Bear Arms asked me to create the album artwork for their next album, at the time it was going to be called “Made of Little Anchors” and was to come out in a years time. This gave me plenty of time to consider what was the right direction to go with artwork. I started by discussing with the band in detail about the songs and lyrics they had written. What did these songs mean to them? And why did they write them?
At this point the band had produced demos of most of the songs and from there I started to analyse what the main themes were and began to coalesce some ideas about how to convey this through the artwork. The only brief from the band was that they wanted to do something with colour as the last record had been in black and white and they wanted to release it on vinyl. I had free rein to consider the imagery and format of the final product.
Using found photography I made a collage/sketch of my initial concept to show the band and get some feedback on the imagery I planned to use and the mood or tone that I was aiming for. For consistency I made the images black and white. The concept included a die-cut slip cover and 8 page insert booklet.
I wanted the narrative of the album to be told as a linear story, chronologically through the panels of the artwork. Starting with the slip cover, opening the album sleeve and exploring the insert booklet eventually ending with the back of the slip cover. I broke this down into individual panels and did sketches of each, putting them in that order. At this stage I started to introduce colour, which I wanted to keep to a very restrictive pallet.
The band approved the sketches and concept and I started to create a mood-board of photography that I could use with the photographer and director (as at this stage a music video was going to tie in with the concept and cover imagery). After some extensive location scouting it was decided that we weren’t going to get the locations we needed within the budget we agreed. I decided to produce a test illustration of one of our locations to see if the concept could be executed as an illustration. Around this time the name of the album changed to “Redeemer”.
Bear Arms liked the new direction and I began producing the illustrations needed to complete the artwork. During this process the format was simplified, the die-cut was dropped and a few of the unnecessary panels were dropped from the artwork. Below is the final artwork for the illustrations, they have been included without the opposite lyrics and thank you pages (which are still to come).