March 29, 2008

Get Your Hands Dirty

Yes, that's the Low Tide "Weapon of Young Gods" CD cover sans calaveras. It's actually the original painting I made last December. Unlike other beautiful and talented artists (seriously, she does great work), I don't usually "get my hands dirty" with things like paint and charcoal and stuff. I used to draw and doodle a lot as a child and teen, but preferred pencil or pen & ink. These days of course I'm too chained to the computer. However, this past Christmas, instead of doing silly things like office parties, the other designers and I were treated by our boss to a full-on hands-dirty, group art lesson from an Ojai art teacher. For those who don't know, Ojai is a tiny little town north of Ventura. It's on the same circuit as places like Sedona, AZ, but I don't hold that against it.

Anyway, we all went and were initially supposed to create using a certain technique (what and by whom I now forget) but I ended up just spattering lots of paint on the canvas like an amateur. Amazingly, it worked- once I thought of what it looked like. When the others would ask what it was, I'd say "it looks how my echo-bass guitar sounds" and that's when I decided to make it the CD cover. Like the songs it now represents, it was created quickly (we were there for about 3-4 hours). The "DD5" is the name of an echo pedal made by Boss. The band in the ripped photo is my first band, the Clap, in 1997. This is the original photo:

I used that one because there's a scene in the book where two of the characters start a band and play a high school gig in an obviously similar way that my first band did. The skulls kind of obscure it on the finished cover, but that's ok- they kind of obscure the band in the story too.

Just another good example of how I'm maybe making too big a deal of this project, but even if the novel drags on and only comes out in drips and drops, the soundtrack was a real gift. I mean, I hadn't touched the bass guitar very much since the most recent Honey White rehearsal, and that was almost a year ago now. It's nice to know that I can put together some music that will work well and hang together enough to attach to the book and flesh it out a little more.

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