In pursuit of the perfect cover: a conversation with Evangeline Gallagher

In pursuit of the perfect cover: a conversation with Evangeline Gallagher

Filmmakers Without Cameras: The Trilogy may be Peregrine Coast Press’s most ambitious project to date. We’re bringing together past writers and artists for an omnibus of some of the best film & games essays out there. Of course, we wanted to celebrate.

Knowing that we wanted to make The Trilogy a standout, we got in touch with Evangeline Gallagher, an award-winning illustrator whose work we all love.

Gallagher has been drawing forever; their first illustration gigs were making flyers for their friends’ bands in high school.

Following high school, they attended art school where their experience making flyers turned into professional work doing show posters.

Show Flyer: a teenage boy combined with a squid-like animal stands in front of an open locker
Show flyer created by Gallagher

“I definitely never thought about becoming an illustrator professionally until I was already in college for art,” they said. “I've kind of always had a bent for commercial art though - my mom was an art director and graphic designer in the music industry when I was growing up. But I always knew that drawing was the thing I enjoyed doing and I spent all my time doing it so I almost felt like I couldn't do anything else.”

Gallagher’s has worked with The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Penguin Random House, among other clients. Though, when working on personal illustrations and artwork, they find inspiration in music, movies, and the punk scene.

Self portrait of Gallgher. They look off-screen, brown hair is pulled up into a bun. They have blue eyes and a septum piercing.
Self-portrait of Gallagher

“Pulp paperbacks, horror comics, comic books in general, punk flyers...I had a phase where I was watching lots of skateboarding videos so that came out a lot,” said Gallagher. “For professional work I usually just start sketching based on whatever I’ve gotten from the client. If you send me a mood board or something for inspiration I love that.”

For The Trilogy, we sent Gallagher issues 1 and 2 and selected some of their artwork we were drawn to for inspiration.

“I had a fun time flipping through the past issues and there’s a huge variety of stuff so I definitely wanted to touch on all of it — movies, video games, tabletop games.”

At this point in the process, Gallagher shared their preliminary cover sketches with us and we had to choose between the three. After lots of discussion, we decided to move forward with Illustration 1.

Series of three sketches by Evangeline Gallagher: 1 - girl holding stack of things, 2 - old tv, 3 - dnd group
Gallagher's preliminary sketches for The Trilogy

“The illustration we landed on gives the vibe of ‘you’re a kid coming back from the library with a huge stack of new stuff to read and play with your friends and you’re super stoked on it,’” they said.

Stunning artwork has always been an important part of the Filmmakers Without Cameras process; for all of our issues, we’ve commissioned independent artists to contribute to the magazine.

The design and art featured in Filmmakers Without Cameras has always been a huge draw for our audience.

“Visual art is important because it draws people in,” said Gallagher. “You want people to pick up a book and feel connected to it, so they read it, and I think visual art is a huge component of that.”

In putting together The Trilogy, we needed something to tie all three publications together and capture the spirit of Filmmakers Without Cameras.

“I loved [Gallagher’s artwork] because it really got to the core of how multidisciplinary Filmmakers is — you could just keep stacking and stacking all the inspiration and texts that go into making it,” said Eryk Sawicki, founder and designer of Peregrine Coast Press.”There’s so many of us in this thing, and that stack on the cover is literally just the beginning.”

Coming soon: Filmmakers Without Cameras: The Trilogy
A journal filled with gorgeous art and thoughtful writing on film, video games, and roleplaying games
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Sydney Bollinger

Sydney Bollinger

Sydney Bollinger (she/her) is an arts & entertainment and climate writer based in Charleston, S.C. She has an MS in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana.
Charleston, SC