The Book Jacket

I don’t know about you, but I do not adjust well to daylight savings time. It’s still dark when I wake up, I’m hungry for breakfast at 11, lunch at 4 and yet somehow I’m ready for bed at 8 but can’t fall asleep until midnight. I won’t even go into my resemblance to a panda around the eye area. What I am saying is it messes me up. Anyway, while I am busy not sleeping, I have plenty of time to ponder my projects, school, music….everything, really and that’s why you get the rare mid-week, early morning post (with typo fixes and other corrections in the afternoon).

I mentioned in my last post that one of my upcoming projects is a book cover for digital illustration class and I have been having the hardest time coming up with a subject for my book. When I get creatively stuck, I look for a story to tell. But what was the story?  That was the sticking point. I looked through Amazon, nothing. Design inspiration links, nothing. The newspaper, nothing. Itunes- yahtzee (so much more exciting then yelling bingo)! Really, this should have been my first stop, because what are songs, but 3-5 minute stories?

No one has really ever inspired me more then Ray LaMontagne. His songs are have such vivid imagery and weave such fantastic stories that they are more like poems set to music.  I’ll stop waxing quixotic about Ray (yes, in my mind we are that tight that I can call him by his first name and not Your Lordship), but you get this idea- I love him. After listening to my Ray playlist about 50 times, I finally decided on the song, “Empty.”  It’s not the most uplifting song, but it creates such a clear picture. Plus, it may be the only opportunity I ever get to design something for Ray. With the lyrics about fields, flowers, and tall brown grass, I thought of this series of photos I took from a place called Trantina Farm. The photo illustrating this post is from that series and I have a ton more. They were taken at the height of summer, so to get more of that lonely feeling, I’m thinking of heading out there soon to get more of those ugly, empty early spring landscapes.

In case you are unfamiliar with Ray’s awesomeness or are like me and just cannot get enough of his awesomeness, check out the video below of Ray speaking with Elvis Costello. Even though they are speaking about the elusiveness of songwriting, what they say can be applied to any creative process. You can see it/hear it in your head, but if you hold that idea too tightly it just seems to evaporate. It’s like butterfly wings, beautiful and fragile. There is a woman in the audience at the 4 minute mark with her hand on her chin, a grin, and goo-goo eyes. When ever I see her, I think, “I hear ya, sister. I would have that exact expression on my face if I were there, too.”


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