I have had a few successes, working with/for artists and musicians that most would consider famous or have achieved the right amount of respectable attention, though it’s not always been pure sailing. For the small amount of projects I could brag about and get your attention, there have also been a multitude of designs that haven’t gone exactly as planned. I thought I should feature some of these below, to show you that you should never give up. You will be ignored and rejected a lot (well… I am), but sometimes you’ll get it just right and art is all about the little wins.
Above is a never used cover for the indie band ‘Language of Flowers‘. I spent a long time creating the right feel. The root system lettering alone took around three days, though Shelf Life Records ended up going with this atrocity. A lot of the time, good designs will be pushed out just to feature a picture of the artist, it’s always a safe move for the record company, but it’s incredibly boring. Below you’ll see a completely rejected redesign of Vic Rattlehead for Megadeth. It was developed for a competition ran on Deviant Art, getting into the shortlisted stage I was able to get a comment from Dave Mustaine (singer, lead guitarist) stating that ‘it was incredibly cute but way off for the branding of the band’ [paraphrased, I can’t remember the exact comment, but that’s the jist of it].
The cover below was for Fiona Apple‘s 2005 comeback album. She had been incredibly big, especially with her single ‘Fast as you can’, then took some time out to re-invent herself. Her ‘Extraordinary Machine’ album was very quirky, slightly Tom Waits, very unusual. I thought this modern cover would have been a great addition to her lyrical intention. Focusing on computers, analog machines, humanity and her. I worked hard to get an image of Fiona onto the cover and then Epic Records went all left field and chose this?
I really liked the logo below for the band ‘armaeda‘. I decided that it would be interesting to make a typeface out of the exact same character. If you look closely, all the letters are the same character, rotated and faded. Unfortunately for me, the band quit before they had even begun and the logo was never used. The same thing happened to ‘Son of Shrimp‘ below. I am usually quite proud of the work I pass on, so it’s a shame to never see it getting used.
The NIN (Nine Inch Nails) cover below was for the album ‘With Teeth’. There had been a call out on 99designs and I thought I’d give it a go. I don’t really like this cover at all, though I feel it is very NIN. They ended up going with this idea, which is a lot better than mine…
I am a huge fan of Karl Pilkington and have followed him since the first podcast with Gervais and Merchant. I had emailed them a few times and got some replies, so when I heard that he was getting a book together I thought I’d try my luck at sending them this idea (not finished, it’s just a low res. thumbnail) for the book cover. I never got a reply and they ended up going with some photo of Karl sitting down… so safe, so boring.
So there you go. Just some of the tries and fails that I have experienced in my long and torturous career. I’m slightly depressed now… What was my point again? Oh yeah… Don’t give up… Get frustrated and go demented over rejections and endless workloads… like me.