Archive for February 20th, 2012



this is water

My dear friend and fellow Obie Ian Wilson is releasing his first full-length CD, titled This is Water.  Readers of this blog may remember Ian’s EP, The Crater, a five song appetizer for this album.  Ian apparently liked my cover design for The Crater enough to invite me back for This is Water.

Ian took his title from a commencement speech David Foster Wallace gave at Bill Watterson and Paul Newman’s alma mater, Kenyon College.  (Kenyon, like Oberlin, is located in the great state of Ohio.)  I find Ian’s album title to be apt.  Not only are there mentions of water in most of the songs, but like DFW’s speech the songs illuminate without explaining, leaving the listener much to ponder long after the running time has elapsed.

Of course listening to This is Water is much better than reading my words about it, but words are all I’ve got.  Oh yeah!  And pictures.  This is the sketch that became the cover image.
Ian liked the idea of a windblown tree on the (possibly Oregon) coast.  Following his approval, I drew up a few more polished ideas.
Ian hated all of these.  Just kidding.  He liked them.  We both knew the final was going to be in color, so I drew up my final image with that in mind.
This was inked with my tool of choice lately, a Raphael sable hair brush.  After scanning it, all that remained was to choose a color scheme.  We decided a monochromatic scheme would look good both on the printed package and on a tiny thumbnail that people will see on the internet.  After a few variations of blue, we agreed on the final design:
You’ll notice I removed my hand-drawn lettering to make way for a much clearer typeface.

This is the cover, but you’ll have to wait to see the other five panels I drew for the package.  Soon!  Check back here and at Ian’s blog for information regarding the release.