The Patient in Hospital Zero

Book Covers, Illustration


Merlin Publishers | Ramona Depares


Idea Generation | Creation of Illustration | Graphic Design

When a creative brief involves keywords such as “uncanny”, “weird”, “dark”, “shadow”, “dystopian”, “complexity”, “twists”, “introspective”, etc, then it’s more likely that I can be of contribution.

I am thankful that Merlin Publishers entrusted me with creating the front cover for Ramona Depares‘ collection of genre-bending short stories in “The Patient in Hospital Zero”. On reading some of the stories, I was especially intrigued by the idiosyncrasies of the female, antihero, weirdly-likeable protagonists. Through gripping narratives, the stories tap into less-acknowledged, often-shunned, darker aspects of personality. Which can, at times, surface in vaguely controlled ways or, even worse, sabotage behaviour. With outcomes ranging from oddly surprising to tragically horrifying. I’ve always been fascinated by the Jungian notion of the shadow archetype, so this brief was right up my alley.

Which is why, after some creative exploration, we opted for this visual solution featuring an ambiguously smirking female character in the midst of a tragic – yet somewhat dreamy and cinematic – car-crash. In terms of medium, I have started with exploratory pencil drawings followed by digital rendering – which gives me the flexibility to find the appropriate balance between sharp compositional shapes and gritty textures.