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Album covers

 

jbsa tactical retreat  postcard2 small
anthropocene small

  Above: Artwork for JBSA, a punk project of American artist Alex Pauken. The design is based on one of the track titles, 'The Abraham Lincoln Time Machine'. It's a pleasure to work with someone with his dry sense of humour and creative imagination. The original idea was for a dark sinister cover featuring dolls, but a number of his other albums have a grungy retro sci-fi theme, so I thought a dark steampunk take on that track title would be more in keeping. The image on the right is a promotional postcard featuring a close-up of the face, which I drafted as a second idea for the cover but never used.

Left: Ballade, the new album by French Canadian hip hop duo Anthropocene. Their name signifies a geological era when the landscape is primarily shaped by mankind. The music is unusual for its genre - melodic, with classical and world influences, and the lyrics are intelligent and thought-provoking. I hope they go far!

Below: The first of several images for a sci fi rock opera by Any0n0m0us. It tells the story of the creation, subjugation and eventual revolt of a mighty robot. The image below right was a preliminary idea for the cover, which was abandoned in favour of the more dramatic pose on the left. In the client's words, 'he looks less than human and yet also more than human'.

Any0n0m0us small any0n0m0us brass and cinders
 greatness small  dopesoda carbonation
laurel crown warrior

 

Above:Some more contemporary covers, one for rapper Wizdom Mriminthere for his single Greatness. The design is an allegory of themes in the lyrics.

The design above right is for Canadian ska band Dope Soda. The idea for the speaker/bubbles/monster notes eating music was their own, but their mock-up was very clinical and modern - when I created the artwork for them I gave it a warm retro feel to evoke their music, which features a lot of brass and has a certain Pogues-like chaotic cheerful grittiness.

Left: This image of a warrior guarding a futuristic city is for American band Laurel Crown. I'm currently working on an accompanying image of a female guardian.

Below Left: Unwind Your Mind: Ambient Journey is a meditation album. I was asked to include a road through the clouds but otherwise left to my own devices.

Below right: Cover for Leferia, a singer songwriter who's work has a gentle magical quality.

ambient journey Leferia small
Pangea Concentric Skies

Transmigration

Designs for the forthcoming release of Jon's remastered early albums, Pangea and Transmigration, and for his new title, Concentric Skies, which is currently in progress. The music has a sweeping mystical quality and conjures up so many mental images that designing the covers is both a pleasure and an adventure. All the albums are ripe with possibilities for exciting imagery, and evoke a range of moods and scenarios, suggesting the cosmos, the natural world, dreams and mythology. I try to reflect the albums' atmospheric nature in my illustrations.

The artwork for Pangea shows a flight over the super-continent of Pangea, from the time when all the Earth's landmasses were joined. I love the idea it conjures up, of the world as one whole, before all the division and strife between countries.

Concentric Skies is an image based on an orrery, a device which has always fascinated me.

Transmigration features the oroboros, a serpent eternally eating it's own tail, representing the cycle of death and rebirth.

cover web

back cover webDesigns for Beltane Border morris's second album, the nattily titled 'CD No. 2'. I have danced with Beltane for 10 years and jumped at the chance to illustrate their albums, which feature music both from the dance band and from individual members of the side (including myself!).

Beltane have a unique image - a mixture of dark pagan roots and devil-may-care rockishness. It's a great dichotomy which is reflected in their kit, which tends to feature a rather scruffy collection of studs and chains, pentagrams, biker boots, feathers, crystals and spikes.

Beltane is named after the celtic festival on 1st of May, the start of the pagan year, and fire is close to their hearts. The album cover is based on a photograph taken at a wassail in Torbryan, South Devon (the side is based on Dartmoor) and the other pages incorporate photographs taken at Wistman's Wood and on the Dartmoor tors.

 

insert web This insert illustration wasn't used in the final design, it was replaced with a monochrome version.