Thanks to Chris Bruni at Profound Lore Records for my copies of the new SubRosa album. Always nice to see (and hear!) the end product - cheers!
On this (and also on my recent work for Fyrnask) I experimented with mixed media, hand drawn & digital techniques in a concerted effort to move out of my comfort zone and explore new ground. Whilst I am by no means a skilled traditional painter, I greatly admire the work of many painters and felt that a Jugendstil / Secession era approach (some shameless Klimt, Fernand Khnopff and Koloman Moser worship here) was a suitable design choice. And I approached this project from the strict viewpoint of a designer...seeing the typography and layout in my head first...and the designer wanted a painting for the layout!
One of the aspects I love about this era (roughly late 1800 to early 1900's) is the sense of elegance and space a lot of the designers possess. For me, it's truly timeless. In respect of this I was keen to try & distill the illustration & design down to their bare essentials. On one hand I'm always striving to avoid mere emulation of long gone design heroes, but on the other I feel that by studying (or "borrowing"!) their approaches I may come out the other side of a project that little bit wiser.
The title of the latest Subrosa suggested the "calm after the storm" so to speak, and forced me to consider a spacious and serene approach to the composition. This is probably a hallmark of my work for SubRosa, and reflects my tendency to try and not "overcook" the visuals and leave room for the actual music to suggest it's own imagery. (The forest composition seen here is actually me revisiting the site of a previously abandoned illustration for the previous SubRosa album, in which I strove for a similar result...yet added so much clutter the piece lost all focus).
An external layout focusing on an "Ex Libris' interpretation of the main inner illustration, together with period typography and symbolic botanical illustrations on the inside (gleamed from the text of dystopian sci-fi novel "We" by Yevgeny Zamyatin, a key influence for the album conceptually) hopefully ties it all together.
"For This We Fought The Battle Of Ages" by SubRosa is released by Profound Lore Records on August 26th, 2016