Monday, 9 January 2017

Nathalia Suellen Chats RoseBlood Cover Art

Today is my stop on the RoseBlood tour - my first blog tour of 2017! And I am so happy to welcome  Nathalia Suellen to the Pewter Wolf. Nathalia is a well-respected artist who created the cover art of A.G. Howard's RoseBlood. 

RoseBlood is a modern-day reimagining of The Phantom of the Opera. The story follows Rune, who has a voice of an angel but a strange affliction that leaves her sick after every performance. Her mother, out of desperation, sends Rune to a French arts school - RoseBlood conservatory - which connections to Phantom of the Opera. But once there, Rune starts to believe that something otherworldly is afoot. But is it in her head, or is there a Phantom lurking at RoseBlood? And if so, why is watching Rune?

Now, before I hand over to the Q&A with Nathalia, I would like to thank Nathalia for taking time out to answer these questions about creating the cover art. I would, also, like to thank Jessica at Abrams & Chronicle/Amulet Books for setting this up and allowing me to be involved in this blog tour.

If you want to check out Nathalia's work, you should check out her website or check out her Twitter at @nathaliasuellen. Now, over to the Q&A!

What were the specifications for the cover of RoseBlood? Did you read RoseBlood while creating this cover? 
I actually didn’t read RoseBlood. (honestly, I don’t read any book)
My mind works with images and the specifications just help the imagination flow. The title itself, “RoseBlood” is already a source of imagination, I can think thousand different images from it. 
Maria Middleton (art director) was essential to guide me through this cover process, we’ve tried some different Parisian images to the background, a full body version of Rune (the main character), different color palettes with green accents but it all end up a very gothic emotive art, which I personally think it was a great decision, it matches perfectly with a modern version of Phantom of the Opera.

How many cover designs did you work through before the final cover was decided on? And can we take a look at any of them?
I think 5 or 6. Here go some old versions:
Version One

Version Two

Version Three

Version Four

Version Five

Version Six

Were there any ideas that you couldn’t use while creating RoseBlood’s cover that you wish that you could use?
I truly like it the way it is. Interesting, we never think we can create a better art. 
While creating the cover we all thought the old versions were perfect but when we do it again and again, we see it’s not good enough. 
We always can make it better and working as a team is the secret. I firstly create my version ’till my eyes get tired and then Anita share her genius thoughts of what can be done and Maria sees what’s wrong… and when it back to me, the image is bright again and my eyes renewed. 

The cover has similar vibes to A.G. Howard’s Splintered series. Was this a deliberate decision or did this happen by accident? If this was deliberate, how did you make RoseBlood similar to Splintered while making it different and standout on its own?
We first tried to do something different (mainly with the full body Rune) but we somehow missed that movie poster feel we all love from Splintered. So that was a decision, make it similar, was not by accident at all. I personally think it’s good for Anita, it’s almost like a brand, we all know it’s another amazing Anita Howard book from distance. RoseBlood is dark, gothic and Splintered is mad, surreal but both girls are inviting you to read the book and join them in their journey, you can see it through her eyes.

As RoseBlood is a reimagining of Phantom of the Opera, did you have any pressure while creating this cover to respect the original text but also to create something new and eye-catching for RoseBlood
When Maria sent the e-mail the very first thing I saw was “modern version”, I remember saying “God, I’m not modern”. 
I was afraid (although I trust Anita imagination), how The Phantom of the Opera could be modern? So that was the pressure. A romantic modern classic! and now it’s very clear to me. 

Which cover is your favourite (from all the Splintered and RoseBlood)?
The very first Splintered. I think it fits more with my art style. I like weird, bizarre stuff.

What was the hardest part of creating this cover? 
Abandon a version you give your best and believe we can make it better again. We can learn a lot doing it but it’s suffering. 

What did you most enjoy?
“Be” Splintered in another world. 

If you are Alyssa or Rune, you know it's happening again. I feel it's like a curse. We are all Splintered girls. It's like Anita could write our life story. I can see myself frozen through her vines and thorns in another book. (in my book I would certainly have tentacles around me). Anita is magic, she created a feeling. I feel honored to be part of it.


  1. Thanks to both of you for this awesome post! And *hugs* to Nathalia for her lovely words. Her art is the most magical I've ever seen. I'm honored and grateful to have her as my cover artist!

  2. Its gorgeous, Nathalia! It's the perfect collaboration of art and literature. I was so impressed with the image on the Splintered cover that I knew I had to read the book. You helped me to discover my favorite series! (As you know, I even use it as my Twitter avi except when I'm promoting another one of Anita's books with a different cover of yours.;) With the Splintered cover, you opened up a whole new world for me through Anita's books. Thank you for your beautiful artwork and I can't wait to see your next cover.:)

  3. Yes! The cover art on the Splintered series also caused me to find one of my favorite series, and Roseblood is just as gorgeous! If I ever write a YA series, I want this artist to create the covers! :)