Where To Begin: A Guest Post by Kayla King

Categories Blog, Guest Posts

Often the most difficult part of any creative endeavor is knowing where to begin. The same can most certainly be said of my experience creating the cover for my next print collective, The Elpis Pages

Like a blank page, the emptiness of a cover can be overwhelming. Endless possibilities stretch beyond the fathoms of sight and imagination. During this process, I decided to start small. As with most things in life, taking that first step provided enough momentum to keep me moving on this journey.

I started with Elpis, or rather, who I envisioned for my version of this spirit of hope. At the launch of this project, I created this figure from a statue who I felt might fit in the world of Greek mythology. After all, I pulled Elpis straight from a myth. Featuring her on the cover was something small. However, I didn’t use the original photo of the statue, preferring the form I’d already perfected.

At the launch of [The Elpis Pages], I created this figure from a statue who I felt might fit in the world of Greek mythology.

Next, I started to play around with different textures, admiring the intangible and illusory quality of smoke. This reminded me of the works I’d already accepted for the print collective. Time and again, I encountered the truth that womanhood encompassed more than one thing, that no two women were the same. Gravitating toward the smoke felt close to this complexity.

Time and again, I encountered the truth that womanhood encompassed more than one thing, that no two women were the same. Gravitating toward the smoke felt close to this complexity.

Inspired by the image of the smoke and the original branding I created for this collective, I kept the color palette simple: white, black, and grey. But the cover I was building felt incomplete. I went through four additional designs that all felt wrong for one reason or another. In the end, I returned to the smoke. 

Only after changing the color to include teal, did I find a way to reconceptualize what this cover could be. My love for this shift was instantaneous. There is something about this shade of teal that has always drawn me in, most evident in the accents on my website. But the shift in color also made the smoke appear more cloud-like, almost celestial. 

This connection to the cosmos reminded me of the way so many Greek myths already played out in the sky above, reflected in constellations. And from here, the simple black background shifted into the night sky. 

This connection to the cosmos reminded me of the way so many Greek myths already played out in the sky above, reflected in constellations.

Layer by layer, I built this cover, arranging the smoke like clouds, both above and below. Of course, my version of Elpis felt most at home at the center. Playing with texture and color and negative space allowed me the freedom to offset the title and other accompanying information to create further movement for the eye. The play between whimsical and mysterious struck me as being right. This became everything I envisioned without quite knowing what I wanted from this cover. It was love at first sight, and this obsession hasn’t faded yet.  

While there is still some time to wait before I get to hold this real book in my hands, I am excited to share the cover for The Elpis Pages: A Collective today! 

Layer by layer, I built this cover, arranging the smoke like clouds, both above and below. Of course, my version of Elpis felt most at home at the center.

Someday soon I hope that you, dear reader, will add this to your bookshelf. All earnings from the print collective will be donated to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, an organization which helps protect access to safe, legal abortion and reproductive rights.

You can now add this book to your TBR on Goodreads! To learn more about this collective, the women who inspire me, original merch, and more, you can visit the project page. And for further updates as publication day nears, I hope you’ll follow us on Twitter and Instagram

About the book 

Long ago, Pandora’s box opened to reveal a multitude of evils. Only hope was left behind. Her name was Elpis. 

As we find ourselves in tumultuous and uncertain times, the thing we must cling to now more than ever is HOPE.

The Elpis Pages celebrates fierce women, broken women, women of all shapes and sizes and colors and ages. 

Bringing together poetry, short stories, flash fiction, creative nonfiction, essays, and more from self-identifying women worldwide, these pages explore the nuanced complexity of womanhood.

Whether it be a howl or whisper, these women are using their voices however they can.

Sometimes all we have is hope. 

About Kayla King 

Kayla King is the author of These Are the Women We Write About, a micro-collection published by The Poetry Annals. She is the founder, Editor-in-Chief, and contributing writer for two collectives: Pages Penned in Pandemic and The Elpis Pages. Kayla’s fiction and poetry has been published by Firewords Magazine, Sobotka Literary Magazine, and Capsule Stories, among others. You can follow Kayla’s writing journey on her website and Youtube or her twitterings @KaylaMKing. 

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