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Book: How to be a Difficult Bitch (Illustrator)

Header image for T.L. Luke's intro as illustrator of the cover and headpieces of book How to be a Difficult Bitch.

Book Cover & Chapter Headpiece Illustrator / 
Illustrated 2020 / Published 2022

Title: How to Be a Difficult Bitch: Claim Your Power, Ditch the Haters, and Feel Good Doing It
Authors: Halley Bondy, Mary C. Fernandez, Zara Hanawalt, Sharon Lynn Pruitt-Young
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group / Zest Books
Art Director: Danielle Carnito
Graphic Designer: Kim Morales
Illustrator: T.L. Luke


Header with TL Luke round one sketch examples for book How to be a Difficult Bitch.


Age Range: 10-15 
Deliverables: 10 full page chapter openers and one color cover
Specifics: Wide variety of women, equal representation of skin tone, ethnicity, gender fluidity, disabilities, etc. Trading / tarot card style, illustrating the type of "bitch" described for each chapter. Zine-like, referenced my Girls in Space Series.


Minor adjustments to T.L. Luke's chapter sketches in book How to Be a Difficult Bitch.Minor Adjustments

I like to think of the first sketch round as a solid base for my client to jump off from. During this project, my round one sketches had only minor edits, including "please make them 'bitchier'" as seen above.


Disability research for T.L. Luke's illustration in book How to Be a Difficult Bitch.

Disability Research

In order to assure we accurately represented a prosthetic-using middle-income teenager, I consulted friend and prosthetic limb technician, Trevor Kuborn (Minneapolis, MN), and together we determined the best choice of prosthesis was a split-hook.   


T.L. Luke's cover rejects from book How to Be a Difficult Bitch.

Cover Rejects

First impressions are important, so I drafted a few cover options. Not selected (above): floating heads, buddha-woman with arms representing each 'bitch' from the book, and a modern Black woman on a fantastical dragon.


Round two header of T.L. Luke's inked and colored chapter openers from book How to Be a Difficult Bitch.

Digital Inking & Coloring

Tools: Wacom Cintiq Pro 24" Tablet
Program: Photoshop CC
Style: In 2020, my illustration style included heavy texturing, bold colors, and black line work. 


Cover color matching example in T.L. Luke's book How to Be a Difficult Bitch.

Color Matching

Graphic Designer Kim Morales mocked up a dark purple gradient for the cover's background so, for consistency, I matched all chapter headpiece backgrounds with the same dark purple, and selected a complimentary/tertiary palette from there. 


T.L. Luke's call for collaboration header

Let's work together! / Here's what to expect:

🖤  Thoughtfully researched character design and world-building
🖤  Timely turnarounds on all deliverables
🖤  Organized shared folders (Dropbox or Google Drive) with consistent file naming conventions
🖤  Multiple* sketch, ink, and color phases, so we get the best results
🖤  Open communication and easily accessible Monday through Saturday

    * Exact quantities determined by project budget.


    Email all inquiries to
    T.L. Luke at! Thank you!




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