Beyond the Sun

Longlake final rgb

Beyond the Sun

Longlake, a local Seattle band, reached out to me to help them create an album cover for their first full length record. Beyond the Sun is an introspective dig, not only into one’s self, but also into the world around us. We strove to create a piece of artwork that reflected this, all while being ambiguous. Beyond the Sun is available everywhere.

Ideation

When we first started thinking of ideas that would fit well with Longlake’s musical style, the record had not been named yet, which I felt freed us from any sort of pre-composed notions of what the cover art could be.

I propositioned a naming process that my favorite professor in college taught me; think of three to five experiences that a user might have felt before that are similar to what moods the album sought to evoke. This is what Longlake came up with:

·Watching a fire, getting lost in it, and feeling your surroundings and your ego drift   away.  Neither happy or sad, just aware of existence.
·Wading into a massive body of water with nothing but the subtle curve of the horizon   and feeling small in perspective.
·As you pass by someone on the street you let curiosity draw you in and you imagine   their set of realties.
·Two people uninhibited, sharing an experience without judgement

Initial Process

IMG_8542

Keeping all of the aforementioned experiences in mind, I started to sketch ideas that were very abstract in nature. I felt that an abstract approach would be much more valuable, as a lot of the feelings that Beyond the Sun was flirting with were up to the users imagination. This is one of my sketches that I initially thought I wasn’t going to use at all, but ended up being an integral part of the final product.
This, in addition to another sketch that I did for a different project, excited the Longlake boys and gave me a solid lead to follow.b

Digital Drafts

IMG_8548

longlake album cover expanded-01


Above are some of the original drafts I offered Longlake. I traced my line sketch, as well as created a pointillism texture to break up all of the lines, all with a Wacom tablet. I felt that this look was more in the direction of what Longlake sought, I also started to play around with gradients in the piece, as I felt that some color broke up any monotony.

Final

Longlake final rgb

Through many color iterations, more lines, and the removal of an outline on the doorway, we decided on a final product. We felt that the olive color harkened back to some of Longlake’s previous album covers. The doorway felt way more intriguing than the circle, and I felt as though it matched better with the pointillism texture. The removal of the outline around the doorway unified the artwork, and added to the surrealism.

Outcome

I felt that this was an overall success. Longlake enjoyed the final out-come, due to it being enough of a stretch from their other covers, as well as a step in a new direction. One thing that I didn’t realize is that the image is relatively muddy when small, particularly on iTunes or Spotify. However, the image is stunning when viewed in a larger setting, due to the entire image being vectors.