Last look at Cathy Larsen Unmasked

Bidding reserve: Highest bid so far $400

the Creative Cathy Larsen






The mask that Cathy made






Title: Metamorphosis


This is what the mask looked like before Cathy decorated it.





Cathy on her making her mask

“I wanted to show the many aspects and interconnectedness of the wild – plants, animals, birds, insects, fish, earth, air and water,” Cathy said. “Putting them on a human face reflects that they are all a part of us, our world and we cannot exist apart.


an early collage/compilation image of the mask

“Initially I thought of using real leaves, feathers, but then just decided to paint the items interwoven.

“I knew that Isobelle would want me to put a cat into it – a reference to Maruman,” she added,

“As a book designer, I am usually coming up with concepts and then working with other illustrators or with photographs on the computer.

“I do some illustration and personal work, usually using ink, gouache and pencil. I love holding a brush instead of a mouse sometimes!

“To paint the mask I used a mixture of ink which soaked into the mask itself and acrylic paint.

“I am a book designer and occasional illustrator. My first bookcovers were illustrated and designed for McPhee Gribble in the 1980s.

“I was a designer at Penguin Books for about 22 years and have worked on a huge variety of books. One of my favourite jobs was designing the new look for the Obernetyn Chronicles. I am now freelancing.



Below is the painting Cathy did just to test her cover concept for Obernewtyn!Obernewtyn-Illust_1-1024x777About Cathy Larsen

Cathy was for many years, a book designer at Penguin, but in recent years, economics and mergers have combined to transform her into a free lancer.

I first met here there and we have become close friends over the years- that is the beauty of the book world. I would like to use this forum to recommend her work to anyone looking for a designer – She has done almost all of my covers- including the newest Obernewtyn covers) either designing them from scratch or collaborating with someone else. She is amazingly talented and she even painted the gorgeous Agyllian bird that will  feature on the bootleg fundraiser cd revealed for the first time on this site- that track you are listening to is a little bite of one of the eight songs written especially for the Obernewtyn Chronicles .


As a designer she is responsible for the total look of the book – not just a picture but type, images and colour and how they all fit together. She is responsible for coming up with a concept in the first place, in response to a brief from a publisher which tells her the target market for the book, the genre if applicable and a short synopsis. Then she comes up with the concept whether it be illustrative, photographic. In the case of an illustration, she will then work with the  illustrator as an intermediary. If photographic material is needed, she sets up a shoot.  Many covers require a combination of material.

Cathy now lives in Daylesford with her wonderful personable cats.

This is Cathy at the Masked Ball, where her mask and all of the others was unveiled for the first time. She is awesome at cosplay and of course she made her own costume for the masked ball.

another one of Cathy’s cover designs.

This is Cathy and I and a whole host of luminaries at Supernova on the left below, she is pictured with … well you know who 🙂






Now all you need do is scroll down and take a look at some of Cathy’s other work, follow the links if you want t see more or contact her, then make a bid for her gorgeous mask. Remember if yours is the highest bid at the end of the auction, every cent will go to our charities and I will send your your very own Cathy Larsen work of art as a  keepsake!

For more about ...

Cathy Larsen

This link will take you to a wonderfully detailed interview with her by Dark Matter Zine’s Naline Haynes

And here is her website- you can contact her through it.


Other work



















Above and right, two samples of Cathys’s exquisite pet portraits


Mask bidding reserve: Highest bid so far $400

11 Bids

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