So yes i have been doing a ton of band work lately. Which is great exercise in patience and humility actually. I don't downplay any of the bands with which i've had the privilege with working with, that's just ridiculous; and asides from that, they've all been great to work with, i couldn't ask to have worked with any other people.
But one thing that any working design professional will tell you in the field is; ''Don't do band work.'' Now they don't say this because bands are full of horrible people or because they steal all your money haha no, that's not at all what they're getting at.
What i've learned with bands is that: Their band usually starts as a hobby. A few musicians get together and jam and realize, 'wow we could really have something here.' So they take their next step in actually becoming a full-fledged band. They start recording. Then my part comes into play as the artist. They seek out an artist, whether it's amongst themselves or through a friend or through some fellow bands that they've befriended. Fortunately for myself i have many friends in the area of music as well as being a musician myself.
The only time there's difficulty is realizing that these bands are just entering into their realm of music, fans, and this unfortunately for them, brings the 'business' end of things. Now for most bands, they just want to record their stuff, put some good art on it and sell it and make money. I know, i've been in plenty of bands. So when it comes to my end of the spectrum, i'm dealing with people who are acting as temporary businessmen/women in their field of music. I always enjoy this though because it creates a very casual atmosphere and this makes an easier schedule to work with and i've always found that these bands soon become very good friends as well.
Now last spring i came across an amazing band called "Igor's Egg" via. craigslist. They're an extremely talented and inspiring group of individuals. They're extremely focused on their music and their style is tight like a tiger. But unlike most jazz/fusion/rock bands they've got a brilliant literary sense about them and for their latest album, which i had the privilege of working on; "The Ultimate Tuh," they're incorporating a story to introduce to the army of up and coming concept artists out there.
But enough blogging and let's get to the artwork!
Here's the first full color rendering i did for them with the main characters for their concept album.
Secondly; there's the other main part of their story, the Prototype. Which you can imagine was right up my alley being as it's a ROBOT!
Thirdly, i did landscape; the setting for this intense and epic action sequence.
This done on a piece of 11x17in matte paper, generally used for small run printing purposes but due to the fact that it can hold color so well and consistently i thought it would be great material for this image's composure. I first stained the paper with coffee so that it would get it's lonely and desolate feeling to this rusting planet made of gears and cogs. Then i mapped out the gears and cogs with a regular ball point pen. The colors were added with accent color prismacolor markers and then the shades; in a slow and gradual process of warm greys. Also prismacolor markers.
And after that, i compiled the 2 previous images together in photoshop and then layered them on top of the landscape.
Now for the back of the album:
Done in pretty much the same process. Only the background was done on illustration board and there was less compiling to be done.
The characters ^^^
The final composition with both characters and landscape.
The next band in line is A-06.
Another attempt at the concept album genre. We'll watch their career with curiosity.
This is the few sketches for them that i did of their characters. I apologize in advance for the horrible female rendering.
The "Psycho Squad" (1 of 4)
The main character of this story.
Now scanned these images and then rendered them in photoshop with the use of my Wacom Tablet, an amazing invention. I did each character completely in photoshop so needless to say i was surprised with myself. Below is the first completed image i have ever done with a Wacom Tablet.
The most fun i've had in a while with my robots was in this piece. I had to take the picture i had originally done of A06 and then completely reposition him. This took literally hours to reproduce and thanks to the patience and professionalism of A.06 they got exactly what they wanted.
Now came the bad guys of this story. Cypher and his evil minions of the undead; the "Psycho" squad.
Now after these 2 images were composed completely on my Wacom Tablet. I had ample time to render them into a landscape as well. Thus you won't be able to see the landscape by itself but you will see the finished battle sequence. Another epic battle in the realm of sci-fi. Watch out Coheed. (haha sorry Matt i had to take a cheap shot)
Now this previous image was for the inside of the cd. There's no text here so it's not very obvious, but the CD is placed right abouts where the dock is in the center of the image. Now the outside of the CD was much more hand rendered. In fact all of the outside of the cd is done in prismacolor markers on marker paper and pastels and color pencil. Simple and easy.
The outside image is a city within the midst of a huge forest. So i rendered the city first, which is all prismacolor markers and a little ball point pen here and there with some alcohol brushed over top.
The second image in composing the outside of the cd is the forest. Done in pastel and pencil, this left a very dirty scanner after i scanned the image in so it took a little bit longer than i thought it would when it came to the final rendering of the image.
Now the final composed image.
The next band is I Am Alaska.
Some very good friends of mine, extremely professional and very good to work with. I really enjoyed this experience.
I had a preconceived concept for their album and their label said it was cool so i went with it. Now here are a few of the images used for the album.