In addition to writing one heck of a worthwhile read, Vanessa Hua, author of Deceit and Other Possibilities, was a pleasure to work with in designing the cover for her first short story collection. She was interviewed by Bloom, and had this to say about the experience of working together on the design:
“I love the cover so much—I even ordered custom tattoos with the bird insignia for my launch parties! Oscar Villalon, the managing editor at ZYZZYVA, recommended Josh’s work; he’d designed covers for the literary magazine, among his other clients. The process wasn’t what I expected, but then again, I’ve never had a book published! First Josh asked me to create a Pinterest board of what I liked and didn’t like in book covers, while he read the book. Then we talked for an hour not about colors or imagery, but about what it meant to be an immigrant. He got deep inside the book, and that informed the aesthetic. He then showed me several options with different motifs, including a lucky fish and a school of fish, but the cranes jumped out to me, with that color scheme. Cranes figure into the last scene of the last story in the book—and cranes are also present in Asian art. It was an artful but subtle reference to the book, without being overly Orientalized (no cone hats, fans, etc). Cranes also migrate, playing upon the theme of the book. It was an interesting process, to think about what exactly the book was saying as a whole, and how to convey it in an arresting image. I feel so fortunate to have worked with Josh.”
The feeling is mutual, Vanessa!
Here are a few of the early concepts I proposed alongside the version that would eventually become the book’s cover.
Vanessa even had some promotional temporary tattoos created inspired by the cover design!