A couple of months ago I was approached by Concrete and Hammerfist to do the album artwork for their upcoming split, to be released this summer on Irish Voodoo Records. I really enjoy working on split records, it’s always a challenge to come up with an image that conveys two halves without being too obvious. As you folks know, I am a fan of gore, and when it comes to hardcore music I feel drawn towards conveying brute force, so for my initial sketch I blended the two into the following image: sketch This wasn’t the image the bands were going for, they wanted something less gory, which can be fun too! So I spoke with them a bit about subject matter and re-thought my initial idea. The following sketch is what I came up with, and what we ended up going for in the end: sketch-02   As you can see, a completely different take on the original sketch, but sometimes that is what is needed. It’s always a good feeling when a sketch gets approved, for me that can be the biggest hurdle at times, it can be tough when you’re on different wavelengths than the band. This time it only took one revision. From there I went into inking the entire front cover, which took a couple of days from start to finish. Below is the result as it will appear on the record, including all text: work-01  Here are some process snaps too: feature 01 For the band name and album title I usually do hand-lettered text, unless of course the band requests their exact logo be used, even then I always try and convince them to do a slightly altered version of their logo. Text can be my favourite thing to work on sometimes, I enjoy the artistic freedom within the structure of letter forms. With the the band names on this album, I kept them very close to the bands original logos, they already created a nice contrast between the two so that worked well with a split concept. For the image itself, I tried to convey the split with a symmetrical image, split horizontally through the hourglass. I further pushed the split concept by having the two halves of a skull in their respective hourglass halves. I’m not sure how effectively this is conveyed to the average viewer, but I am happy with it. work-03 For the rear of the album I did a mini-illustration to separate the two halves. Again I hand lettered all the text, no Photoshop bullshit anywhere in my work, instead of layers I use tracing paper. I enjoy the design and layout aspect of albums very much, I’m not the kind of person to only do the front artwork then leave the rest to the label/band. work-02  Lastly I did a simple design for the LP labels on this record, reversing the colors to once again emphasise the split. work-04