Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Meet the artist behind our logo!

We've added a very important person to our team. This is because he created the image you see to the right of our posts. He's not only a great artist, but he's also very friendly and fun to chat with. We wanted to give you an opportunity to get to know him better. If you're an author or publisher and are looking for a book cover designer, Ben Stanford is your man! Don't hesitate to contact him (get in touch with us and we'll connect you or send him a quick message through Twitter).

Ben Stanford is an expat Canadian living in Paris, France with his wife and son. When he’s not freelancing on web and design projects, he works as a communications consultant for international organizations based in Paris. He has a fine arts degree with a concentration in communications from the University of Ottawa. Ben created the new illustration and logo for us and would love to work on book cover designs with aspiring authors. Check out his work on Pinterest and You can also find him on Twitter.

Which chick lit novel would you redesign the cover for and what would you do for the design?
While I’m no expert in the genre, I think the benchmark book cover to redesign would be The Devil Wears Prada. I like both the original book cover and the film poster, but it would be fun to reimagine it as a Penguin Classic akin to The Divine Comedy. I can imagine an oil painting depicting Dante’s nine circles of hell as different departments at Runway Magazine. I think I may have just assigned myself a summer project!

Aside from this I did some illustration work to promote my friend Sabrina Zollo (Author of Why I love my Gay Boyfriend) and I would love to design the cover of her second novel.

How has Paris been treating you? What's one difference between where you lived in Canada and where you live now?
My wife and I have been living in Paris for almost four years now, and it can be a bit of a love-hate relationship with the city. We moved here from Vancouver, Canada and the lifestyle is very different. We’re both avid snowboarders and the lack of access to nature can be an issue. Otherwise it’s a fantastic city to live in. We have since had a son here and its turning out to be a great city for young families. We’ve made some great friends and we really feel like we’re part of the community in our quartier in Paris’ 9th arrondissement.

What is your favorite book of all time?
I love Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five. It’s a strange tale of his experience as a POW in World War Two during the firebombing of Dresden. It’s a mix of his memoirs surrounding the actual writing of the book, a social commentary about war in general and a science fiction piece full of time travel and extra-terrestrials. I went to Dresden a few years ago to see the actual location where he was being held. Some event promoters had organized a rave near the site. So it goes…

What is an item on your bucket list that you'd like to accomplish within the next five years?
I’d like to draw and write about my experiences in Paris that both dispel some of the myths of the city and highlight some of its lesser known features. I can tell you it’s not quite a romantic experience when you’re biking alongside scooters and cars through Place Charles de Gaulle on your daily commute.

What book would you like to see as a movie and who would you cast in the lead role(s)?
While I don’t think it will happen any time soon, I’d like to see David Sedaris’ Me Talk Pretty One Day adapted as a film. This is one of the first books I read after moving to France and a lot of his observations in part “deux” really hit close to home. As for casting, I could see Michael Cera playing the lead role.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Graphic novels! I was a comic book junkie as a kid and this led to my interest in illustration. While I still do pick up the odd super hero graphic novel, I really appreciate the work of artists like Art Spiegelman (Maus) and Guy Delisle (Burma Chronicles) who address more serious issues in a visual medium. Graphic novels are taken very seriously in France. There’s a great series that I love by the French duo Dupuy and Berberian called Boboland. It’s a collection of short stories about Parisian hipsters (BoBo’s - Bourgeois Bohemian) that manages to tackle social issues like neighborhood gentrification and cultural globalization.

1 comment:

Janine said...

I love the new logo. Ben did a fabulous job on it.