Friday, January 17, 2014

CD Album Artwork

Hi all! I thought I'd wrap up the week with a portfolio snapshot and a little behind-the-scenes honesty. 

This was my project last weekend while in sunny Florida: wrapping up my art and design work for the CD, My Beautiful Savior. I've designed many, many CD inserts before, but working around the sleeve layout with lyrics was a different beast. I spent half of the time working formatting text upside-down! 

Of course, the most fun was in the painting part. 

But things didn't go as smoothly as I thought they would….
I even texted a friend with just a snapshot of the f and u, naughtily alluding to my screw up.
Yep. My Beautifu……

I'm notorious for working to the edge of the paper, but this was not a cute quirk at the moment. I pressed on anyhow (as you can tell), relying on my Photoshop skillz.

Other changes were made after revisions that had to be added separately and then stitched back together on the computer. I've felt resentful in the past of how artists pump up their work in Photoshop, but have come to terms with the fact that in at least commercial art, it's absolutely crucial. How else would you help a client realize what they had hoped if you can't offer them an opportunity to offer feedback? Of course, there's a tension there: the creative person's expertise and the somewhat-naiive client's desire. And so, Photoshop is a tool just like a brush--an amazing one that's often abused to heighten the bar on all that is natural and honest--but a tool that provides opportunities nonetheless. 

As I delve more and more into the possibilities that lie in taking watercolor painting out of a frame and onto commercial platforms, I continue to wrestle with the strengths and weaknesses of each medium.

In the end, I'm not interested in becoming a better designer, but in becoming a better painter. Like the rare photographer that can manipulate light and subject so well that the retoucher finds little to do with it afterwards, I hope to improve my hand and eye skills over filter finesse. 

The ultimate goal is creativity pushed. I had a professor often say that the worst art is not "bad" art, but boring art. I find that to be truer and truer. 

My Beautiful Savior is available for download on iTunes or if you can't have it without the art, you can purchase the CD on the artist's website