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This cover illustration is my impression of what I like to call a pastime within a past time. I find myself often buying more books than I can ever think to read. I will bulk-buy and stock up on books, drag them home and stick them on my shelf and smile at them with the hopes of finally finding the time to sit down and dig in to them – once I’ve finished the three or four books I’m always jumping between, of course.

Throughout 2020 and parts of 2021, when walking through a bookshop and carrying an armful of exciting new reads to the checkout was no longer a possibility, I – and, I’m sure many others – turned to buying online and having them delivered to our doorsteps. Every few days I would hear the postman knocking, to drop off a stack of new books that I would constantly be looking forward to reading.

Now that a lot of aspects of our normal lives have returned, meeting friends, attending gigs and so on, I have bundles of books that I’ve yet to touch. Now that I’ve run out of shelf space, books are starting to pile up in drawers and along the walls.

My name is Shawn Bracebridge. I am an illustrator from Balbriggan, north County Dublin, now based in Dublin city. My work is mainly focused on music: jazz, soul and R&B, primarily. I like to create images of musicians, along with abstract views of their instrumentation and style, with an added dose of wit and humour.

If you’d like to see more of my illustration or would like to work with me you can find me @shawn_bracebridge on Instagram and

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