Very Superstitious | Karl James Mountford for Quadrille Publishing

last updated 23 October 2019

Karl James Mountford Karl James Mountford // ‘Superstition: White Rabbits and Black Cats’


Bright Artist Karl James Mountford is no stranger to book covers, having illustrated for ‘The Uncommoners’ series by Jennifer Bell and ‘A Place Called Perfect’ by Helena Duggan among others.

However, his most recent project moves away from children’s books and delves into the history of superstition. Here, we share some exclusive ‘behind the scenes’ sketches of his work on the book…


Karl James Mountford From Karl’s sketchbook


‘Superstition: White Rabbits and Black Cats – The History of Common Folk Beliefs’ by Sally Coulthard explores the weird and fascinating history of superstitious cultural behaviours and explains why many of these beliefs are still pertinent today. Ever wondered why we touch wood, salute magpies, skip over cracks and throw salt over our shoulders? This book unearths the answer.


Karl James Mountford Page illustrations Karl James Mountford Page illustrations Karle James Mountford Page illustrations


For the project, Karl created a series of gorgeous folk illustrations to bring each superstition to life. Using a bold and limited colour palette, Karl’s artwork manages to evoke both the traditional craft of wood block-printing and the nostalgic essence of vintage horror films with the colour nod to old 3D glasses.


Karl James Mountford Cover ideas

Karl James Mountford Cover ideas

Karl James Mountford Colour tests for covers


The book also features two covers, giving you the chance to decide if you want to enter the light or dark side. Pick a side! Karl has created two complimentary but opposing illustrations for the front and back cover, one depicting the lighter and luckier superstitions, and one depicting the darker and perhaps more dangerous side of our folktale rituals.


Karl James Mountford WIP artwork

Karl James Mountford Artwork options



‘Superstition: White Rabbits and Black Cats – The History of Common Folk Beliefs’ is available to buy in hardback here.

You can view more of Karl’s portfolio here.

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