Ella Masters draws the 2017 Baileys Prize shortlist

We’re delighted to reveal that we’re working with talented illustrator and blogger Ella Masters around this year’s Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. Ella has created a gorgeous illustration for each of the 2017 Baileys Prize shortlisted books, celebrating the pleasure of reading.

Read on to see the beautiful artwork Ella has created, plus her comments on how each was produced.

Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thein

Ella said of this drawing: ‘For the illustration I wanted to bring in the patterns and traditional tea that China is well known for. I enjoyed being able to put elements of the book into the illustration.’

Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo

Ella said of drawing this illustration: ‘Now this book cover totally appealed to me straight away, who doesn’t love a palm leaf or two?! But hidden behind the beautiful cover lies a story of jealousy, betrayal and despair. Set in Nigeria in the 1980’s at a very turbulent time, Ayobami Adebayo is the same age as me and this beautifully written piece of fiction surpasses someone of her age. I tried to create a peaceful illustration opposed to the story that’s filled with heart break. I decided complementary and calming colours would look best alongside my signature floral and palm design.’

First Love by Gwendoline Riley

Ella said of her First Love-inspired illustration: ‘wanted to bring elements of the books in the illustrations so I felt like the interior set in the book First Love would be more homely and lived in, over looking West Brompton station is my favourite part of the illustration, the book it’s is a riveting read and at times had me rather curious as to the direction it was going to lead. Don’t be fooled by its simple exterior it is well written and I can see why it has been shortlisted for the Prize.’

The Sport of Kings by C. E. Morgan

Ella commented on her illustration themed around The Sport of Kings: ‘The book itself dives into the lives of two families that are worlds apart one a privileged white family with strong families ties to the founders of Kentucky and a African American family descended from slaves, mix in the competitive sport of horse racing, money and lust and you can imagine it’s truly a gripping read. It is a hefty book and I must admit I am only halfway through but it is up there with some of my favourite books. So I wanted to bring some vibrancy and colour to the illustration.’

The Dark Circle by Linda Grant

On this The Dark Circle-themed drawing, Ella said: ‘I wanted to give the illustration a slight vintage feel and the chairs I illustrated in this image are based around a set my Grandma had in her front room, When ever I think of the 1940’s I think of my Grandma so that was really helpful as a reference to colours that felt like I could include in this piece.’

The Power by Naomi Alderman

Ella said of her artwork inspired by The Power by Naomi Alderman: ‘Now, The Power proved to be a really dynamic illustration and I love the giant lighting bolt lamp […] I am in fact half way through this wonderful book, women in this novel are capable of inflicting such strength through their fingertips that it really makes you look at the world differently. The front cover of the book is actually pretty striking and I wanted to get the contrast in colours and the deep meaning behind the book in this one simple illustration.’

Keep an eye on the @BaileysPrize Instagram for a chance to win the whole shortlist with Ella.

Stay in the loop


Enter your email to be the first to know the latest news from the Baileys Women's Prize For Fiction