Monday, February 24, 2014

Mourning Song_Evening Love

    Hey everybody! I recently had the honor of being a part of an amazing music project and I want to share it with you all. One of my best friends, Antonio Gomez, and his family recently experienced a great loss. His response was to begin the album project Mourning Song_Evening Love. Below, as well as in the video above, he explains:

     Lost a lot of close loved ones lately and created an album to express the emotions. Thanks to kickstarter and many backers, I was able to produce this music in my home-studio. I hope you enjoy it!!

    Antonio (also known as "GomezMuzik") came to me and asked if I'd like to do the album artwork for the project. I was honored he'd come to me with the opportunity to be a part of something so special. He wanted the artwork to reflect the album's music and purpose:  

Its about emotions that are bottled up needing to be released.. pain, hurt, love, joy (from the memories) of a lost loved one... ...representation of what your emotions do when trying to navigate a loss.

    Above and below are just some of the thumbnail sketches I did while working out different ideas and approaches for the image. In the top left of the image above, is my reproduction of a doodle Antonio did for me as a starting place. This allowed him to explain some of the symbolism and concepts he was wanting in the image. It also gave me a great jumping off point and key visual elements to rework in new ways.

   Since the illustration was going to be made into a stamp (such a cool idea) for the album cover, it needed to have a simpler, black line design that was easy to reproduce. I looked at a lot of old ink prints, signs, and stamps for inspiration, as well as other sources like old drawings and elements from nature. The top row was actually inspired by tree cuts and fungi!

    Here are the "Post-It Note" sketches I did after I received his initial feedback. He told me which parts of the sketches really stood out and spoke to him and I tried to quickly take those pieces and put them together in the sketches above. 

    And here it is! The final version of the album artwork for Mourning Song_Evening Love. I took Antonio's notes on the last sketches and tried to apply them to the drawing. I sketched it out on a piece of Bristol paper and then inked over it with brush pens. After that, I cleaned it up in Photoshop and sent it his way for final approval. He liked it. :)

   This really was a collaboration in the truest sense of the word. I'm some humbled and honored that I got to have a small part in this beautiful, healing project God is using to help those who've experienced or are experiencing some kind of loss. If you'd like to listen to or purchase GomezMuzik's first full album, Mourning Song_Evening Love, click here for a digital copy or here for a physical copy! The album is also available on iTunes! For more of his work and info on his upcoming shows, just visit his website or follow him on twitter.

    I hope you all are blessed by this project as much as I've been. Thanks for stopping by and taking a look at my illustration process. God Bless!

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Amplifier- Z is for Thanks a Zillion!

Click to the image to view it larger.

    Wow. Here it is, guys. My last "Alternative Alphabet" illustration for The Amplifier. Appearing in the current issue of the paper, this illustration incorporates a few of the figures that have shown up along the way from "A" to "Z."  My collaborator/art director, Leslie had the idea to do this and I knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity to revisit some of the characters I'd illustrated. What a great way to show our thanks and appreciation to those who contribute to the paper and those it aids.

    In this edition, The Amp staff put every previous illustration from the series in the paper as well as spotlighting some of the favorites and featuring a great article Leslie wrote about our experience on the project on the front page. How cool is that?!
Here is The Amp's mission as described on its website:

The Amplifier exists to give voice and economic opportunity to those living beyond the margins of our community and to address the social issues that affect them.

    For more information on the paper and how you can help click the website link above. It has been an honor to contribute and be involved even in a small way with what the folks at The Amp are doing. I hope you all get a chance to pick a paper up soon. God bless!