Fan Art Gallery

Over the past few months, I’ve been collecting fan art inspired by my books. The resulting collection was so beautiful that I created a virtual gallery to display it all! Shall we step inside?

the lobby of a fancy looking gallery with black walls and light wood staircase. a sign on the wall reads "gallery opening upstairs" with an arrow pointing towards the staircase

First up, we have the book covers! These beauties were designed by Jacob Covey. Even though I see these quite often around my house, I never get tired of looking at their eye-catching designs and vibrant colors.

Jacob Covey / When We Vanished, 2019 and Where Shadows Grow, 2020 / Paperback book covers

I’ve already featured the following pieces on my blog, but they definitely deserve a place in the gallery! The map of SILO and the Animal Crossing pixel art that my son created are pretty creative indeed.

A pencil-drawn map of SILO.
Dez-E / A Map of SILO, 2021 / Pencil on paper
An avatar of a boy in Animal Crossing stands in front of town hall displaying the When We Vanished pixel art that was created to mimic the cover. It is being modeled on the flag outside the building, a canvas on an easel, a rug on the ground, and on a T-shirt the character is wearing.
Dez-E / WWV in AC, 2021 / Animal Crossing Pixel Art

Next up are a couple pieces by the wonderful Mara Siciliano! The first is a piece I commissioned from her while I was building a website referenced in the first book, (You can also find a printable coloring sheet version here!) These scrappy Bitz Zombies are THE BEST.

a group of five scrappy-looking zombies, each holding a bag of Blazin Bitz, their faces and fingers smeared with red-orange Bitz dust.
Mara Siciliano / Beware the Bitz Zombies, 2019 / Ink & crayon on paper

The second piece is a gorgeous collage that she created for the fan art celebration. I love the explosion of colors and textures, and the resourcefulness that Mara employed in turning these scraps into art (including the cornflake-box backing!), which feels very in-keeping with the spirit of the books.

A collage filled with many different colors, shapes, and textures, with shiny sequins and metallic stripes. At the base, beneath an explosion of different shapes, sits a small crow looking over its shoulder.
Mara Siciliano / Crow Collage, 2021 / Mixed media

And this one is is pretty incredible: check out this tattoo version of the When We Vanished cover. ? My sister Holly is #TeamCrowbie 4 Life!

a tattoo version of the When We Vanished cover. An outlined crow silhouette with the same handwritten lettering from the cover that reads "When We Vanished."
Holly Peterson / Tattoo, 2021 / Ink on skin

I received some awesome submissions by Brett Boynton – arguably the biggest COTCQ fan of them all! The first piece shows two cover tributes that he created on our chalkboard wall.

Book covers of When We Vanished and Where Shadows Grow as rendered in chalk.
Brett Boynton / Chalkboard Covers, 2020 / Chalk on wall

The second is a depiction of Nutkin the Dancing Squirrel, the meme created by Cyrus’s friend Dev.

A person looks at a computer screen with a squirrel on it. Red lightning bolts and yellow swirls containing lyrics from Michael Jackson's "Bad" explode around it. The text at the bottom reads, "Wormpie1: how u gonna spread the word about the site? Deltacube008: Two words for you, my friend: DANCING SQUIRREL."
Brett Boynton / Nutkin, 2021 / Pencil, crayon & marker on paper

And for the sake of comprehensiveness, I’ll include the four collages I made after finishing each book. These were assembled using thrift store canvases, found materials (including sand from Seward Park!), and liberal amounts of ModPodge. They now hang on my living room wall.

Four collages. The first has a crow looking over its shoulder at a heart enclosing a stalk of wheat. The second has a starry night sky, dark moon, and orca whale swimming in the sea. The fourth has a pomegranate with a silhouette of a german shepherd in the middle, surrounded by a sunflower-like burst of flames, against a starry backdrop. The fourth has a depiction of Mt. Rainier made from sand and a looping plant vine reaching up to a sickle moon.
Alanna Peterson / Quartet, 2018 / Mixed media

Know what else hangs in a place of honor in my living room?? This amazing crow shadowbox created by Nathalie Paul!

A crow shadowbox cut from layers of hardboard. In the foreground, a crow is perched in the branches. In the background, a flock of crows flies through the sky and a ladder leans up against an apple tree with a basket of apples at the bottom.
Nathalie Paul / Crow Shadowbox, 2021 / Hardboard in wood frame

Nathalie also provided some behind-the-scenes photos of the process of creating this piece. I’m so honored that she made this for me!

Behind the scenes photos of creating the crow shadowbox. Five printouts of the different layers spread across a table. Cutting out a tree with a very thin scroll saw blade. The layers arrayed on a table. A photo of Nathalie hunched over her scroll saw, with a fan and a light beside her. The piece assembled on a table with a strap around the frame and a bottle of wood glue to the side. A post-it note in the center of the images reads, "Behind the Scenes."

Edible Art

Since food is such a major component of these books, I was thrilled to receive a few submissions of edible pieces (one of which I actually got to eat!).

First, doesn’t this focaccia look delish?! I love the artistically rendered olive crow. And the title – The Crow of the Crumb – made me laugh out loud!

A circular loaf of focaccia inside a pan sitting on a shelf. A crow made of olives flies across the center. A red-onion sun and chive grass round out the composition.
Melanie Peterson / The Crow of the Crumb, 2021 / Olives & herbs on focaccia

My darling daughter (of contributed this next piece! I literally squealed in delight when I saw this tribute to the virtual cake enjoyed by Sir James in the video game NutrexoWorld, complete with “dynamite” candles! And I swooned in delight when I tasted the chocolate-orange cake topped with whipped ganache and raspberry-rose frosting.

A photograph of a layer cake covered in chocolate icing with pink frosting details. The cake inscription reads, "Happy birthday, sir james." there are four red candles at the top that say "dynamite."
Cora / Happy Birthday, Sir James, 2021 / Icing on cake

Character Sketches

Several artists submitted sketches of the characters! First up, we have a beautiful watercolor by Sofia Spiegel: her rendition of Roya, complete with a chicken tucked under her arm. I love it so much!

A watercolor painting of Roya. She wears a pink shirt with gray polka dots and purple leggings, and her messy hair is tied back with yellow ribbons. She holds a brown and white chicken beneath her arm.
Sofia Spiegel / Roya, 2021 / Watercolor

The amazing artist Gina Siciliano made sketches of all four main characters. I was astounded when I saw these – they are absolutely perfect!

A ballpoint pen sketch of Cyrus, smiling goofily and holding a cake.
Gina Siciliano / Cyrus, 2021 / Ink on paper
A ballpoint pen sketch of Roya, holding her hair back from the wind. A gust catches her dress. She holds a box in her right hand, and a bird flies above her.
Gina Siciliano / Roya, 2021 / Ink on paper
A ballpoint pen sketch of Naveed. He looks unhappy/mad, with messy hair, a shadowy face, and hunched shoulders. He's holding onto his left forearm with his right hand. There are faint bandages wrapped around both of his hands. In his left hand he holds an apple.
Gina Siciliano / Naveed, 2021 / Ink on paper
A ballpoint pen sketch of Andi, with headphones on, playing a piano. She is looking down, apparently deep in peaceful concentration.
Gina Siciliano / Andi, 2021 / Ink on paper

Video Installation

Lastly, a video installation! Check out the brand new original song written by Brett, “The Ballad of Roya & Kass.” The lyrics are clever and delightful.

Your Thoughts

Hope you enjoyed the gallery walk! What were your favorite pieces? Feel free to show a little love to these incredible artists in the comments!

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Brett

    What an amazing inspiring collection! I truly love every piece but if I was forced to pick a favorite I’d pick Gina’s Andi. There’s just something about it that makes it feel a bit more than perfect to me. But literally every piece is top notch. Great work inspiring all this cool art with your wonderful books Alanna!

    1. Alanna Peterson

      Thank you, and yes! I love Gina’s Andi too. Exactly how I picture her, and love that serene look on her face as she’s swept up in the magic of creating art! That’s the good stuff right there 🙂

  2. Janice

    I <3 this mixed media art exhibit so much! My favorites are the edible pieces, especially the gorgeous focaccia. I love how the focaccia is the canvas itself!

    1. Alanna Peterson

      Ooh yes I love the edible pieces too! Perhaps the focaccia will inspire a companion recipe post (a friend of mine makes a fabulous GF version that I’ve been wanting to experiment with!).

  3. Pam O.

    There’s so much wonderful art and music here! I’ve never seen a gallery like this, “supplementing” novels. The effect is to reify the characters and story in a new dimension. Really enjoyed Brett’s “Kassandra” song — sounds like the Incredible String Band of yore. Of Gina’s drawings, Naveed I thought was perfectly realized. I’ve seen Desi’s diagram of the facility and meant to comment on it a while back — it brings the place alive and is so well-thought out! The cover of Where Shadows grow is the best yet. The shadowbox is elegant. Lots of fun to see, thanks!

    1. Alanna Peterson

      Thank you Pam! Sure is hard to pick a favorite among all these gems. I can’t wait to show you the cover for Book 3… it is shaping up to be gorgeous as well!

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