Aurora Cacciapuoti is a Sardinian illustrator currently based in Cambridge. She splits her time between running art workshops and working as a freelance illustrator. Whilst I was writing 12 books last year (or 1,667 words a day) she was drawing 365 faces (or 1 face a day). You can see them all on her tumblr page.
This year Aurora has a new project, to create 52+2 book covers. I asked her a few questions about what she finds inspiring about books.
You challenged yourself to draw 365 faces in 2011 – how did it go?
I finished my project on the 31st of December. It has been really exciting and useful for me do and it helped me to work on my style. Doing a face every day has been a challenge, but also it became a sort of ritual. I liked the project so much that I would like to do an exhibition with all the faces, and maybe a fanzine. Another thing that has been really beautiful is the contact with people – a lot of people sent me their photos to participate in the project.
Your new project is 52 Book Covers + 2. What is the +2?
It is the number of days left over 🙂
Ah, one book cover for each of the 52 weeks in the year plus 2 more for the extra 2 days. That’s a lot of books! How are you choosing which covers to re-create?
I chose only books that I have read entirely, that I have immersed myself in. When I have to choose I make my mind blank, and the first book to enter my imagination is the one that I choose to draw. Often the title and the images are in my mind since I read the book so deeply, so I only have to work on details.
What is your favourite book cover design (not drawn by you!)?
Ah, I have a lot….
I think one of the favourites is The Witches by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake – and also Matilda…wonderful! They remind me my childhood, so I have a lot of affection for them.
And what is your favourite book and why?
Difficult to say because I love a lot of books equally, maybe it changes which book is in the top ten from time to time… Now I am reading this book Un eremo non è un guscio di lumaca (A hermitage is not an empty snail shell) by Adriana Zarri, and I am really enjoying it.
I also love The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov and The Turn of the Screw by Henry James.
Do you prefer to buy or borrow books?
Generally I prefer to buy books (used or new) because I love to have them at home. It has been difficult in recent years because I moved house twice, so I borrowed a lot of books from the library. I have always used the library because I love the place, it is quiet and cosy, and I spent a lot of time there in my childhood as well. I also love to find books in the street, it’s magic. So sometimes I leave books in cafes or trains…
Now that I am more stable I would like to start a proper book collection!
Which is better, new or used?
They both have charm, I love books so much!
By the way, the old old old book has a fantastic scent for me… and what about their still scraggy covers? Isn’t it lovely to find one like that? But then, isn’t it also beautiful to go to the bookshop and have in your hand a brand new shiny book?!
What are you reading right now?
As well as Un eremo non è un guscio di lumaca I am also reading (yes, I am one of those person that likes to read more than a book at the same time, depending on the mood of the evening!) The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
Do you have a favourite genre to read?
Novels, folk tale, gothic tale.
How about a favourite genre to draw?
Children’s novels 🙂
As you can maybe see from this and Aurora’s other illustrations based on Frank L.Baum’s The Wizard of Oz…
Wish her luck and follow the 52+2 book cover journey throughout the year on Aurora’s website. You can also find her on Twitter @nekocherry, Facebook, Flickr and Etsy.