At first, I included some explorations of compositions, and different ways to show the idea. After one was chosen I fleshed it out, and after one more round of feedback, I began drawing the final image.
I cycled around Richmond for a while, taking reference shots from suitably knobbly trees, to evoke the idea in the brief that the character has grown up wrong in the absence of a father-figure, and settled on this Horse Chestnut. I also took some grass for the base.
For the colours, my brief was to include the Pan-African flag colours of green, black, and red. This would be a little tricky, as the flag colours weren't very naturalistic, but after checking out what they symbolised, I figured we could use the figures and tree to stand for black and green, and the text could be red. Here's the explanation from wikipedia -
"The Universal Negro Catechism, published by the UNIA in 1921, refers to the colors of the flag meaning:
It was an absolute pleasure to work on this cover. I really hope it helps Robyn get as much exposure as he deserves. He's an inspiring guy, not least because he's not one for waiting around for people to come and find his book. -