Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Spiral Shadow cover art.

 I woke up a little later than usual today to find that Season Of Mist Records has finally unveiled the cover art for Kylesa's 5th album, "Spiral Shadow". I've been waiting for this day so that I could post the cover, too (I usually don't like to release cover art before the band or label is okay with it). There's a second cover that will be included in both the limited edition and regular versions, but I'll keep that until the album is released. 
 I was honored and excited when Phillip called months back to ask if I'd like to design the cover for their new album. He wanted something really simple for the cover and as he went on explaining his idea, the design was going to be something that wasn't in my immediate comfort zone. The theme of the album was that of looking back on your life at where you've been and where you're currently going. The other specifications were that the art was to be in a circular pattern, be super simple, contain no skulls, and somehow work OP ART patterns into it. It seems like such an abstract idea, but working with them for years now I've been able to come up with designs rather quickly that have seemed to reflect the words and music's intended meaning. At least that's what Phillip and Laura have been telling me. With all of the information that Phillip has passed along, I thought about a tree right away. Trees and humans live out their lives in similar fashion. Trees contain rings that tell the story of it's life, reveals it's age, and identifies everything that it's been through. Humans contain the story of their lives inside their hearts and minds. Spirals are also a huge part of life and are found throughout nature, math, art, etc and that organic nature combined with the human and tree element fit the theme perfectly. I wanted an oak seed to be the center of the design and have the tree grow in a spiral pattern up and out of the picture. The idea would be that you can look back on where you've been, but where you're going is unknown. You'd figure that drawing a circular tree would be easy to draw and detail, but I always do things the hard way and detail the fuck out of whatever I touch. The back cover continues the tree/human idea and has two trees growing out of bone roots, fusing together the the two most important meanings behind the design. I thought that my part of the cover was done when we all decided that there would be an extra design made for their stage set-up and for the limited edition version of the cd. It really didn't matter because I was totally into getting the cover to be as sick as I could get it. All 3 pieces of art took a little over a month to complete.
 After the illustrations were done it was time to add OP ART pattern to the backgrounds of each of the covers. I scoured the web researching OP ART patterns and found that a lot of them are copy written. It's a hassle to go through the process of getting permission and there was really no money to pay for rights, so we turned to the graphic designer on this project, Casey McKinley (www.myspace.com/mckinleyillustration). Casey is a sick illustrator on his own, but the man can hook up a cover with his design skills. He went and created several OP ART patterns that turned out sick! They are scattered throughout the booklets and are included in all of the covers. He also set up the cover for the limited edition version 3D lacquered cover printed on a holographic board. The idea was to have something amplifying the movement of the pattern in the back ground and simultaneously creating a tripped out effect. So, jump on that limited edition version it looks fucking great and comes with a dvd. You can get info on ordering, pricing, and other Season of Mist artists at: www.season-of-mist.com/ "Spiral Shadow" will be released in Europe on October 25th and in the US on October 26th. 
  My brain hurts from writing all of that.


  1. Nice explanation of the thought process behind this and really like the design. Looking forward to seeing the full package and 3D version!

  2. I really like how the smaller branches of the tree have a fractal sort of effect...perfect!

  3. I really like this cover. It reminds me of Swedish doomcore-outfits Molokens latest album.


  4. Well, you did a very good job. I randomly saw it today, never heard of the band before, but because of the art, I picked it up and got it!