12:00 AM, February 07, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 07, 2019

Portrait of a Cover Artist


Sabyasachi Hazra is an inspiration for many young artists in the country. His unique strokes have a magnetic effect on the audience of his work. Having graduated from the  Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka, his work gained momentum in 2005 and today, Sabyasachi Hazra is a mainstay during the Ekushey Boi Mela. The soft-spoken artist talks about his work and expectations with The Daily Star.

You implement a signature style in your designs. Did you try anything new this year?

Surprisingly, I did. I experimented with typography and colours. Previously, red and black would dominate my designs, and this year, I tried to incorporate more colours. The design obviously depends upon the text. I tried to maintain the old style of book covers, which syncs well with the writing.

Does cover design only consist of the outer design of a book?

Cover, inner design and book layout can be considered a single unit, or can be seen as seperate entities depending on the work. Ideally, it should be the same thing, but here, our publishers have their own layouts, so it is seen as separate aspects of design. If we had coordination between the three, I believe the overall work would have better quality. Unfortunately, we have not reached that stage yet.

Among artists, whose works do you enjoy the most?

I adore the works of Quamrul Hassan, Kazi Ahsan Habib, Qayyum Chowdhury, Purnendu Pattrea, Hiron Mitra, Dhruba Esh and Shoujanya Chakraborty. The young artists are also quite promising. I appreciate the works of Niaz Chowdhury Tuli, Sabyasachi Mistry and Rochinshnu Sanyal, to name a few.

What are the prospects and challenges of this profession?

Cover artists do not receive any royalty for the work they do. Taking it as a full-time profession is not an option as of yet, thus book cover design remains a work of passion. The reason behind this powerlessness is the lack of development and professionalism in the publication industry.

As an inspirational figure to many young artists, do you have advice for them?

I never force myself to create something pompous and rushed. I like simplicity, and suggest others to do the same. The characteristics I see in great artists are honesty, perseverance and respect for the art; and I believe that is the key.

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