Iâm late in writing about this since around three months ago, life suddenly moved into Serious Hectic Mode and a lot has been sacrificed to accomplish the many things weâve needed to get done – the gym is a stranger, my bed has been at times too, and also the telly and my blogs! Weâre not out of the woods yet, since we canât seem to stop lining up projects before the old ones are finished, but those times are worth it when you reflect on the outcomes. And one of the best things to have happened was making this artwork for Sage Francisâ upcoming album, Copper Gone.
Having done the illustrations for Human The Death Dance, it was of course an immediate yes.
Long time friend, muse and collaborator Sage had been drip-feeding us tracks from the album as they were made, so we already had the flavour of it when he asked if Iâd be able to create something for the album. The album is named for a piece of text scribbled on the side of a house in Sageâs home town, which heâd watched deteriorate, empty and neglected, for years. Wood, metal and other potentially valuable assets were stripped from the house, till one day the words appeared on the side – as if the house itself was saying, âIâve given you everything Iâve got – youâve taken it all; I got nothinâ left.â Which, as the story goes, was exactly how Sage was feeling as he neared the end of the album-making process.
As usual, Sage got more than he asked for. (I donât think he minded.) Wanting initially only an interlocked C and a G, I listened to the album repeatedly and the C and the G became a full illustration, an interlinked construction of pipes, rivets, elbows and small copper components. This is one of the sketches:
As is my normal process, it was pencilled out in detail on an A2 pad – note however how the lettering changed between first sketch and final, due to legibility worries:
Then it was inked up. It was a beast, and took the whole of a weekend. Then title tracks were written out and the elements made into separate motifs:
Like a good butcher, Sage knows how to take artwork and make good and honourable use of every single cut of it – no waste. Thus, the logo, house and title were separated and became motifs for hoodies and Ts as well as album and CD art. In the next blog Iâll go through the process we used to etch the illustration into actual copper (a first for me). As a conclusion though, hereâs how the album looks, with its copper and verdigris coloured vinyl, along with its merchandise. Sage tours the album from May to November in a gruelling tour, with a heavy UK and European schedule. You can listen to a couple of the tracks on this page too.
The album drops June 3rd, and I promise you, this one is honestly set to make craters. Early reviewers are already talking of this as âthe new Personal Journalsâ, which if you know Sageâs work, is quite a proclamation. His Magnus Opus? Perhaps. But I give my own impressions of the album in the blog called âCopper, Gone – straight from the heart valves and into your earsâ. Let it just be said that if I ainât feeling it, I ainât drawing it. And my hands were sore. SORE.
See full post here: Inkymole2014-04-22.