Hey guys! What’s up? A couple of days ago I’ve completed my biggest project in the last years if not in a lifetime and today I want to share some of the work in progress shots and thoughts about it.
It all started in July when I began working on the album cover for Merr0w who is going to release his new album in December at the Global Sect Music. Alex – DJ Adept – who is running this Goa Trance label was managing the project is my old-time collaborator and he is super dedicated to what he is doing and this was the first big thing we were doing together. It was very intense and you can also check out a long-read post about it :)
The cover art was ready in the beginning of September and it also served as UV-tapestry design. Since the release will be on DVD-packs the art was vertically orientated and Alex suggested we make an extended horizontal version of it. So I was like “Sure, let’s make it epic!” and made the general composition sketch just to map out what will be on the canvas.
The final artwork was supposed to be huge so I’ve set up the canvas size to 16000 by 8000 pixels! During most of my art career I was working predominantly with vector art so the file size was never a thing to worry about but this time I knew it will be a tough one for my computer – keeping up with all those pixels and layers :) Speaking of pixels, I was using tons of reference images for this project I can not thank enough the website Unsplash.com for providing free high quality photos! They are more artistic rather than stock photos but for my purposes they were just perfect. So I started painting over my sketch and adding some vector textures I’ve made in Adobe Illustrator.
I felt like something is wrong with the composition so I’ve added some rocks that were holding the left side of the canvas.
The next big adjustment was changing the sizes of the octopus. It was way too small and it did not look like a real threat to the mermaid.
Next big step was changing the Buddha statue. With the help of a really nice reference photo I ended up with this trippy repeating Buddha that was definitely complementing the scene.
By this time I was mostly working on this project by myself and but it was time for Alex to start giving his magical advices :) He is a badass manager and I already knew it gonna hurt but the result would be worth it. So the first thing he asked for is fixing the center of the composition with a portal. I would not go through all the versions I did – only the first and the last ones.
We were doing these adjustments after I came back from my trip to the UK and we were very determined to complete the project that day and this portal thing was just not working. But two people together can definitely achieve more than on their own while I was experimenting with the portal I heard Alex in my headphones going like “Dude, I’m genius!” – he suggested putting the art I did for the CD inside the portal. And it just worked perfectly!
Then it was my turn for insights – I’ve realized the Buddha statue was too bright and it was pulling all the attention from the center of the composition and I have put way too much energy in the mermaid and the portal! Haha! So I’ve made the statue darker, Alex suggested darkening some part of the illustration on the right and it has all clicked. This last effort took us over 4 hours straight but it was definitely worth it!
And when I thought it was all over and I can move on to creating a T-shirt design based on this illustration I’ve got a message from Alex… It turned out Merr0w did not like the portal as a concept in general so we had to come up with something. Luckily the fractal-mandala-thing that was inside the portal was actually working pretty well by itself and I felt like we are completing the project.
Fast-forward almost another month. To be honest guys, this post was supposed to end on the previous image. But… I knew this collaboration with Global Sect Music was going to be tough since Alex is famous for his perfectionist attitude and I really appreciate this opportunity to grow as an artist under his influence. All the numerous iterations of adjustments we’ve gone through were 100% worthy and finally we can present you the Epic Underwater Kingdom!
And here are some closeups.
This tapestry gonna be a blast in the UV light! You can order it my shop with a 15% discount before December 31st using the code EUWK15OFF. I’ll be super happy to provide you with these trippy visuals and remember when you buy my art you are supporting an independent artist and I’m very grateful for that and it keeps me motivated to evolve as an artist :)