Sabyasachi Mistry is considered as one of the most gifted contemporary cover artists in the industry today. Over the years, he has
established himself as a concept artist and an illustrator. He has contributed to the cover designs of numerous books. In his artwork, the artist plays with light, structure and figure. His apt style is a hit among adults and children alike. In a conversation with The Daily Star, he shares his journey as a cover artist.
What got you interested in doing book covers?
I always found book cover designing very fascinating, but I began working quite late. In fact, I'm one of last ones among my friends to take up the job.
What is the most important factor for your design?
The design is an abstract representation of the content, but it needs to be unique. Otherwise, the cover would not be coherent. For me, it is important to comprehend the text. If I cannot connect myself with the writing, it becomes difficult to design a cover.
Who do you admire among the contemporary artists?
Dhruba Esh and Sabyasachi Hazra are among my favourites. I find Shibu Kumer Shill's work fascinating as well. To my surprise, I see many young artists in the industry now, whose works are quite interesting and original.
How can an artist stand out?
Believing in what you do is the first step. When I began working, I was an old-school artist. I may have been influenced by others, but I quickly recovered from it. I used to closely observe the works of the artists who had the most impact on me, and I tried to avoid style. I believe it is best to try to be your own leader, rather than being someone else's follower.
What would be your suggestion for young artists?
Many of us assume that digital platforms automatically make someone a good artist. It is not true. Those are just tools and mediums you use. The idea and the concept are the most important factors. Artists should spend time thinking about their designs. I also think they should come out of the glamour of only the book industry, because an artist always has to be a multitasker. If cover design becomes the sole profession, then the works are bound to be ordinary. I would humbly request them to aim for quality, not quantity.