The blog of designer/illustrator Aldous Massie.

In mid-2012, I was commissioned by American author Vincent N. Perales to design a book cover for Nightmare Me.

The story involves a woman who sees distorted nightmarish realities, one which includes visions of a monstrous doppelgänger that eats her victims. The idea was to have a portrait of the dual personalities of this character split in a way that both correlated with and strengthened the title text.

First, the portrait of the woman was painted with acrylics onto textured A4 paper. She was painted in a way to make her face look as if it was pressed against glass. The lettering was painted with white acrylic onto glass obtained from a picture frame.

The painting was then scanned, and changes were made digitally with Adobe Photoshop—the most notable being the splitting and swapping of the image’s vertical order. The manipulated image was then printed, before being scanned simultaneously with the glass. Blu-tak was used to correctly align the paper and glass during the scan.


The scan was digitally manipulated again to correct levels, brightness and contrast amongst other things. The shadow created by the scanner’s light and the thickness of the glass panel was unintentional, but worked to add subtle depth.