Kate Bush: the Astonishing, the Freaky the Uncoventional.

KB

Being a long time lover of the dark and supernatural, the Gothic, I was drawn to Kate Bush because of her song, “Wuthering Heights”, based on the book by Emily Brontë. It was the most astonishing thing I had ever heard in my life. Kate shrieked and wailed like a cat in desperate heat in her rendition of a dead Catherine Earnshaw, a young woman dead in her prime from unrequited love.

Her phenomenal creativity in music composition, range in voice, singing and dance created an explosion of color and emotion that made everything else in my world look and feel mundane. She channeled topics close to my heart: mysticism, witches, the supernatural. Passionate and intense one minute, little girl the next, clown one minute, and insane the next, she performed with a courage and abandon that was melodramatic, surreal, and groundbreaking back in the 1970s when her song “Wuthering Heights” came out.

Her music drew on a variety of influences: classical music, rock, opera, folk.  Nominated 13 times for the British Phonographic Industry accolades, and for three Grammy Awards, she won Best British Female Artist in 1987. In 2002, she was recognised with an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music, and in October 2017, she was nominated for induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

She is not for everyone. Some people still prefer the Pat Benatar version of “Wuthering Heights”. To each their own. You have to have a love of the astonishing, the freaky and unconventional, the shocking even, to appreciate her.

I met the love of my life because of her. One day in Art school, as I walked by a young man’s desk, I saw the music of Kate Bush sitting next to his things. I raised my hand and gave him a thumbs up. Two years later we were married.

And as I write Gothic novels now, I can’t help but think it’s all related.

Here, performed by Kate Bush, are “Wuthering Heights”, from her first album, The Kick Inside and one of my all time favorites “The Jig of Life” from Hounds of Love, released in 1985.

Guernica: an Expression of Madness

Image result for guernica picasso

My husband and I visited Picasso’s masterpiece, Guernica, at the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid recently. What an honor. I had done my masters thesis on a comparison between the elements of Modern Art, specifically Guernica, to Gothic literature, both visually expressive mediums. And seeing the original gave me chills. Spanning an entire wall in the museum, it was profoundly dreadful, but thrilling at the same time. Dreadful because of the tragedy it’s based on, a tragedy that has been endlessly repeated over time, is being repeated even now, and thrilling because of the power of creative expression. Throughout history the injustices, cruelties, agonies and miseries, as well as the beauty of life have been recorded for all posterity by masterful artists in the form of writing, and painting.

Guernica is about the slaughter of innocents. The painting is based on the bombing during the Spanish civil war in 1937 of the Basque town, Guernica, by Fascist allies of Franco. It was Market Day in Guernica, and thousands of innocent civilians were killed, among them merchants, women, children and animals. One might think that perhaps a realistic painting would have done a better job of portraying the horror. But Picasso expressed through Cubism the madness of war in a way that realism could not have accomplished. Cubism was a product of industrialism and technological advances of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a time which saw the development of photography and its unique perspectives, angles and compositions. It is created by tearing apart photographic, or realistic representations of subjects, and reassembling them in unexpected collages unrelated to reality. Basically it replaces order with disorder, a process equivalent to madness. And what is war if not madness?

Expressed through the stabbing, piercing aspects of Cubism, the blacks, grays, whites and dark blues convey the disorientation of an attack during the night, when all that would be visible would be a chaotic jumble of figures highlighted by brilliant flashes of light, and darkness. The images: a dead man with his arms outstretched, a woman with torn clothing, a wounded horse, a woman howling as she cradles her dead child, a house in flames in the background, all bombard us with emotions: panic, confusion, terror, agony. They remind us of what we have done wrong in the past perhaps in the hopes that these will not be repeated, or perhaps to expose the darkness that is an integral part of human nature, and of what we are capable of if we are not mindful of it. Because that’s what Art is all about, right? Expression. Perhaps an expression of madness.

HOT Introductory Offer for AUTHORS! 5 free cover designs!! (1st 5 to contact me. 2 left so hurry before they run out!)

2 left so hurry before they run out!

freecovers copy

With over twenty years of Graphic Design background, I would now like to focus on designing book covers only!! As an introduction to my skills, I am offering 5 free cover designs in exchange for credit in the front matter! Check out my cover design comps on https://zitaharrison.com/book-covers/

Process: (book cover designers charge $300 – $500 or more for this whole process.)

  1. Initial consultation:

    1. What is the book about?
    2. Mood, images you have, or have in mind. If you already have images, you can send those to me.
    3. Colors, fonts (bright? Dark? Monochrome? Bw?; fancy fonts? Blocky? Quirky? Jazzy? Fun? Etc.)
    4. Layout: simple – one image and text? Complex – blend of images and text? Photos or vector art? Literal or symbolic?
    5. Text for front cover and back cover
    6. size of book, number of pages
  2. Pass 1:

    Three rough comps. Pick and choose direction, narrow down to one look, request changes (color lightening, font changes, etc.)

  3. Pass 2:

    One comp with changes requested in pass 1. Any further changes at this point are minor. Proof front and back matter.

  4. Pass 3:

    Final high res comp with all front and back matter in place. 3 more passes allowed for text changes but layout and design are final.

  5. Pass 4, 5 and 6:

    text changes if needed.

  6. Final high res comp.

I do all different styles for both fiction and non-fiction. After the initial 5 designs, I will also be offering my services for a low price to begin! So contact me soon if you need a cover designed!!

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HOT Introductory Offer for AUTHORS! 5 free cover designs!! (1st 5 to contact me)

3 left so hurry before they run out!

freecovers copy

With over twenty years of Graphic Design background, I would now like to focus on designing book covers only!! As an introduction to my skills, I am offering 5 free cover designs in exchange for credit in the front matter! Check out my cover design comps on https://zitaharrison.com/book-covers/

Process: (book cover designers charge $300 – $500 or more for this whole process.)

  1. Initial consultation:
    1. What is the book about?
    2. Mood, images you have, or have in mind. If you already have images, you can send those to me.
    3. Colors, fonts (bright? Dark? Monochrome? Bw?; fancy fonts? Blocky? Quirky? Jazzy? Fun? Etc.)
    4. Layout: simple – one image and text? Complex – blend of images and text? Photos or vector art? Literal or symbolic?
    5. Text for front cover and back cover
    6. size of book
  2. Pass 1: three rough comps. Pick and choose direction, narrow down to one look, request changes (color lightening, font changes, etc.)
  3. Pass 2: One comp with changes requested in pass 1. Any further changes at this point are minor. Proof front and back matter.
  4. Pass 3: Final high res comp with all front and back matter in place. 3 more passes allowed for text changes but layout and design are final.
  5. Pass 4, 5 and 6: text changes if needed.
  6. Final high res comp.

I do all different styles for both fiction and non-fiction. After the initial 5 designs, I will also be offering my services for a low price to begin! So contact me soon if you need a cover designed!!

WRITER, BOOK COVER DESIGNER

Hello and welcome!

me with art copy

I am a writer of suspenseful romance, a blogger, and a book cover designer. All my life I have been passionate about both Writing and Art and am now happily writing and creating Art in the form of Graphic Design as well as personal Art.

BOOKS: My first novel, Ink – Beneath the Stain, came out in July 2016, and I am currently working on my second novel, Owl Manor, the Dawning, a supernatural romance full of suspense. You can read more about these books on my BOOKS page.

BLOGS: I like to write about anything inspiring related to Art: books, movies, musicians, paintings, sculpture, etc. You can find these at BLOGS, ETC.

BOOK COVER DESIGNS: With over twenty years of Graphic Design experience, I designed the covers for my own books. Then I decided I wanted to do more, and put together some mockups to display my design skills. Below are a few samples, and you can check out my BOOK COVER DESIGNS page for more designs, BOTH FICTION AND NON-FICTION, and special offers!

OTHER DESIGNS: My OTHER DESIGNS page has samples of work I did as a Graphic Designer for various firms as well as my own personal artwork.

Feel free to leave comments. I would love to hear from you!!