Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Mercedes Garcia Project

I have finally completed the CD cover and booklet artwork for the soon to be released "Cross My Heart" album by Queensland based vocalist Mercedes Garcia.
A few months ago whilst discussing the music, ideas and imagery for the project and browsing some of my portfolio images, Mercedes was taken by the image of a girl not unlike that used in my "Red Dust Girl" series, hanging or levitated in chocks. It was a drawing I had produced digitally (Wacom tablet/ Painter/ PhotoShop) and using that imagery as a basis for the work, I decided to make some significant changes. During all of this I had been finishing off a large oil on canvas commissioned work called "Red Dust Senorita". I decided to use the dress from that painting and add yellow in the stripes. Mercedes is Spanish herself so this was an ideal way to emphasise this. In fact, Mercedes really wanted the artwork throughout the booklet and jewel case to be representative of herself and her music so it was important that I capture not only her heritage (Spain) but also her life in Australia and the area of South Australia where she grew up and started to perform music. Hence the symbolism of  a deserted Australian landscape and  isolation throughout the CD artwork, as well as references to the freedom that a love of music can provide.

Carmen Wells of Larry Tyler Management  was overseeing this project and provided me with the details of the brief along with working with graphic artist Tony Drew who did the text and photo layouts. Carmens help in putting this all together has been tremendous. Her concept of having the landscape follow through on the back of the jewel case was a winner!

The CD itself mimics the front cover of course.

Booklet page preview: I created a winding barbwire stem for two roses here which wound themselves around the microphone stand. The collaged, background textures and the coloured streams of light that run throughout the booklet were also part of the concept I envisaged for the finished art.

Inside: Some of the booklet inserts I created using a combination of electronic collage, digital image editing, text layout and hand colouring/drawing.

One half of a booklet page spread. The booklet imagery, themes and colour were very important components in marrying an Australian/Spanish feel throughout.

It was such a pleasure to be a part of this project and I highly recommend that you visit and listen for yourself to the amazing voice of Mercedes Garcia at the myspace page address above. Her "Cross My Heart" release is a cutting edge album of soulful beats and grooves, and the production is a credit to its producer Ken Sheppard. Nice work guys and I'm glad to be a part of it!


Blogger Maria Wiley said...

Wow! It does look wonderful ... she must be thrilled with it all!!! I'll go check out her music :-)
Great work Leith!

8:59 PM  
Blogger Leith O'Malley said...

Thank you Maria! Mercedes is very happy with the result but a woman with that kind of voice doesn't need much fancy packaging believe me... man can she belt out a tune lol!

10:58 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

how brilliant is that booklet absolutely love it ...but what else should I expect from you Leith? Mercedes is an interesting artist. And your packaging (well come on, we all need a bit of packaging....!) gives an edge.....good luck to Mercedes!

10:31 AM  
Blogger Leith O'Malley said...

Thanks Jen, you are worth your weight in Italian cigarettes :)

4:03 PM  

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