Gabrielle Ragusi

Gabrielle Ragusi - Designer

Milan, Italy

Illustrator and book cover artist with a love for dark fantasy and villains. Her influences include Disney and fairy tales.

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Overview

I'm Gabrielle, an illustrator and pluviophile based in Milan, Italy.
I began my journey as an artist in 2015, when I dropped out of University to pursue a freelance career.
I first gained attention thanks to illustrations inspired by known fantasy series. Now I collaborate with authors and bookish boxes.

Although I started painting to become a concept artist, I ended up discovering a totally different aspect of art which is book illustration. Inspired first by artists of Disney's Golden Age like Eyvind Earle and then illustrators of fantasy and science fiction like Jason Chan and Dan Dos Santos, today I work on illustrations that feature fantasy characters, surreal colour compositions and storytelling.

When I'm not drawing, I'm reading dark fantasy novels and drinking tea.



- The book covers and illustrations -

Give me characters, landscapes and castles... give me plants and trees and fluffy clouds.
But seriously, I love working on both character-driven and more aesthetic covers. As an illustrator, I'm more comfortable with the first, but the designer in me likes a good composition of graphic elements around pretty or striking typography.
So, what do I do? Book covers, dust jackets, endpapers, interior illustrations and designs like chapter headers and maps, foil designs, and art prints.



- The process -

First I want to know more about the book and the characters. Unfortunately I can't read the manuscript, but book snippets and scenes can help me understand what direction the cover can take.
In short, I need a brief, as detailed as possible. Photo references and/or mood boards are very welcome.

Once I have what I need, I open Photoshop and start drawing 4-4 thumbnails for you to review. Then I’ll clean up the sketch to have a somewhat detailed drawing. After approval, I start painting.
I might show one or two work in progress at this stage, but I want to make most of the decisions when I'm sketching.
I offer three revisions during the sketching stage and two (small) in the painting stage.
The same goes for the typography for the book cover, I’ll give different options or work on a specific request.



- The files -

The final files will be a PDF in CMYK; a JPEG in RGB; extra files like mockups and banners/posts for social media. I don't share PSD files unless necessary, not because I don't want to reveal my secrets, but because PSDs take a long time to upload.



- How much it costs and who owns what -

Book covers start at €900 (about 980 USD).
I consider different elements to give a quote, like the number of characters and the amount of details requested.

Included in my quote are typography, formatting if needed, and an exclusive license.
With an exclusive license, you can use the cover/illustration however you want but the artist remains the copyright holder.
If you're interested in a copyright transfer to own the illustration, I ask 100% of the cost.

Illustrations start at €400.



Don't hesitate to reach out for any questions or to request a quote for your project!
Languages
English
Fiction
Classics
Epic Fantasy
New Adult
Paranormal Romance
Steampunk
Urban Fantasy
Young Adult Fantasy

Awards

  • Fano Film Festival - 1st Award - Short Film

Work experience

Illustrator for Bookish Boxes, authors and publishers

Various
January, 2017 – Present (over 5 years)

Illustration and design for book covers, dust jackets, interior illustrations, endpapers, and art prints.

Past and current clients and projects include:

LitJoy box
Chest of Fandoms - The Cruel Prince by Holly Black - cbj Penguin Random House
Faecrate - Elise Kova (Married to Magic series)
The Bookish Box - Elise Kova (Air Awakens)
Zory App - Ultra Violence by Emily McKay
FairyLoot
Riley Redgate
A.P. Mobley

Librarian

.
January, 2018 – January, 2019 (about 1 year)

It was one of those part time jobs taken to get out of the house. I'd dropped out of University, there were no projects to work on, and I binge watched every Netflix horror show there was when I wasn't taking the odd online art class. Suddenly, the library in my hometown needed staff. I applied and it finally clicked.
The tiny place consisting of two rooms and a wooden-beamed ceiling decorated with cobwebs became my haven - a freezer in the winter and a sauna in the summer, but at least it had books and smelling them became a passion of mine.
The job lasted three seasons in which I didn't worry about my art career, or lack thereof, once. Here I met my best friend Sabrina, the girl who had the patience of a thousand saints to immortalise me in the photograph you see at the top of this page, and I learned much about the publishing world.
This was my first and only job before I started freelancing.
Oh, and it didn't pay. I volunteered.

Portfolio (3 selected works)

Lady of Fire & Lord of Ash: A Dragon Lords Novel

Weaver, Dominique , Ragusi, Gabrielle

Gabrielle has 24 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Norman House
It has been a great experience working with Gabrielle. Her work is exemplary and she has been very flexible to my requirements. At times, she may take a little longer to reply, but I think that is because she is understandably busy (given the quality of her work). Any extensions to timescales have been agreed between us. I absolutely endorse her work and professionalism and would not hesitat...
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Norman House, March 2022


Carlos Kinsman
Great to work with. Understanding and helpful. High quality of work.

Carlos Kinsman, January 2022


Anne Hawkins
Gabrielle did a great job of taking my vision and creating the cover for my book. I highly recommend her the book is incredibly magical and I’ve had great feedback

Anne Hawkins, January 2022


Kaitlyn Pennington
Gabrielle did absolutely beautiful work and really wowed me. For my first time ever working with a cover artist, it was an amazing experience and she really took my opinions and ideas into account.

Kaitlyn Pennington, October 2021


Susan Markloff
Gabrielle was wonderful to work with! She shared several concepts and was open to changes as we went. She was even willing to take on a bigger task than we'd originally discussed as the vision became clearer for me. It was an absolute pleasure to work with her, and her professionalism was on point. I cannot wait to work with her on future projects, and feel blessed to have the opportunity to wo...
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Susan Markloff, August 2021

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