Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sneak Peek - Album Art

As promised, I'm shedding some light on one of my projects I am currently working on. I'm not going to give too much away since it's still far from being done, but I can still let you stare at sketches, concepts, drafts, and thoughts & segues.

This project is for the wonderful musician, Binärpilot (aka Alexander Støver), and an upcoming release. If you haven't already seen, I've been sketching on the forums on his site and have gotten positive responses from fans--So much so that Alexander asked me if I would be interested doing art for him in the future. As you can tell, I said yes.

Below are sketches from mid-December when I was first approached to create for a specific, upcoming release. I centered my ideas about things very much Binärpilot--parts of songs andreferences from the forums--while also putting my own steampunk / retrolution feel on the images. These three pages were created in rapid succession as the ideas were literally flowing through me.

As you can see, things such as billowing clouds / smoke, typewriters, maps, and record players intrigued me at the time. The original of the Kraken-fighting Robot can be seen here. I also tried playing around with different ways to represent Binärpilot.

By this time I was absolutely locked down on two different versions of the cover art. One pertaining to a map, and the other with the word Binärpilot as an ambigram. An ambigram is a word written / stylized in a way that you can read it from a different angle. A common way is so that you can still read the same word upside-down. A few examples can be found on Wikipedia, as well as in Dan Brown's Angels & Demons.

There are many ways to create an ambigram. When I try to create one, I spend a lot of time playing around how the word is composed. I superimpose all the letters against each other from two angles to try and see shapes that take form. At times it is a long, arduous process; but it can be fun as well. Below is the practice page, where you can see how I messed around with different variations.

I find it easiest to create ambigrams using stylized letters because I can bend and twist the forms into usable shapes, while still allowing readers to identify the letters. While playing around, I circle and box the forms and combinations that look the best to me. Then, I take a separate piece of paper and draw out a clean version. Once I'm satisfied, I'll put it into the computer and have fun with it.

I think this is a good place to close the curtain again on my process. Not too much revealed, but just enough to keep you interested. More soon!

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