends and daily interactions. I wouldn't say I have a favourite illustrator because there are a lot of great illustrators working today. Recently I've loved illustrations by Kim Thompson, Willian Santiago and Molly Mendoza.

Tomekah George is an illustrator and occasional animator. Tomekah is especially interested in working on stories and with companies that promote a positive message or draw attention to issues around the world. Find out more: tomekahgeorge.com / Instagram: @tameks_g  / Twitter: @tameks_g