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Luka Cover Illustration by Himmapaan Luka Cover Illustration by Himmapaan
Cover illustration for Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie, published by Random House (U.S.), November 2010.

The final jacket in its entirety is here:


Ink and Gouache (I'm afraid I've forgotten the dimensions and the original is still with the publisher).

Larger (please don't spirit it away!): [link]
Gold detail (photograph taken during progress): [link]

The front cover as appears on the actual book can be seen on Amazon: [link]
Or on Random House's own website: [link]

Alternatively, if anyone has seen the physical book itself, perhaps you would be so kind as to let me know what it's like. I still don't have my own copy and I long to see what became of the spine and back cover! I know that a few changes had to be made.

About the book itself on Mr. Rushdie's website: [link]

There are also about a hundred reviews of the book circulating the web at present, if anyone is interested. I myself highly recommend it. And if you have not yet read its predecessor, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, then make haste!

:icondonotuseplz::iconmyartplz:
Copyright Niroot Puttapipat and Random House, 2010
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:iconkhepmat:
khepmat Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013
So beautiful!
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:iconaliencheerleader:
AlienCheerleader Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
While chatting with a friend who works in a used book store I glanced over and saw this novel. This particular cover stood out so vibrantly to me that I knew then that I would have to acquire it.

I typically don't buy books based on how they look; but THIS remains an exception to that rule.

I had never read any of Rushdie's novels before this fleeting instance, so in a way, the artist played matchmaker through his work. I discovered a wonderful author through the art on Luka and the Fire of Life's cover. I have now read everyone of Rushdie's works.

Thank you for this beautiful experience.
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Ah, how wonderful to know. This must be one of the most gratify things for an illustrator, I think, to have been able to play that role. Thank you so much.
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:iconnjihu:
NjiHu Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2012
This is a really great illustration. All the details are beautiful, and I like that the overall picture has a unique style. It makes me curious about the story of the book you made this for (:
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you so much. ^_^
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:iconbassgeisha:
bassgeisha Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2011  Professional Interface Designer
Hey! Just because I'm a bit ignorant about this style, What references did you use to create this? What style of artwork was this based on? It looks persian or something. I love it, just curious!! +fave. Very different and unique!!
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:iconilxwing:
ilxwing Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2011
So beautiful!
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:iconteriathanin:
teriathanin Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I am reading this book right now! :)
Just thought I'd mention that.
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Hooray! :D
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:iconayuichi:
ayuICHI Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Super beautiful and lovely.
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:iconpeppermintaddict:
PeppermintAddict Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2010  Student General Artist
When I saw this I fell in love with it (I got the book as a present over the holidays as a result). It reminds me of the timeless illustrations in classic children's books and fairytales.
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:iconkatira:
Katira Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2010
How beautiful and exotic... And that looks like an excellent book.
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:iconowensangel10:
owensangel10 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Your work on this cover is stunning...I think it is a must read for me!!!! What an enchanting cover!!! BROVO!
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:iconpallanoph:
pallanoph Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
:omg: This turned out spectacularly, Niroot! :dance: :hug:

I do believe this is something I must hunt down for my extremely small collection of books. ^^; And since this edition has been published in the states (for once! :lol:) I shouldn't have any trouble finding it. :XD:

Besides, I need to read more!!! :giggle:
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you, April! I very recently received a JPEG of the complete final jacket, in fact, and am hoping to post it as we speak...

(By the by, I've posted you a Christmas card, though it's evidently going to be late... ^^;)
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:iconpallanoph:
pallanoph Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Ah, yes! :dance: In fact, just the other day a friend and I were looking quickly through a Barnes and Noble and I got to spot it quickly before being whisked away. :noes: I'm intending to seek it out after this Christmas madness has passed and have one for myself! :eager:


Ooooh, how kind of you! :aww: I'll have to see if I can contrive a birthday card for you, since it's far too late for the holidays... heh heh!

Happy holidays, Niroot! :hug:
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:iconteresaclark:
TeresaClark Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2010  Professional General Artist
I'm not supposed to be around, yet as a vouyeur I got to see this amazing cover you did for Rushdie and can't help but congratulate you for this beautiful work :hug:

I also thank you for your message in my journal, and why not? since I stopped by, I hope you have a Merry Christmas :rudolph: and may 2011 bring great projects for you, Niroot.
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you so very much, Teresa. And I wish the very same to you. :holly: :hug:
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:iconlennan:
lennan Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2010
Wow, that is an amazing cover. So beautiful =D
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you!
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:iconlennan:
lennan Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2010
You're welcome. =D
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:iconellygator:
Ellygator Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Has a wonderful feel of 1001 Nights about it!
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconthebuild:
Thebuild Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2010
Outstanding work, love the shades of green as well as the detail you've used with them.
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:iconearthhart:
EarthHart Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
:holly: Congratulations, Squire :nod: :clap: :holly:
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you so much!
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:iconearthhart:
EarthHart Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
:holly: Solstice Blessings, Niroot :ahoy: :holly:
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
And to you too, Will! :holly: :tea:
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:iconearthhart:
EarthHart Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
:D From the cuppa, I take it you're teetotal. I'll have a :coffeecup: with you, though I may top up mine from my flask ;)
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Hehe, yes, you are absolutely right. However, I could be persuaded to take a glass of champagne or Rosť once at this time of year. Or indeed some Irish coffee... :D ;)
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:iconearthhart:
EarthHart Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
:D You bring the coffee, I have the JD:iconwhiskeyplz:
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
OK, deal. :D :holly:
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(1 Reply)
:icontry-and-again:
Try-and-again Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2010
Oh my goodness!! A follow-up to Haroun!
I must have this book, now not only for the story but also for this gorgeous cover art.
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:iconlg-young:
LG-Young Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2010
Talk about international exposure...Wow.

This is exquisite; rather reminiscent of intricate Russian lacquer boxes and Moghul miniatures.
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Ah, nobody pays attention to who the cover artist is. Even less so when it fronts a Rushdie book. :giggle:

You know (at least I think you do...:confused:) I love Persian, Ottoman and Mughal miniatures. :D
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:iconlg-young:
LG-Young Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010
I guess I'm the one in a thousand people who actually pays attention to cover artists. When I worked in a bookstore many moons ago, one of my favorite activities was "facing out" books whose covers I felt were particularly engaging. It was like a mini illustration gallery.

Speaking of which: do you know of any good Mughal/Ottoman/Persian miniature reference books? I'm always on the lookout...
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
I pay attention to covers too, of course. :D I thoroughly commend your way of displaying those books. ;)

From my own collection, I can recommend:

By Sheila R. Canby:
~The Golden Age of Persian Art
~Persian Painting

Canby is quite an authority on Persian art, in fact, so anything by her is bound to be good. :)

~The Persian Book of Kings by Firuza Abdullaeva & Charles Melville

I also have exhibition catalogues for:
~Shah Abbas (British Museum -- this one is also written by Canby, in fact)
~The Indian Portrait (National Portrait Gallery)
~Maharaja; The Splendour of India's Royal Courts (V&A -- this one is actually a more general collection of treasures and artifacts, but has paintings too)

Umm, what else...

Oh, this one I don't have but am quite desperate for: the Muraqqa exhibition catalogue from the Chester Beatty Library. Their current exhibition is Heroes and Kings of the Shahnama, and the catalogue for that is bound to be excellent too.

I'm realising I'm quite impoverished on the Ottoman side! The only one I can think of having is the 1988 exhibition catalogue for Suleyman the Magnificent from the British Museum. I got this one second hand. This is also a more general collection of treasures, but has some lovely paintings too.
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:iconlg-young:
LG-Young Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2010
Thanks so much for the reading list! I'll be sure to keep my eyes open for these....
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:iconkmccormick:
kmccormick Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2010
I just bought a copy of the book today, and they did a lovely job of the dust jacket. The gold details are soft and kind of burnished, not even and like foil (which looks kind of cheap to me). The Amazon picture doesn't do it justice. The colors are much richer. I am not sure if you get a percentage or just a lump sum, but I had to buy it! I think your designs are so much more elegant and beautiful than the covers for just about everything out there.
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh, thank you so much for letting me know - and for your kind words. I remember the art director told me the gold would be a textured effect rather than foil. I really wish I had the book now! Unfortunately, this cover isn't used in the UK edition, so I will have to order a copy from the States if I'm not sent one.
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:iconkmccormick:
kmccormick Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010
Would you like me to send you a copy? I work at a bookstore, so it's no hardship.

Also I just noticed you asked about the spine and back in other comments, so here's a scan of the dust jacket: [link] My scanner isn't quite large enough, and I'm too lazy to do multiple scans and piece them together. XD
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh, thank you so much for that! It does look lovely, how exciting! The art director mentioned having to omit the otter for the spine and that looks to be the case.

If I asked you to send me a copy, I will pay for it and the shipping costs, of course. :D
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:icon3-legged-dog:
3-legged-dog Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2010
Incredible image, stunning!
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:iconhettie-young:
Hettie-Young Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2010
Do you use a magnifying glass or just happen to have your nose almost touching the paper? Honestly, it is so detailed and almost fragile in it's beauty... it might as well be a leaf upon water or a brilliant mirage. It must have taken days if not weeks!
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Hehe, Ive had the magnifying glass question a few times. It's just my eyes, I'm afraid, which may be put into considerable jeopardy if I carry on like this! The things I did for this project: [link] were even more intricate, particularly as that was a whole book.

And I'm afraid it took weeks. Nothing can be managed in mere days by a silly slowpoke like me!
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:iconhettie-young:
Hettie-Young Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010
I'm a slow poke too, no shame in it :) but do I wish I had the patience for such details. The dragon at the top (perhaps on what you might call the throne or saddle?) is particularly impressive. It all has so much planning involved.

Sorry for the questions but... did you ever get given a hard time for being slow? I haven't put any of my college work on deviantart but I take a very long time and it's being viewed as a problem. Currently I'm spending hours on an acrylic piece using a tiny brush. It would be just nice to know that when people do hire illustrators they possibly take into consideration how long it takes to create a piece as opposed to demanding it in a couple of days. I just can't seem to churn like my fellow students.
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
The publishers I've worked with so far have been very understanding. But of course, they have their own deadlines to meet too.

There is no forcing the way one works, of course. I think it is simply something which needs to find its own pattern over time, when it comes to actually making a living.
I sometimes have to turn down something because I would not be able to fit it in alongside whatever else I may be working on, if the deadline is very tight, and in such situations, ultimately, the truth of it is that I am the one 'losing out' on that earning. In an ideal world, of course, one would like to spend all the time one needs to complete something to one's own satisfaction, but it is not unwise to find some kind of balance when the practical demands of the everyday impose themselves. I'm still working on that myself -- and I think I have a long way to go yet!
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:iconfiofiorina:
Fiofiorina Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Again pure magic :-)
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:iconziotom78:
ziotom78 Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2010
What a beautiful piece! I really love the way you organized the empty space
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:iconjaney-jane:
janey-jane Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2010
you work is always just breathtakingly stunning. I want to comment and fave everything you post, but I feel like I don't have the ability to adequately articulate how impressive and inspiring your pieces are.
I hope the publisher kept the piece as in tact as possible because I love the sweep of that cloak, the way the leaves on the trees are rendered, and the gold tassels!
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