“Empty” Book Jacket Final and a Few Words of Wisdom

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Without further ado, here is the final version of the book jacket! If you are visiting me for the first time, the assignment was to make a book jacket for a fictitious book with the subject of our choosing. Sadly, Ray LaMontagne does not have a book coming out (at least that I know of). But if he was considering such a thing, this one could be had for the cheap! (*holding thumb and pinky up to my ear like a phone* Call me, Ray!).

My goal was to give people  who may not be familiar with him a sense of Ray and his music through pictures. In case you are still unacquainted with Ray’s awesomeness, his songs are rich with imagery, almost poetic. His style has been described as Van Morrison meets The Band, meets Neil Young, meets Jim Croce and a little Ray Charles.  In his 2011 tour he was most frequently on stage wearing a red plaid western cut shirt and worn in jeans. Plus, he’s not shy about talking his disdain for the city. He has a song called, New York City’s Killing Me that, if you couldn’t guess from the rather direct title, talks about how he’s tired of all the concrete and noise of the city and longing to get back to the country to “have a couple drinks with the good old boys.”

So, I really wanted to illustrate the warmth of his words, the richness of his voice, and the openness of the country where he feels most at home. It came out beyond what I had envisioned and I am extremely happy with the results.

In class we printed our book jackets and folded them on to an actual book. This is a crappy picture taken with my cell phone, but I was so happy with how it printed (that printer usually prints everything way dark) and looked on the book, that I had to share it. . Next week I’m taking a nice picture in the departments little photo studio and I’ll post that one in the design section (keep scrolling! There’s more below!).
And now for the words of wisdom part. In my Ray LaMontagne research, I found this really great interview from 2010 right around the time God Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise was released. Maybe it’s a little metaphysical of me, but I believe when you keep hearing the same message over and over again, it’s universe or God or what have you’s way of telling you something. So, I was kind of struck when I read this bit:

I always want to get better but, there are enough people out there that want to knock you down, there’s no sense in knocking yourself down…..Yeah, and I think that as much as I am self-critical, there is an inner strength there that has been there from the beginning and I’ve always known deep down that I wasn’t gonna let anything stop me. I mean once I knew what I wanted to do, I was gonna do it. And it doesn’t matter if anyone ever said, “you’re no good”, “we don’t like what your doing”, “go home.” It doesn’t matter. I always knew I was going to keep doing this, deep down.

The bolded sentence was almost word for word what someone else had said to me. So much so, that I think I reread that sentence three or four times thinking what a weird coincidence. As far as I know, that person is not a Ray fan or reading obscure roots music blogs. Message received, Universe. The second part is what I try to tell myself as often as possible. Even people with the best of intentions, can say something that shakes your faith and makes you question if your chosen path is the right one or just a silly pipe dream. But I choose to look at it this way- people who know me, know that “no” and “we don’t like what you are doing” has never really stopped me before, so I can’t see why this time should be any different. If I fail, then I will fail trying rather then wondering, “What if…”

As always, have a great week and be my Twitter friend!

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