It’s been a few years since my brother-in-law, poet-bard Isaac Gill, approached me about working on the cover art for his first official LP. He was going to Kickstart it into the world (an endeavor he did successfully manage) and he wanted me to illustrate/design the packaging. The first post I shared with the Room had a lot to do with process, and I guess that’s where I find myself with this one too. Heck, that’s where I find myself on a moment-to-moment basis, in everything. I’m sure we all do.
A while back, Isaac was elated to find that Pandora had finally processed (yes, that word again) his album and was about to release his music into the world via the streaming radio thing they do. This prompted me to post some stuff to Facebook in celebration, and that took me back into some of my old sketch work for the record, which was both cathartic and educational for me. “Did I really generate this many test sketches for Isaac?” “How many different kinds of hand-rendered typography did I pitch to him?” “I can’t believe I worked out the whole cover in water color before deciding to go with a digitally-rendered composite!”
Looking back on all this (there are plenty more where these came from) helped me to remember some things I’ve been forgetting in recent months about patience, planning, and process. It also helped me realize “Wait. You’ve done this before. You can do it again for this next project, or that one over there, or just for the love of it in your own ‘spare’ time.”
The projects are always there, just around the next bend, and I’m always wondering whether I have the spark and the fortitude to engage in them. Now if only I can find the courage to re-submerge into the same process, the same good work, the same creative labor, tomorrow and the next day and the next.
You can hear the songs that inspired the illustration on Pandora, Spotify, or Bandcamp at: isaacgill.bandcamp.com
Awesome work, Chris. And great thoughts. Thanks for sharing them here.
I often have the same thought processes when staring down a difficult engineering project or elusive software bug. I have to remind myself that I’ve tackled these kinds of problems before. White space is intimidating, but it’s where we all start.
This is such a good reminder, Chris. Thank you. Taking it with me into my writing life today.
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