One Owl Studio
Graphic design and illustration, made in Cumbria



Relative Strangers Book Cover


I was approached by the wonderful Watson Design to illustrate and design the cover of local author Allie Cresswell’s novel “Relative Strangers”.

Allie is a Amazon #1 best selling author based in Cumbria. She has published five novels and two collections of short stories, articles, reviews and travelogues.

The plot of Relative Strangers is an intriguing one, which focuses on the McKay family. In recent years the family has drifted apart; only crises have been able to draw them together. The family members soon realise that they hardly know one another. For all their connective strands of DNA, they are relative strangers, adopting guises and harbouring secrets. Their inability to be honest with each other creates fissures which threaten the already weakened weft of the McKay family fabric. There are truths unspoken. But, the question emerges, in the end, how much truth can a family really stand?

Here's a peek behind the scenes at the illustration process, from hand drawn sketch to the final digital piece.


I had a lot of fun creating the different characters or archetypes of family, forming their emotions and characters, well making sure there is a connection which 'ties' them all together.

After creating the illustration I produced a selection of colour ways, which captured seasonal concepts of the tree itself, but also brought different qualities to the book cover's emotional tone.

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"It has been a pleasure working with Rebecca Watson and her illustrator Sarah Cowan. I needed a fresh new look at my novel and am delighted with the results. Rebecca and Sarah were open to my suggestions, bringing it into reality in a way which works well for print and as a thumbnail, but also came up with a great original scheme when I asked them for some creative ideas." 
- Allie Cresswell


You can see more examples of illustration over on the Work page. 

You can also purchase "Relative Strangers" here.