Lillia McGhee

Artist Statement

Forever 21: The 5 Stages of Grief is a series of book covers that communicates my journey processing the grief of losing by best friend Raine in May 2020. I used the five stages of grief as a baseline for each cover and used five tarot cards to represent them. The style of the series of book covers is illustrative, using Procreate as a medium, with heavily detailed linework varying from thick to thin against a flat colored background. The border, linework, and background on each cover follow an analogous color scheme that represents a particular stage of grief. The line work is emphasized both to create a cohesive design that identifies the covers as a series and because each cover’s line art has specific energy to it. The motivation for this series was to create a vessel for my grief. The entire design process was very cathartic for me and I was finally able to dig myself out of a dark space by visually displaying my emotions. This series of books is for those who have lost a loved one and often feel like they aren’t allowed to talk about their emotions. Grieving is a strenuous process that does not get any easier and the design of this series addresses people’s need to feel validated for their emotions and to know that it is okay to talk about their grief.

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About the Artist

Lillia Rosalee McGhee was born and raised in York, Pennsylvania. She has lived in York her whole life, attending high school at York County School of Technology in the Commerical And Advertising Arts program. She received her BFA from York College in 2021 and has achieved Dean’s List for five semesters. Her degree is in Graphic Design and her work is focused on illustration. She has a desire to work with the LGBT+ community in her future endeavors to create social justice work in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her work was featured in the 2021 and 2020 York College Annual Juried Student Exhibition. She interned in Philadelphia for GoBelieve as a graphic designer in May 2020, working with a team of designers to market music artists such as Gobbana and TooKnow.