I’ve been friends with Skyler and Sam a long time. I wrote about them in my book. So I was very happy when they asked me to do the art for their forthcoming record.
I’d designed their self-released CD a couple years ago, but this will be an LP, which is a dream for any artist who loves music. It’s a chance to stretch and try new things. The CD art was black-and-white but we all agreed the record should be full-color.
They shared the tracks with me and I listened to them over and over as I worked on various versions of what would become the front cover, back cover, and insert.
They gave me no explicit instructions, trusting that I’d come up with something on my own. Their music has no lyrics, but doesn’t lack for atmosphere or suggestiveness. I could imagine it scoring a movie.
I used cityscapes as a jumping-off point, but the colors are heightened and the imagery is simplified. I didn’t want to peg it too closely to a particular place, though, because it’s me, Chicago references are unavoidable.
I gave them nine images to choose from. They chose three, plus another for a limited-edition signed print to be sold as a deluxe add-on to 50 customers.
This has been one of my favorite illustration jobs. I had freedom to do it my way and didn’t have to grit my teeth or avoid looking to closely at what I was helping to sell. I can endorse this Mute Duo record wholeheartedly. Get yours here.