Monday, February 8, 2010

Brother Ali Us Break Down

Thought I would share a little bit of process behind the Brother Ali “Us” Album. This was a highly anticipated album. Every track is rich and full of life. Ali tells stories of triumph, love, pain and hope. But above all else this is an album that celebrates our similarities. This is without a doubt my favorite project. And I'm extremely privileged to have been a part of it.

Concepts, aka chopping chopping block.

From the start I was reminded of the Walker Art Centers Collection tile “Bits & Pieces Put Together To Present A Semblance Of A Whole”. Which is what any work of art is in the end. I just loved the line semblance of a whole. I think most artist feel that the final product is merely a semblance of something “complete”. It's really about the process and the Bits and pieces.

These are three initial concepts created for the cover. Because it's all about the cover. Inspired be Keith Harings illustration and the interactions of his characters; I decided to Illustrate stylized characters reminiscent of figurines found in African and tribal art.

The decision was made to use more realistic human-like characters in the end.

Believe it or not. Kara Walker was not my main source of inspiration. Even though I'm a huge fan of Kara's works.

It seems that the Ali album and Kara's recent work address the same issues but from different perspectives and with different intentions. The silhouette was just the most effective way to bring unification to the image. While still portraying diversity.

I wanted all of these bits and pieces to work together and harmony to fit multiple frames and size constraints. From minimalistic composition to expansive & large compositions. I also wanted to add a level of surrealism and abstraction to the imagery.

For the printing of the packaging we decided to emboss some elements and alternate between spot and matte finishes. To create a dynamic and tactile surface.

Well thats it. Hope you bought the album. You won't regret it.


Lifter Baron said...

Dope dude! This actually brought a lot more meaning and intrigue to this for me.. snap shot!

Anonymous said...

yo I've always been impressed with the cover art and packaging of that album. Thanks for the breakdown son!

Nic said...

Hey I'm just looking at this and absolutely loving it, and I was wondering if I could possibly get that boldest font, and possibly the "Brother Ali" font? or just like a picture with all of the letters? Thanks man, I am looking to get a tattoo based off of this, and would really appreciate it!

Nic said...

Hey again, or if you designed the brother ali t-shirt that says "there's no me and no you it's just us" and had like a jpeg of that, that would be phenomenal! Thanks!