The long awaited issue of the Peppermint Rooster, Lewis and Clark Community College’s literary journal, is set to be released late April. The journal features stories, essays, and poems written by students on campus, as well as a cover designed by an L&C student.
Every year, the writer of the best submission to the journal, which is picked by a selection of judges, is given the Grand Prize Award. This year, Laurin C. Buettner, won for her submission “The Bean Cabinet.” Along with the reward is a cash prize which is given during the L&C award banquet.
Another award given is for the cover contest. David McCausland, the cover design winner, is thirty years old and has been attending classes at L&C since 2013. “I’m not necessarily going for a degree, I was really looking to expand the skill set I already had. I graduated from SIUE with an art ed degree, and I also taught for 2 years.”
In an email interview, McCausland shared his story on how he came up with the design. “The idea behind the cover was actually more of a bizarre, stream-of-thought process that I had at the time.” The cover, which is old timey in art style, came from a multitude of inspirational areas in McCausland’s life. “I actually enjoy a good, well done, Western movie, game, or story, and one of the most common characters you see in them is the infamous “snake oil” salesman, and the old medicine shows being a common trope as well.”
The Peppermint Rooster cover has a few rules, as far as creativity is concerned. No roosters and no peppermints are allowed. McCausland, however, found this inspirational. “I also did a few tongue in cheek pokes at the rules, in that I put a big plume of feathers in the hat that fell like a rooster’s comb, the center button is a peppermint, one of the previous cover logos is the logo for his peppermint oil elixir, and I tried to give him a pointed, beak-like, witch style nose, but not one that was too obvious.”
Making the cover did have some setbacks. “The hard part was making the old timey effects. I knew I wanted it to look like an older style print engraving, and I looked to older money designs to do that. I actually had to teach myself as I went along how to make those engraving style shading lines, which was a bit of a headache until I finally developed a good process.”
The Peppermint Rooster is still open to submissions, which will be published in the next issue. If interested in submitting any fiction or creative essays, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about next year’s cover contest, email Louise Jett at email@example.com.