Friday, October 19, 2012

Behind the Art of the Music: featuring Myla Smith

Soooo, I am really excited to finally get to share the inner workings of a project that started this summer. A very good friend and musician extraordinaire of mine, Myla Smith, asked me to do the artwork for her newly released album, "Drugs." She wanted to release it this fall, so we got to working immediately, and came up with such a great album design.
We went through two different concepts before we arrived at the final version and there was so much fun art that didn't make the final cut, that I just had to share some sneak peeks.
These are the initial concepts that I sketched out after a huge pow wow session on the direction of her album art. The "Drugs" album focuses on the many coping mechanisms we are drawn towards to hide our emptiness instead of dealing with our issues- the drugs we all abuse from time to time: money, sex, business, alcohol, you name it. In keeping with this deep concept, she wanted the artwork to have a light and airy feel to and stay away from dark imagery. Here's where the fun began. In the brainstorm process, I came up with three different scenarios for the cover to quickly picture addiction- a subway with passengers reading about their drugs of choice, an old fashioned drug store with customers drinking their drugs, and our modern day drug store, a coffee shop, in which customers wait in line and at tables showing us their addictive habits. We ended up going the direction of the coffee shop to illustrate best the different drugs represented in her album. And here is the final illustrated version of the coffee shop drug store album artwork.
 Ahhhhh! It was so fun to create each personality! I sat in a coffee shop one afternoon and studied  people coming and going for some ideas. Some of these characters are based on real people I saw in the shop (no one brought a flask in to my knowledge...).  We were ready to hit the print button, when, enter phenomenal PR gal, Elizabeth Cawein of Signal Flow PR. She became Myla's publicist this summer and made a few changes to the direction of the cd. She loved the illustrated look,, but the inside panels had to be changed to add images of the lovely Mylas Smith. After a whirlwind photo shoot weekend for Myla, she sent me her images and they were added to the inside panels. We also changed the credits to an illustrated RX pad to keep in theme with the drugstore imagery. Below is our final version, which is available for purchase now!! Head to Myla's site to listen to a preview of her hit debut, "Slow Down" and if you love it as much as I do, you can purchase her new album on Amazon or Itunes.