Vashti Hardy: Brightstorm
Thomas Taylor: The Legends of Eerie-on-Sea
Amy Raphael: The Ship of Cloud and Stars
Hanna Durkan: Zeina Starborn and the Sky Whale
George Ermos is an English illustrator who likes to illustrate historical themes as well as mystical/creepy/magical stories, but he likes best when both of these are combined. He is always trying to incorporate new artistic elements into his works. In his own confession, he is inspired by bold colors, picturesque features, textures, and repetitive patterns. The creative process is completely digital for him. He first makes color sketches, followed by modification, and finally ‘polishing’: adding the fine details. He himself likes this phase the most.
In 2020, his illustrations decorated the Marks & Spencer Halloween snack collection. According to the artist, this was very exciting as he himself is a big fan of Halloween. However, it was more difficult to create illustrations for packaging compared to books, as there was much less space available, and the drawings had to be designed in such a way that the packaging designer could use them and move them around, so he had to think in layers.
Some books in which you can find his illustrations:
In Vashti Hardy’s trilogy, we can follow the adventures of Maudie and Arthur Brightstorm on the Aurora airship to the frozen southern continent, to the mysterious eastern isles, and then to the volcanic north in a world similar to ours, but much more steampunk.
Thomas Taylor doesn’t take us to the beach when the sun is shining, and the beach is filled with happy peolpe. With him, we can visit there when the last tourists have gone home and the cold, winter winds blow in. At that time, even the locals do not venture out after dark, because they are afraid of the creepy creatures of the legends. Not unreasonably.
Nico, the main character of Amy Raphael’s book, has always wanted to be an explorer, but her parents say it’s not for girls. However, accidentally, Nico goes on an adventure after all, because she happens to run onto the very ship chasing a cat that is about to run out to sea. The ship is led by a famous explorer, but pirates also in the bid for it.
Hanna Durkan’s story is about Zeina Starborn. When Zeina wins the chance to visit the famous Willoughby Whale Hotel, she immediately grabs it, as the hotel is located on a huge flying whale… However, strange things happen which she must unravel in order to set off on the adventure of her life.