Here's a recent job I did for Mojo magazine that's now on the shelves of a good newsagents near you.
Now what I should tell you (if you're not already aware) is that a illo for Mojo magazine is one of the most coveted jobs on the UK scene, why I hear you ask! Well the magazine only runs one full page illustration a month, which is for the album of the month section, as such and down to the often great briefs of the art director Mark Wagstaff, it's the gig that every artist wants; in fact you only need to look at the talent that's worked for the magazine over the years and it's like a who's who in the illustration field and of course now little old me has joined this great list!
The image is of the musician John Grant who has a debut album released shortly called 'The Queen of Denmark' if you are not familiar with this guy's music, I can assure you, you soon will be, it is an absolutely stunning body of work...remember you heard it here first!
Mark came to me with this concept of a portrait of John in Black and White and with a monotone background; the only thing that would be in colour would be butterfly wings sprouting from his back; these wings would be a kind of gateway to his Wonka/Alice in Wonderland/70's inspired inner world, suffice to say while being a pretty damn tough job it was also one that fits in with my own imaginative leanings.
There were a few worries early on, what with the shape and size of the wings, and I wasn't that keen on the completely B&W background and figure, as I felt that the figure didn't connect with the wings he sat in the background a little too much; so there was a bit of compromise, in the end we got just a hint of colour in there and in the background which helped hold it together a bit more.
Really a great job though, one of the best things and certainly something of a rarity is that Mark was able to get a copy of the album sent over to me to listen to and inspire while I worked on the artwork, which certainly helped set the right tone for final image.