Judge a book by its cover…

I know they say not to judge a book by its cover…but in my case, judge away!

The cover of my book, designed by Matt Bustin (aka Snuff), is getting quite a bit of attention, so, I thought I’d take a moment to explain all of the elements in the drawing. Folks seem to really get a kick out of my family being represented in caricature and to be totally honest, so do I!

I’ve known Matt for a while now. From sitting next to him for two years in our Design program, our daily drives to and from campus, becoming study partners often working late into the night…it all turned into a fabulous friendship that has continued well past graduation and surely will continue for years to come.

I’ve watched Matt doodle and draw hilarious pictures of people…capturing unique details in his fabulous style. So, it shouldn’t have surprised him when I asked him to design the cover of my book. Except that it did.

“I was thinking about your book cover,” he said a few days after I asked him. “What about a tree? You know, to represent growth and family.”

“A Tree? Ummmm…absolutely not,” I responded before going on to tell him what I envisioned and how his talents would come into play.

Then he followed it up with how thrilled he was that we’d actually be doing something he loved…how well I knew him…and how he really hated drawing trees!

Matt asked for a list of “must haves” for the drawing. Besides my children, there was the dog…a few of our activities…and a bit about what our family represented. Then, with knowledge in hand, he happily went off to do what it is he does best…draw! And then…just as I was getting excited to see the initial thumbnails…he told me he had no intention of showing me what it looked like…until it was done!

So I panicked!

I admit, it was a little bit freaky to trust the cover of your first ever book to someone else with suddenly no input and yet, I had faith in my friend. And when I saw the finished product…I was overwhelmed.

It was beyond what I could have imagined and yet EXACTLY what I wanted. Everything about my life…all summed up in that one drawing including a few things he added for fun. It’s as special to me as having a family photo taken…maybe more.

So…then we got to thinking…maybe you’d like one too!

As part of the promotion of Full Speed Ahead and my design company Drawbridge Creative (of which Matt is the illustrator because I simply can’t draw), we’ll be selling Matt’s drawings! A family (up to four people) with six items will cost $250 (price will increase from there depending on the number of items and people in the illustration.) The finished drawing will be the same size as the book (8×8) and printed on card stock. You can have a “title” on it if you choose…or nothing at all. They’ll be printed, signed and framed and hanging in your home to treasure for years to come.

AND…before you get all excited thinking of all of the upcoming occasions and the perfect person to commission this drawing for…hold your horses! We’re giving one away!

Here’s how you can win…

  1. Make a comment on this post about something you like about the cover illustration. In your comment, tell us about one MUST HAVE item that you’d want included in your illustration if you were to win.
  2. Share this post with your friends to get an extra ballot! (Just let me know in your comment how you told your friends and I’ll put your name in the draw a second time!)
  3. Buy my book by clicking on this link! Alright WHATEVER, you don’t have to buy the book to enter the contest but you should anyway…’cause it’s AWESOME!
  1. The giveaway will be open from now until Friday, January 17th, 2013 at nine a.m (my time!)
  2. The winner will be chosen using random.org and notified by email.
  3. Only comments on THIS post are eligible to win. Comments on other posts, Facebook or Twitter, while appreciated, are not considered.
  4. Only one comment per reader is eligible for entry into the contest PLUS, a second entry if you told your friends.
  5. Contest is open to residents of Canada.

While I’m sure lots of folks would LOVE to win this illustration…Matt is available immediately to begin drawing your unique family portrait in the very same style he drew mine!

Mine is currently about to be framed…and I can’t wait to find the perfect place to hang it.


58 Replies to “Judge a book by its cover…”

  1. I love everything about it! The colours! The lines! The humour! You can look at it many times and still not feel like you’ve seen it all!
    Amazing job! I really hope I win:)

  2. Trying this again:)
    Loved everything about the cover!
    I would definitely need Italy travel items in ours!
    Shared on FB
    Thanks Amanda:)

  3. One, I have been a follower of the blog since the beginning and already have my copy of the book…LOVE it! Two, I am so glad that you put some description in this blog because I thought “Wilson” was “The Ugly Head”…haha! Three…I have a family of four. And, four, I guess our drawing would have to include Craig’s fishing rod…as it represents him leaving me each year on our anniversary weekend for the annual trip (which I really don’t mind…but pretend I do!). I will definitely share this on fb!!

    • Wilson and the Ugly Head are very much the same thing!!! And yes, a fishing rod for Craig would be absolutely fantastic!!

  4. I thought the cover was superb. A rustic design which captured the heart of the book.

  5. I like the horse because it looks the picture Matt drew of me once for an encouragement note at a camp we both worked t! I would want Matt to include a sketch of John Darling from Peter Pan.

  6. I love the band aid because how ridiculous is it that a little band aid can hold that whole thing together. But usually that’s how we feel and it works 🙂
    I would need to include our newest member of our family, Murphy the Irish setter.
    I will share this on Facebook.

    • HA! That might be one of my favorite parts too Carrie! It’s a silly little piece of the picture…that says so much!
      Contrats on the new dog!!!

  7. I like how it’s real.
    Life isn’t perfect, and more often than not there are inconvenient speed bumps along the way.
    Like the lines in the drawing, life’s not seamless, or perfectly smooth. I get frazzled, have bad hair days, and sometimes I just wanna wear a sweet Spider-Man mask. 😉
    It’s real. 🙂

    If I get chosen… Matthew, I would love to have flowers and my guitar incorporated. Maybe even some trees, or a river…. so many possibilities!

    Anyways, looks great Matt! 🙂

    I’ll share this on Facebook for sure!

  8. I love your portrait. Laughed my guts out because it was so accurate. Mine would have to include Blacksmithing. I shared the post on Facebook.

    • Your family portrait would look pretty awesome! And yes, blacksmithing would be a fabulous element! (I thought for sure you’d love the gavel in the dogs mouth!)

  9. I love that the illustration represents so much, especially family! There is a lot going on in the pic and most families are busy with lots going on. If our family of four was drawn there would need to be a golf club somewhere in there. I will be sharing this on FB and will be ordering a book in the near future (have to pay some Christmas bills first!).

    • There’s something about being nutty and crazy and busy and sooo full of love! A golf club for you…of course!

  10. I loved it all because it captured everything I’ve read in your blogs. I could not figure out what the anvil represented so I’m glad for your explanation. As I’m reading the book, I am still learning things. My photo would also include a crown – because even though you’re the Queen, I am definitely a princess!! Oh I would also need a ship to represent my Sailor and my love of cruises.

    • A princess crown would be perfect! And the sailor stuff…what a great family portrait it would be!

  11. Very creative! If I were to win I think I would like to have my 4 adult children and things they love.

  12. How can someone choose what to like?! Everything is perfectly fitting to you and your family on this cover! Seeing the two dogs incorporated into the cover was fantastic though! Awesome job. For me, I’d have to say either the military or PC gaming would be a must-have! Oh yeah, I guess it would be nice to have Peter in there too!

    Ahh so fantastic! 🙂

  13. I love it all. You both are amazing and I wish all the luck in the world selling your book!

  14. This is possibly the coolest giveaway I have ever read. Also I liked the cover before I knew what it was all about, I now really love it!

  15. I’ve loved the cover since the first time I saw it 🙂 He has you down to a t!

  16. I love that he incorporated everything in your family! What a cool concept. The band-aid holding it all together made me laugh out loud. For my family it would have to have skates (both speed skating and hockey) and a ‘cold’ feeling to it since we’re always at arenas.

  17. I love how you represent all the most important aspects of your life in such a funny rediculous way. Had no idea where the pumpkin came from.
    There are so many things I would like incorporated in a family pic but the thing that stands out most for me would be my superwoman cape (while invisible, it is something I have always referred to representing my inner strength which is always much stronger than I imagine it can be when I summon it-just like most of us as mothers and wives I guess). I have pulled it on many times over the course of my adult life and don’t know where I would be without it! I’ll share this on twitter. Xo

  18. When I saw the cover i thought WOW!! it is so cool. I have been a week trying to figure out what I would put in a picture but then today driving home I realized my 3 nieces (well I do a bunch of other nieces and nephews but these 3 are very close) would so have to be in a red VW bug convertible on a road trip. 2 live in Newfoundland and the other one lives here and her birthday is the end of this month and she misses them all the time. I think I shared already on FB but will do it again now to make sure. Loving the book.

  19. Coleen, I have heard stories about your family and your drives to school for years now, being one of matt’s friends and i have to say i think he did an awesome job creating your family in his creative quirky art form! i love how bones is just peeking out from behind everyone…a look i have come to know while she’s been at camp too. she’s pretty great.

    if i were to have an item in my picture, i’d have the peggy’s cove lighthouse along with my three siblings. when we are all in town at the same time (which these days is rare) we try to sneak off to the lighthouse for a sunset excursion, or just a romp around on the rocks.

    • He did a fantastic job for sure. I too love Bones’ eyes peeking over the top!

      A lighthouse pic would be a lot of fun! It’s neat to see how each family would have something unique to them. There’s some great ideas in these comments.

  20. I loved everything about the illustration,but he definitely captured how you are a united family each with your own lives but living as one!! Loved it and loved the book! I would definitely have to have my scissors in my illustration since I have been holding them in my hands for almost 30 years! Lol I will definitely share this on Facebook!!!

    • Your scissors for sure! I love the family pic…it really means a lot and you’re right…it shows that united family living as one thing! PURE CHAOS..and a whole whack of fun!

  21. My favourite part is (obviously) the pony but also Zuchi. If I win, Matt will get to draw all kinds of animals lol!

  22. I love the whimsy aspect to the cover! Very fun and captures the family perfectly 😉 I love it’s lines, very loose and organic.

    Our family’s must-have item (assuming cats are not items but family members) would be something car related… And a bottle of wine 😉

    Great cover Mr. Bustin, you have done an excellent job.

  23. This is SUPER cool. I love the Spiderman face, obviously. There would have to be a snuggly stuffed puppy in ours as that thing never leaves Gavin’s side. 🙂

    Also, I’m TOTALLY sharing this on Twitter. Do I need to make a second comment to let you know that?

  24. Colleen, are you picking your nose in this illustrations, ’cause if so I think that’s cool. I’d pick my nose in mine too. And I have stars, lots of stars just because I like them. My asshole dog would have to be in there too probably eating a Blackberry or a tissue box. I guess my kids and husband too… whatever! :))))

    • I’m not…but now I’m disappointed about that! Love that you’re dog would be eating all the things he shouldn’t be eating. Funny!

  25. I love this illustration of your family and all the detail that went into it! Besides my family members and the family animals I would have to have something in our illustration that represents the beach, becuase that’s just who we are. Beach people. 🙂

  26. It’s a great book cover & I love that your friend was able to do it for you! What I like most about it is how the drawing of you, looks so much like you! It would be awesome to have a drawing like this of our family. I’ve never managed to get family pictures done and I find it sooooo stressful even thinking about the right hair, makeup & clothes for a family photo so this would capture us just as we are, without all the stress! Aside from the three humans in our family, we would definitely have to include our dog, Jake if we had a drawing done!

  27. Amazing love the cover It is eye catching ! Everytime I see it I feel I need to read the book! I love reading your blog colleen
    So relevant ! I can only imagine what we would be drawn as !!!
    Thanks for sharing

  28. Love the cover! Love the clever elements that make this a true depiction of your family!
    If I won… I’d love to have the beach incorporated sonehow. And something about my Greek heritage!