John Clapp
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  Akiko

Inset jacket art for "One Bird" by Kyoko Mori

Client: Henry Holt & Co.
Art Director: Martha Rago

Watercolor on paper

Problem:
A YA (young adult) book about a Japanese girl dealing with the absence of her mother.

Solution:
A lot of the YA covers are very straightforward, show the kid, show their emotional conflict, in an environment from the book. It is always fun when an art director lets you have a little more free rein.

Martha Rago is really great about that. Even though the jobs aren't as lucrative, with Martha I almost always end up with a portfolio piece. She isn't afraid to choose a sketch that is different from what she expected to see.

This is a portrait of one of my SJSU students. I prefer to work with models I know, their personality seems to end up in the painting, making it better.

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