Painting imaginary worlds is one of the best things about being an illustrator. I simply tune out the world around me and “access” an inner realm where colors sing, stories unfold and imagery pours forth in surprising ways. This is especially true when I listen to music as I work.
Lucky me: This summer, I worked on CD cover and booklet illustrations for award-winning musician, Kira Willey. Having worked with Kira on Dance for the Sun, her first CD, I was beyond thrilled to illustrate her new one, Kings & Queens of the Forest. I tried to capture the wonder and joy of the title song, Kings and Queens of the Forest, which celebrates our magical connection with nature.
Kira described her vision for the cover and I listened to the early tracks from the CD for further inspiration. Once I got the flavor of the music, I sketched out several rough concepts and showed Kira a tight pencil sketch (above). It took a few more weeks to complete the image which was painted with gouache, colored pencil and pastel (below).
Find out more about Kira, her music and yoga work with kids on this podcast.