My Year By Design

The journey to living by design.

Novels and Art

Sometimes when I need some time to myself I go swimming. Being under the water blocks out distractions. My mind wanders and sometimes wild ideas find me.

I was swimming yesterday when I thought What if you could have your favourite books illustrated by your favourite artists? Now this goes deep into my book-nerd brain but stick with me for this thought experiment. Choose one of your favourite books, (for me, Alice in Wonderland,) and have it illustrated by an artist of your choice, (Salvador Dali, for instance. Imagine his take on the Mad Hatter’s tea party or the Queen of Hearts.) You could have the artist add details in the margins or full colour panels. They would even create a new cover for you. 

I’d love to run a dusty little book shop that somehow provides this service to bibliophiles. I had so much fun matching my favourite stories to artists I love that I thought I’d include some more of my ideas below.

Klimt illustrating Christopher Isherwood’s Goodbye to Berlin. 

M.C. Escher illustrating Kafka’s Metamorphosis.


For an all Canadian example, how about Lorne Harris illustrating Susannah Moodie’s Roughing it in the Bush?


Train Spotting with illustrations by Andy Warhol.


Monet adding full colour panels to The Secret Garden.


Rossetti providing illustrations for The Complete Works of Shakespeare, (or at least Hamlet.)


Good work brain! We had fun today. Let me know in the comments which book and artist you would choose for your library.


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