Chris Kasch.Illustration

Sunday Times Magazine Short Story / September 21st, 2009

It was with great pleasure that I took on a Sunday Times magazine short story by Hilary Mantel. I don’t often get the opportunity to create small scale illustrations and I enjoy the discipline.
The story revolved around a couple who were having trouble with their marriage and went away for a break (in what turned out to be a pretty poor B+B that they thought might be haunted) to try and patch their relationship up. Despite their efforts the marriage was doomed and ended in divorce.
Part of my brief was to show the “depressing, hum-drum nature of UK bed and breakfasts” and I was chosen by the magazine because I was good at “picking up the understated banality of the typical English scene in a beautiful way”.
It became apparent to me fairly early on that this image was going to be a good one and so I redoubled my efforts to make sure that it was going to work out well and eagerly emailed the magazine my rough. I have to admit to being a little surprised that the rough didn’t go down too well, I got the impression that they were looking for something completely different, they were also after 3 roughs so the editor could have a choice. I respectfully declined this idea as not only would it not be practical to spend that amount of time on 3 roughs for the fee involved but I also considered that to divide ones time up creating 3 images would only result in mediocrity. I felt very strongly about the image and believed the work was good. We eventually compromised on changing the woman which I was happy with as I agreed she needed some more work.
I am very happy with how the image turned out and feel it works well with the story. The only slight regret I have is with the man as I think I could have painted him a little better. I knew he needed a little more refinement at the time but whatever I did with him didn’t work. Despite this I feel it’s one of my most successful images of the year. Hopefully everyone at the magazine feels the same way.