I have created a book which a is a fully gender-swapped version of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (every man is now a woman and vice-versa) and I need artwork for the cover.
Full disclosure: This is my second attempt at running a competition for this book cover. The first round was in the book-cover category and I received a lot of submissions which were stock images only. There were some great designs but what I was really after was an illustration depicting characters or a scene that is recognisable. This is not possible even with the best stock images.
With advice both from friendly designers and the 99designs team, I am restarting this competition in the illustrations category.
In this competition, I am seeking the illustration only - I will then create a separate book-cover competition to do the text and layout for the final cover. If there are two illustrations that I like, I may purchase a second winning illustration so the book cover designers have more to work with.
= Overview =
The book is a fun satire, so the cover should be light-hearted and fun. Characters looking sassy, bemused etc. would be great. It should pull on the styles of British Regency/Georgian era style and clothes.
I'm open to alternatives, but what I'm imagining is an illustration depicting one or more of the characters of the book as their gender swapped versions. E.g. a male version Elizabeth Bennet in traditional men's regency attire, or a female Mr Darcy, etc. (it's easy to find detailed descriptions of each of these characters online if you need them).
Please no 'women with beards' or 'man in a dress' pictures, the characters are entirely man in men's clothes or woman in women's clothes. The characters must be recognisable as swapped versions of the original Austen characters through other means.
One possible strategy is to gender-swap the specific actors from the BBC Classic Pride and Prejudice miniseries. There are two examples of images from the BBC series attached - do not directly use these images themselves in your design - I don't own any copyright for them (besides you'd need to gender-swap them somehow anyway). Also please avoid basing your illustrations on any of the other movie adaptations. All Austen fans agree that the BBC miniseries is the one true film adaptation.
= Example ideas =
1. A male version of the 5 sisters picture attached. Make the characters recognisable through their stance and expressions. As a summary, from left to right they are Lydia (silly and attention-seeking), Elizabeth (strong, intelligent protagonist), Jane (Sweet, pretty and gentle), Mary (book nerd, socially awkward but not very bright) and Kitty (also silly but not as attention-seeking as Lydia).
2. A gender swapped version of the couple picture attached, with the woman (Mr Darcy) looking stern/proud and the man (Elizabeth Bennet) looking amused and lively. For bonus points, include a smiling/sly woman in red-coat period-accurate military attire (Female Mr Wickham).
3. A gender swapped version of the drawing attached, where two women (Mr Bingley and Mr. Darcy) are talking and Mr Darcy looks disdainfully over to a male (Elizabeth Bennet) who is sitting waiting for a dance partner. This well-known scene where Mr Darcy refuses to dance with Elizabeth should be easily recognisable to Austen fans.
= Art style =
I'm open to any art style, line drawing, painting etc. (recognisability of the gender-swapped characters is the most important part) - just don't make it super cartoony or caricatured. Probably the more old-fashioned and traditional art styles get a small preference.
= DO NOTs =
It should definitely *not* look like a sappy romance or Mills&Boon book. This is a drama/comedy, not 50 shades of grey - there's no sex or even kissing in this book. If it looks like a soppy romance book, with characters gazing wistfully into the distance (or each other's eyes), I will not accept it.
Do not include fashion that is not reasonably time period/location accurate for regency England. (The one exception is that women can wear military attire). I've attached a picture of the correct red-coat military uniform.