'Southern Reach' book cover illustration
Book Cover illustration for 
'Southern Reach Trilogy


written by Jeff Vandermeer
published in Korea by GOLDEN BOUGH CO.,Ltd.
design by Jin Young Kim
illustration by Chaerin Im

Southern Reach is a secret agency that manages expeditions into an area known as Area X. 
Area X is an uninhabited and abandoned area that nature has begun to reclaim. (wikipedia)


Final book cover (from left) annihilation / authority / acceptance

Sketch Process
given the keyword for each cover

Annihilation: spore, plant, leaf, dragonfly
Authority: white rabbit, broken small camera, plant, leaf
Acceptance: owl, feather, leaf, plant, lighthouse

Begin to construct compositions of these keywords and develop it through continuous feedback. Eventually the illustration processed through three-step idea sketches.

                    First idea sketch (annihilation/ authority/ acceptance)    

make the images more wild, more grotesque and more rich in composition, like a primeval forest

Second idea sketch

Annihilation: enlarge some of the Nepenthes and make a central point for composition
Authority: composition is fixed, only straighten the rabbit's tangle and curly bread
Acceptance: change species and posture of the owl from on feet to flying, change the plants to tree branches like the first idea sketch

Thrid idea sketch

Annihilation: all fixed, enhance black and white contrast of the main Nepenthes and the spores.
Authority: make the final sketch by raising overall density and contrast from the third sketch.
Acceptance: make the final sketch by raising overall density and contrast from the third sketch.

Final illustration 

Final book cover illustration

Final illustration: Annihilation

Final illustration: Authority

Final illustration: Acceptance

Bonus Goods
(pencil with unknown seed! photo taken by Jin Young Kim)

Thanks for watching!