UWE Bristol graduate designs book cover for Philip Pullman's latest edition of his 'Dark Materials'

Issue date: 23 January 2012


Cover illustrated by Kate Baylay

A UWE Bristol Illustration Graduate has designed the front cover for world famous author, Philip Pullman's latest edition of 'His Dark Materials' published by Everyman library.

Kate Baylay graduated from UWE Bristol in July 2011 with a first class honours degree in Illustration. Her design graces the covers of all editions that went on sale in the UK in October and US when the book is reissued in spring 2012.

Kate was thrilled to land such a prestigious commission so soon after her graduation. She said, “It's been really brilliant. I did have a contact at Everyman who saw my work and suggested that I submit some examples but I really didn't think that I would get to design for such a well known author this early on in my career.

“I had not read Philip Pullman's work before so when I was commissioned I read the series over a couple of weeks and I was enthralled. All three books are fantastic.

“My illustrations tend to have a dark edge. I'm influenced by early 20th century illustrators including Aubrey Beardsley and Kai Nielsen. I love the slightly dark detail in their work and the intricate patterns and well thought out composition.”

Kate combines traditional drawing techniques with new technology. She starts her work with detailed pencil drawing, adds colour washes in paint and then scans the images into photoshop. “I like to refine the drawings and do the finishing touches using photoshop as it's great for precision detail but the drawings still maintain the hand done appearance. I really enjoy producing images with lots of elaborate detail and I love the dark side of fairy tale subjects.”

Speaking about the course at UWE Bristol Kate enthused, “The tutors Jonathan Ward, Gary Embury and Christine Hill were all amazing, giving plenty of constructive feedback in regular tutorials. Also the standard of work on the course is really very high and I was inspired by the talent of other students.”

Gary Embury, Senior Lecturer, BA (Hons) Illustration, says, “Kate has achieved well since graduating in July. Kate developed a highly sophisticated style of work quite early on in the course and has consistently maintained and improved on this throughout her studies. I'm not surprised she has gone on to secure such good commissions since leaving the course and I'm confident she will go on to have a very successful career in the future.”

To see further examples of Kate's work, visit www.katebaylay.com

To find out more about Illustration courses at Bristol UWE visit http://courses.uwe.ac.uk/W224/2012

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