A good packaging can lift the experience
I studied something called Technical Illustration for 2 years. It was all about building instructions (think IKEA), exploded views (think Volvo engines) and also illustrations for newspapers etc. I added one year of Computer Graphics. As so many others I had a dream that once in my life I get the chance to do a real album cover for a band. I created a webpage where I showed some of my work and also let other people with the same dream that I had to show their work. It became a kind of portal where bands and cover artists could meet.
To make the page a little more interesting I managed to get an interview with Mark Wilkinson who did the artwork for Marillion and many other bands. My favorite website at that time was DPRP, the Dutch Progressive Rock Page, and I sent a message to them and asked if they wanted to link to the interview on their news page. It turned out that this news page was run by a man named René Janssen, one of the guys behind the ProgPower Festival by the way. We got a good contact and it also happened that he run the small record label Zizania Records. I got the chance to do the covers for some of the bands on his label like Darius, Wolverine and Into Eternity, and after that the jobs started to roll in. This was around 1999.
For me a cover is still important for an album. A good package can lift the experience when listening to the music. We go to a show to both hear and see a band. We want a full experience. For me it’s the same thing when I buy an album. I want the full experience. See the artwork, read the lyrics while enjoying the music. I have two big heroes of design. Hugh Syme and Rodney Matthews. I have always loved Symes thought provoking ideas, and Matthews fantasy landscapes are just breathtaking.
Interview by Alex Milazzo. Copyright 2016 © Heavy Music Artwork. All Rights Reserved.