Artwork Process

One of the things I've been looking forward to sharing with you on this blog is the process we go through for the artwork on the album.  These days digital everything is becoming so prominent that one could argue that album artwork (the whole CD package) isn't as important, but I think it is so special and makes the album an experience when you can actually hold it in your hand and it is not just a file floating around on your computer somewhere.  
Digital copies are great though, and that's why you each get one along with your pre-order!  

Anyway, I digress.  We wanted to do something different with the artwork on this album, because Story Girl and Compass, while having great artwork, started to look so similar that sometimes it's hard to tell them apart!  Plus, it was just time for something new and we all had the same new vision for the look of the album.

First off, the name of the album had an influence.  Mountain Rose.  This is a pretty title, but we also found that it describes our sound in a poetic way.  With classical training, the lyrical feel of our music is the "rose," but we and our music are definitely not fine, elegant museum roses.  We're more like hobbit roses.  Mountain roses.  Rugged little raggedy roses.  I also love that the mountain rose has to survive the elements in harsh locations.  It's a little hero!

With the name decided upon, the three of us also had the same idea for who (or what?) would be the central figure on the front of the album.  It wasn't ever really discussed, we just all wanted this little figure to be on the front!  I won't say anymore on that front, but we're also designing a t-shirt to go with this theme and the "main character" has to do with one of the song titles as well.....

So to start working on the artwork, we got some sketches done by Molly Hashimoto.  Here are some of her early sketches of the mountain, Nootka roses:
Next, we decided to go with her stunning, hand-made wood block printing instead of a watercolor painting.  We loved the bold, striking colors and black and white lines of the wood blocks.  So next she spent a week carving the block (like a stamp) out of wood and then hand-tinting the block until it was colored in with these vibrant hues:
Finally, we got the finished wood block from Molly and then sent it off to our graphics guy, Jim, who works in Florida.  He designed our last two albums and will be doing the album design (all the inside flaps, disc, disc tray, and a lyric booklet) as well as the graphics for the front cover, blending Molly's design into a full cover!

So - the artwork is done, now onto the graphic design!
What do you think?  And who or what do you think will be on the front cover?  ;)

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