Last night I went to the Stirling Community Theatre to see the Hills Musical Company performing You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. Their production was excellent; a really grood cast, orchestra, set design and lighting, which made for an enjoyable evening. My programme design (above) also adequately performed its role to support the production!
I recently provided some event assistance for Ink Pot Arts’ Cultivating Creativity program of events, as part of the 2014 Adelaide Fringe. Ink Pot Arts are a community arts not-for-profit organisation located in the Adelaide Hills, who presented a wide variety of inclusive events and activities for all ages, including musical performances, arts & crafts, poetry, comedy, magic, and cabaret. Above are a few of my personal favourites from all the photos I took during these events, capturing just a little of the artistic energy and creative talent on display.
Further to my original Soundscapes designs, here are half a dozen new cd cover/icon designs – this time however, they are not exclusively constructed only with photography as the main visual element. This set has a greater focus on graphic design, so includes pieces using digital illustration (SEBAN) and custom type (BAUXER, OHLBITRAS), together with a range of photographic textures and effects.
Over the last few months I’ve been working with local songwriter Ray Rains, to produce a video clip for his song Make This Thing Fly. This is a real homemade effort, using my still camera to shoot all the live footage, iMovie to edit the clip, plus Illustrator and Photoshop to create the bird animations featured throughout. We shot a lot of footage – you should see all that has been left on the cutting room floor! – and even though we had no specific script, the final composition was pieced together to maintain an appropriate feel to match the mood and intent of the song.
Below are a few still shots taken from the filming nights, which taught me a lot about working with and directing musicians. A special mention should go to Peggy for her help in providing the angels, assisting with candles, and putting up with endless retakes.
I have a large collection of unused (and sometimes poorly taken) photographs lurking about on my hard drive – all looking to be shown, or for somewhere to usefully belong. As I’ve been listening to a lot of new music lately, I naturally decided to create a few album covers and/or icons for some fictional artists, which is a design practice I regularly undertook in my earlier years to explore creative ideas.
All of these would be musically categorised as either atmospheric alternative, ambient instrumental, or down-tempo electronic, and feature enhanced and edited versions of some of my photos within economical designs.
The musical legend of Alice Cooper (Vincent Damon Furnier) continues into a fifth decade, during which time he has performed some of the most memorable songs and shocking theatrical moments in rock history.
With worldwide hits such as I’m Eighteen, School’s Out, Elected, No More Mr. Nice Guy, Billion Dollar Babies, Only Women Bleed, Department of Youth, and How You Gonna See Me Now, Cooper created his own unique ‘shock rock’ style, a fusion of tortured nightmares, vaudevillian horror and poetic alienation. Both the original Alice Cooper band, and his later solo incarnation, devised outrageous and controversial stage show spectaculars featuring some of the most impressive concert theatre ever seen in rock music. Props used have included electric chairs, boa constrictors, axes, gallows, guillotines and lots of fake blood.
My design is a simple ‘gig poster’ image of Alice, which was assembled in Photoshop using a scan of scrunched and folded paper to create a well-worn texture and appearance. I always think that Alice looks suitably iconic with a top hat, so have given him a white one here, and contrasted that with a red, river-of-blood effect for his hair.
Rock on Alice!
For some time I’ve had the general idea of creating a few poster designs featuring some of the great singers and bands I enjoy listening to, and who I have respect and admiration for as musicians and performers. My desire is to experiment with various illustration techniques and styles, looking to find a presentation concept that matches my own visual representation of the music genre and style for each artist. I’ve decided to collectively title them as ‘Rock Legends’ and have worked out a shortlist for a few initial designs, so will continue posting new pieces as they are completed.
First up is a true popular music icon. David Bowie has had a remarkable career, during which he has taken on various stage persona, easily transitioned with much success from one musical style to another, and produced some of the greatest pop and rock albums of all-time. His Ziggy Stardust character is a memorable highlight amongst all the different personalities he fashioned during his career, and his 1972 album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is regarded as a classic.
I’ve presented Bowie as Ziggy, and in attempting to capture his combination of glam rock and otherworldly origins, have settled on an isometric grid design, representing Bowie as a multifaceted performer assembled from many colourful pieces to produce an intricate and intriguing finished product. The orange disc and expanding rings suggest both the planet Mars and a vinyl record, placed within the arc of my DB ribbon design.
The face and BOWIE type were not particularly difficult to create, but did take considerable hours to fully piece together as I wanted. Small detail areas such as the eyes were the trickiest to complete when working with this grid design structure – most notably I was very keen to ensure that Bowie’s dilated pupil in his left eye was faithfully captured.
The Bowie legacy is immense. His body of work will continue to influence artists for many generations, and his transformations and musical adaptability are almost unmatched by any other popular performer, past or present.
Three icons for music projects:
- Gone Troppo – identity illustration for a ‘virtual’ band – completed mainly with Illustrator’s blob brush.
- When I First Met You – Photographic montage in Photoshop. This is a square section from the full panorama.
- My Son – Photoshop multi-layered composition, consisting of a scanned pencil sketch and various mark making styles with brushes and layer effects.