While I’m still working the bugs out on my color study for the gypsy painting, I thought we could switch gears this week and talk CD design. Here’s a project I was working on recently for my brother’s newest CD release called “Hats & Rabbits.”

For a long time we kicked around a lot of ideas, but ultimately what Chris wanted to see was something reminiscent of old Spalding Baseball Ads. See below:

This was a fun opportunity to do pen and ink illustration – something I don’t normally do outside of just inking my embroidery designs. He described the basic scenario for me as one of a magician gesticulating wildly while his beautiful assistant stood by watching, shaking her head. I could have approached it in a few different ways, but since I knew what the overall look ultimately needed to be like, I had to figure out a way of making the imagery have the most impact. I didn’t want it to look like a narrative illustration. Ideally, covers work best as a “set up” for the story.” Since the contrast and the color palette would be on the light side, I needed a device to make the black and white lines pop as much as possible. So I came up with a boudoir idea of the beautiful assistant sitting and seeing her magician’s reflection in her mirror. I saw an oval mirror as the centerpiece for the cover with a nice fanciful type treatment. The first draft had the woman in the mirror and the magician in the reflection, but Chris thought the magician should be more prominent, so the idea was reversed. Fortunately it still worked. I antiqued the design with rough textures and planned for matte varnish in the final print so the packaging has a nice “used” feel to it to go along with the older weathered look.

Pretty soon “Hats & Rabbits” will be available on CDBaby and iTunes. On a side note, it’s actually quite good music in addition to looking good as well.

That’s it for today. Have a great weekend, all!

See you next time!

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