I was asked recently about the cover for Incesticide: Collected Horror, so I’m sharing a wee bit about it here.
Music is a massive part of my life, inspiring me when I work. It helps me find grounding when the the Earth has fallen from my feet, and I can’t find anything else to tether onto. Art is a wonderful way of distracting us from pain or helping us face and conquer the demons taking up space. The title was chosen in homage to Nirvana — I am a huge grunge fan, and it is one of my comfort-food genres, so it felt natural to fall into that.
The artwork followed the title. What’s more grunge, punk and indie than doing it all myself? I love to paint too. I guess the creative streak is profoundly ingrained in my wheelhouse, even when I suppressed those urges in years gone by. I took this idea and continued my homage to the title. I didn’t overthink it and just went with the flow, inspired by and creating my spin on Kurt Cobain’s cover art for Nirvana’s Incesticide.
Dandelions (dandelion wishes) are my favourite flower. The invasive weed wields healing properties. Her seed is carried in the sweep of a breeze, and she’ll resist suppression, taking deep root wherever seeds land. She’ll bloom through cracks in the concrete — nature dominating and cleaning the disaster of man. I replaced Kurt’s poppies with dandelion seed heads. Though this element is scarcely visible on the Incesticide: Collected Horror book cover, as the figures took central focus on the wraps.
Those two forms: I switched the small figure to the opposite arm and painted them with only a loose nod to Cobain’s originals. I fleshed out my forms but maintained a skeletal accent to the larger figure. For the small child figure, I wanted to recreate that mannequin/doll base but with a dance that quietly echoed the larger one. I think they quickly transformed into ‘mother’ and ‘child’ when painting them, more so when I stepped back and saw a ghost of my daughter’s face in that child form. My ‘koala baby’. With that, it made sense that’s where my paintbrush went. That revelation then paints more sense onto the wide-eyed, dishevelled ‘mother’. The art for Incesticide became personal. Perhaps a bit of a mirror to PND. A little horror of life that has nothing to do with the collection’s contents.
As well as the Ts and Hoodies on my Etsy, prints of the Incesticide artwork are available if you find me skulking in the shadows with my books and other entwined wares at some cool events this year.