After six months of ‘busy’, I find myself suddenly in the summer slowdown period. Keeping myself busy with personal projects, and since the band is in the planning stages of another album, I got ahead of the ball and started work on the album cover. The concept of this next CD is a collection of songs about our home state, Michigan, and we’ve only just begun gathering and learning the songs, but as with the previous three albums, I’ve gotten the cover art done way ahead of the actual recording. I may change my mind in the coming months, and some revisions may still be taking place in the design, but so far I’m liking the direction.
Had a two week summer time lull, so I took advantage of the down time to work on a new animated music video for the band. This is the first animation I’ve done in 3 years. Would love to do this sort of thing all the time, but I can’t quite figure out how to make it pay.
My band, the Jukejoint Handmedowns have just finished up their third album this past month, and they should be back from the manufacturer in a few weeks. Above is the design for the outside and interior spreads of the CD case, and below is the art for the CD and for both sides of a lyric sheet booklet to be included in the package (the first time we’ve tried doing a lyric sheet). Below that is a press release that we’ve put together for inclusion when we send the album out to radio stations, reviewers, etc.
Immediately after Labor Day, things began to pick up around here. These are some of the projects I’ve been working on over this first week of September (interrupted by a weekend trip to the Wheatland Music Festival on the weekend of the 6th). Above was an assignment for the Chronicle of Higher Education last week. Below are a few pieces for Barrons, one done last week, and one I just finished a few moments ago.
Sketches for the two book projects I’ll be working on probably until the start of the Christmas season are in the ‘approval’ stage right now, but I expect to hear back on them sometime later this month, and I can get started on the finishes. As I’ve said before, I’m contractually obligated to keep all these 170 or so illustrations under wraps until after publication, so I won’t be sharing that work here for the time being. In the meantime, however, I’ll be sharing some of the more short deadline work, like the three black and white illustrations I finished earlier this week for River Styx Magazine (pictured below).
Oh, and almost forgot. I also had this book cover illustration for an independent publisher that I did last week. This was unusual in that it was the first job I’ve ever had come to me through my facebook ‘business’ page (that wasn’t a friend or relative).
In music news, the CD is now out, and available on iTunes, Amazon, and other online music sites, and is for sale at our live shows (title: ‘Oh Me Oh My!’ by the Jukejoint Handmedowns). We’ve got a busy weekend coming up, where we’ll be playing two outdoor venues back to back on Saturday afternoon, a Chili cook-off in downtown Grand Rapids, and then a Fall Arts Fair out in Fallasburg Park in Lowell.
Well, another summer is at an end. Spent most of the past week working on sketches for another large book project, and am hoping to have the remainder of it done by next week. Devoted Friday to working on the latest Witches’ Companion book cover for Llewellyn (I’ve done these for the past 6 or 7 years, and they are always challenging and fun, while still maintaining a similar look and feel from year to year).
Also found time this week to work up a quick birth announcement stork, since my bandmate Nate had his first child on Thursday. And since the band is starting work on a Christmas EP to hopefully have completed by this Holiday season, I started work on a layout for the CD cover. (I’m hoping to actually have this one done as a photo, but this is the layout I’m hoping to achieve — the back cover will be the same grouping from the back, and the guys will be holding matching gift wrapped bourbon bottles)