Harshad Marathe, illustrator

I’m a freelance illustrator and I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in book cover illustrations and illustrated children’s boosk since 2015. So far I’ve illustrated roughly 35 different book covers, and three children’s books. The covers for the novels Leila by Prayaag Akbar, Seasons of the Palm by Perumal Murugan, Shekhar: A Life by Agyeya, Mohanaswamy by Vasudhendra, All of Me by Venita Coelho, the Indian edition of 1984 by George Orwell, and the children’s book Muezza and Baby Jaan by Anita Nair stand out for me among my illustration work.

Freelance illustration usually involves working closely with an art director or senior designer from the publishing house, who acts as a mediator between the illustrator, the author and/or the author’s agent and/or translator, and the editor and the marketing team. Good art directors are able to manage this, but it isn’t easy keeping so many parties happy.

The process of making a book cover often involves multiple revisions and changes, for which I have my own system that keeps me from being overworked. I split the work into three stages – sketch, final drawing, and colouring. At each stage, clients can ask for as many changes as they deem necessary, but once we have all approvals for one stage and...

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