Recently I completed the cover art for an amazing CD recorded by Stephen Humphries. The CD concept came from Taryn Humphries and is a collection of bedtime stories/lullabies. It contains a few well known pieces, but most of the tracks are original compositions. The titles follow a very specific story-book theme with names like, "A Walk Around the Castle", "Song for a Princess", and "A Kingdom Asleep".
Stephen and Taryn provided me with some sketches of ideas for this cover art and I went to work brainstorming and listening to the rough cuts. As I'd expect with Mr. Humphries, this CD contains some of the coolest hammered dulcimer music you'll ever hear. So, for me, the pressure was on to come up with something that would do it justice!
I admit, I had this awesome idea that was based on the sketches I'd been given, but I just couldn't get it out of my head and into a tangible format. At some point I decided to take two routes. I commissioned someone else to do a watercolor painting that specifically focused on the original sketches. Meanwhile, I took a different route and did something that fit my style better, while reflecting my interpretation of the music I'd been listening to. This allowed me to provide a (rather difficult) choice between two completely different concepts.
Once the cover art had been selected, I went to work finalizing the entire package. For the disc face itself, I wanted to do something that would be bright in contrast to the dark digi-pack. A bit like a pearl in an oyster, I wanted the CD to stand out as a sort of "treasure" within. For practicality, it also needed to be easy to sign autographs to. Taryn requested a castle be somewhere prominent in the design and the disc face seemed like the perfect place.