How did you get your first paying art job?
A few years after I finish college, a guy I knew wanted a logo for his new band Mythosis, so I drew one following what he was asking, the band was very happy with it, they still using it. I also did artwork for friend related band and for the band I was playing with at the time. But it really started to pick up and get more serious and interesting when Chris from Profound Lore ask me to create a new logo for his label. Since then I work on his magazines ads and work on some of his releases, when my help is needed.
What words best describe your artistic style?
It will sound weird, but I do not know. I think each creation have it’s own personality, I work and think differently when I work with photographs and when I do a hand made illustration, the approach is totally different, but I could say that I like to make filthy, nebulous and textured artwork… A lot of the album layouts I had worked on are made with photographs and digital manipulation, now I want t include more hand made illustrations and textures in the designs I’ll create. In fact I like to touch different style and visual approaches.
Tell us about your studio space?
I do not have a “studio”, but I work in a room filled with books, for visual research/reference, music for ambiance and inspiration, computer, ink, paper and photographs. I guess I have everything I need.
Take us through a typical day ?
I can’t live off the music related artwork, so I have a day job as a graphic artist and I mostly work on band art on the evening or late at night when I am just too much absorbed by the visual I am creating.
How do you create your work? Take us through the process from concept to final.
Usually, people interested to work with me contact me via e-mail, so as I read the e-mail that explain what the band/label needs, some images/ideas start to take shape in my head. After I ask more precisely what the band/label have in mind and let them know what I had think about. Once we set our mind on the direction to follow I need to know how I’ll work the concept with photograph, illustrations or mix media. Once my mind is set on how I’ll build the visual, I start to make sketch/digital sketch and the project slowly takes shape. Sometimes a band gives me “carte blanche” for the artwork when this situation happens I see what kind of visual identity they had in the past, it gives me a starting point to built the artwork, I might not work on similar concept a band could have before but I always take a look at the previous artwork and sometimes I just got a flash and go with it all the way.
Do you use reference materials or does all of it come from your head?
Yes of course I use reference, working with photographs is working with reference, when I make a illustration by hand I also use reference when I need it.
Do you have any advice for artist’s who wish to do artwork for bands?
What are you currently working on?
As I am writing these lines, I am working on the next WOLD album layout to be released on Profound Lore Records, WOLD provided all the visual element, I just need to put it together. Same thing for the tape layout for the Norwegian band Fester, this tape will be release by Total Holocaust Records. Transcendental Creations just ask me to make some visual for their new website and revamping their logo and also the work on the new Portal album had start a few weeks ago.
What is it like working for the mighty Portal?
It’s great! Portal have a rich visual conception of their very own world, they have their own symbol/symbolism, iconography, proper to them and the musical concept they are working on. So there is much to create and since they are open minded each project is a fun thing to work on. A few years ago Chris of Profound Lore put Portal and I in contact for the design of t-shirt featuring Outre’s album cover artwork, since then I got into the Portal’s world of nightmares.
Right now we are 3 artists working the up coming album artwork, Rev. Kriss Hades, and entity named The Nothing and I.
How many ideas does Portal give you and how much of the ideas do you come up with?
Usually Portal let me know what they want, what they see for an album artwork or t-shirt design, once I know what they want I start to look for image (most of the time they send me a few reference images as well) or make sketch and/or digital sketches and the projects takes shapes. During the developpement of the concepts we often have the same ideas/flashes on a some aspect of the artwork, there is this strange (and efficient) connection we have that make the work with Portal so particular for me.
For the Seepia 2nd press CD, picture LP and tape layout they provided the beautiful pictures of the rusty and filthy gramophone horn, the mills etc and I set everything up, same thing for the 2nd press and tape version of Outre they sent me the very nice illustration (made by Jeff Lowe) and other images they needed and again I set everything up. For Swarth I had built all the images, sigils and textures, very nice to project to work on!
Do you have any dream projects?
I would be very happy to create very dark and minimalist artwork for Brighter Death Now, or something more psychedelic for Electric Wizard, lovecraftian for Moss, well work with bands who stunt me when I first heard their music. And I’ll be very happy when I’ll finally make this hand made album cover for Ghäst ahahah!
Who are your favorite bands of all time and what bands are you listening to right now?
That’s hard, impossible to answer there is so many good bands and albums…right now I am listening to Swans, but Ildjarn, Nekrasov, Aluk Todolo, Saturnalia Temple, Disma, Sylvester Anfang have been playing much the last few days. The bands mentioned at the previous question had a great impact on me, as well as early Emperor, Burzum and Darkthrone, Akitsa, Sunn, Sleep, Magma, list goes on….
Who would you like to see featured on MBA?
There is a lot of interesting interviews on your website, but Kristan Wahlin (Necrolord), Glyn Smyth, Justin Bartlett, Putrid, Dan Seagrave are the one the comes to my mind right now.