I’ve always been inspired by Storm Thorgerson’s work, even before I knew who he was. I remember being a little kid and staring at Pink Floyd album covers, realizing that design was what I wanted to do. I saw Aztek’s album layout as an opportunity to inject a little of that influence into one of my own designs. Aztek is a large, intimidating figure and I wanted to convey that against the backdrop of religious imagery. The first thing I had to do was find the right chapel. Detroit has some of the most amazing churches in the Midwest and I spent a couple days narrowing down the ones we were going to shoot. After a day of shooting and sifting through photos I decided to run with the Sweetest Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church located at 4440 Russell st.
The artwork for Muse’s “Absolution” became the direct inspiration and starting point for the album. I wanted to take that concept and apply it to ‘Tek. My spin on it is taking the inherent Roman Catholic upbringing we experience as Mexican-American children and putting it on its head. My brothers and sisters were all baptized Catholic, as was I. They went through catechism and all the other religious rituals I somehow avoided. This image was my way of saying we are all on the same level as the church. In our music (Aztek and I) we address the silliness surrounding the whole charade of organized religion. I see this image as a direct confrontation with who and what we are “supposed” to be.
I really dig the look of this trailer. The choice of typeface is clean and elegant, and the way it’s used is effective. I researched the film itself and haven’t had any luck finding out who handled the design duties. It goes without saying that the concept of being trapped behind glass, doors, walls, etc. has been done before but this seems to be an interesting take. I’m eager to see it.
When Brill hit me up to design the cover for his new track with Royce it was perfect timing. I had just purchased a new Monoprice tablet (more on that in a future post) and was anxious to try it out. My Wacom Graphire has seen its better days and the back-up parts for it had become increasingly difficult to come by. I started with a reference pic and an idea. The response of the Monoprice tablet was impressive. When using pen pressure I could make the smallest stroke and it would transfer to the screen with precision. I know I’m a dinosaur because I do everything in Photoshop but you work with what you know best.
Often times a client will have an idea in mind, a specific direction they want the artwork to go in. My job is to help them realize their vision but sometimes it just doesn’t click. Case in point, Suicide Kings were seeking a certain look and this wasn’t it. They ended up getting what they were looking for and it turned out dope. I still love the composition of the design and am at least happy to place it in the portfolio.
When Benny Barrz approached me about creating a cover for his upcoming project he didn’t have an idea for the image, just the title: Raizing The Barrz. I brainstormed for a while and couldn’t come up with anything. We toyed around with anything related to bars; weights, prison, and written music were some of the things we considered. Finally, we did a show at the New Way in Ferndale and when Benny took the stage he had a bag of body parts and blood on his face. It was then that it hit me. I thought it would be dope to literally raise Benny Barrz, from the grave. Zombies are really played out but when something makes sense you roll with it, regardless of what everybody else is doing. I think it’s successful in conveying the attitude and vibe of the album. I also designed a Bandcamp banner for him using elements from the cover. Everything was drawn with the Wacom Graphire and colored in Photoshop.
Benny Barrz’ music can be bought and downloaded here:
Here is the cover I created for my homie and label-mate Mr. Chief. The cover is pretty much self-explanatory as he wanted an image that directly related to the title. Banged this out on the Wacom tablet in Photoshop.
I don’t know what’s worse, the misspelling of Whoopi Goldberg’s name or the fact that a picture of Julio Cesar Chavez accompanies an article about Hector Camacho. Wait, I do know what’s worse. Seriously?!? Camacho and Chavez?!? The pinnacle of journalism folks, soak it in.