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It's not everyday that one of your favourite bands puts on a design-competition.
Typically, I hate the f**king things. But I saw that Mastodon were seeking artwork for their song 'DRY BONE VALLEY'.
Their artwork is always amazing... and I looked on this competition as an excuse to push myself out of my comfort zone.
So I analysed the song and starting with the opening lyrics "Head down running from the beast".
Instantly saw a demonic horned-overlord spewing forth, summoning with it the world's creatures and elements.
After I started working on my "beast", I became obsessed with the song's line...
"Over these mountains to the seas of life, leave this desert for the sick and damned".
I wanted to incorporate the early artwork of Paul A Romano with imagery created by the legendary Tim Biskup.
The colour scheme was invented while finding the balance between good and evil for my 'DRY BONE VALLEY' piece.
And here it is, my 'SEAS OF LIFE'.
If you have a moment (trust me, you have a moment) checkout Tim Biskup's music video for 'DRY BONE VALLEY'.
You can see above my gradual process to the final image...
My initial idea was 'the beast' floating/chasing over a desert of bones... which felt really obvious.
The beast also looked too old-man-ish for my liking and not evil enough.
So I printed out what I had been working on, at a low oppacity, and redrew it.
Tracing over, refining and reinventing the image. Tightening the shapes and the flow of the elements.
I liked the result a lot more. Threw him back into Adobe Illustrator and completed the meticulous outlining and colouring.
The final image, stands halfway between Mastodon's style and my style. Which was what I wanted achieve...
**COMPETITION-CONCLUSION: My entry was the third highest voted entry (from hundreds). I guess that's flattering.
I didn't win anything but I'm happy with my final-illustration and successfully pushed myself out of my comfort-zone.