Today, September 23rd 2016, the Neurosis album Fires Within Fires gets released, if I were to say I am excited, it would be a huge understatement. I wanted to share some of the art that was created during the whole process. Neurosis is a band that has influenced my art since I first discovered them, to have come full circle and create images to accompany their music is very surreal, and has been a huge honor.
Here is the final cover, all hand painted, no photoshop or digital retouching, it is part of a larger piece that is 15 x 30″ – ink, gouache, acrylic and charcoal on paper. Before I show the finished pieces that make up the cover and album packaging I wanted to show a sample of the pieces that were created during the journey to the final art.
August 26th 2015, this was the very piece that struck a chord with the band, I had made this by chance, to get the creative process started. I had shown it to them randomly, I think this piece was the one that I turned to for inspiration later on to create some of the final works.
After sketching many trees and trying to associate symbols with one of the bands songs – Doorway, which is a song that has always stuck with me. (Having not heard any new material as it was not yet recorded I turned to some of my personal favorites of theirs). This tree was sketched as a warm up before starting a more complex painting, as you can see it hosted themes that became focal points of the finished art.
After making a lot of different sketches and pieces I had to return to the original first piece I created, just adding some layers and textures, I think I had to assert to myself that it was ok to go with ideas from the ‘accidental’ first pieces.
This was another piece, where I allowed myself to keep the work simple and play with layout and texture.
This piece was the beginning of what became the back of the LP cover.
Before I show the finished paintings, I want to show the sketch of these two elements, they were secondary sketches for some of the main symbols on the record.
A – Front and Back Gatefold Cover, 15 x 30″ ink, gouache, acrylic and charcoal on paper.
Detail 1 of A.
Detail 2 of A.
B – Interior Gatefold, 15 x 30″ ink, gouache, acrylic and charcoal on paper.
Detail 1 of B.
C – Lyric sheet Image, CD face and Vinyl LP labels 15 x 30″ ink, gouache, acrylic and charcoal on paper.Detail 1 of C.
Detail 2 of C.
And there you have it, a journey that has allowed me to make something for a group of people that I never would have thought possible. Thank you to Neurosis for their trust and to all the bands that have trusted me and my art as the visual accompaniment to their music, to their art. A special thanks to both Tombs and Doomriders, bands who trusted me and used my work many years ago before I had really shown any of my non tattoo art publicly, these records I feel paved the way to me making art for musicians on a regular basis.
The Finished LP
All of my Neurosis related work can be purchased here https://neurotrecordings.merchtable.com/artists/neurosis
I just received these amazing screen prints from Burlesque of North America. They come with the Neurosis Fires within Fires Preorder Deluxe Vinyl set (It is now sold out and these will not be sold seperatly).
Always Blown away by the amazing work of Ben Lafond and the crew over there.
Look for this hand embellished letterpress print soon via www.rakinglightprojects.com