I recently came across more of Rachell Sumpter’s artwork and was newly impressed with the way she approaches each assignment. Rachell is most well known for the 3 book covers by Dave Eggers, What is the What, Zeitoun and The Wild Things published by McSweeneys. Each cover is unique yet throughout her hand is evident. She also completed 3 covers for Penguin/Threads which were embroidered Little Women, The Wizzard of Oz and The Wind in the Willows. I imagine the future holds more aha moments when a new illustration style catches my eye and I nod my head realizing the artist is Rachell Sumpter.
In her own words, taken from an article in the Huffington Post about book cover art; “I begin by letting the story and style of prose be the sentinel for the overall feeling I want the design to communicate.” This approach is unusual for a US illustrator. Illustrators with range typically come from the UK or Europe where the school system teaches design and illustration together.
She is currently the resident illustrator for O Magazine’s Reading Room section, edited by Sara Nelson and designed by Angela Reichers. It’s a dream job for her because every assignment calls upon the diversity of her thinking and visual vocabulary.