The music industry has changed dramatically from when I was a youngster. I use to dream of doing album covers when LPs had giant cardboard sleeves that offered a wonderful twelve inch square canvas to display iconic works. As the media shrunk from LPs to CDs and now to downloads, the demand for artwork has also shrunk. Fortunately, I’ve gotten a few opportunities to illustrate for some great musical talent’s.
PANIC AT THE DISCO was on tour when they were getting ready to publish a special edition music compilation. It would come in a collector’s package with a cool flip top box, art cards and a fold out poster, which was my responsibility. Atlantic records was under the gun to get something done quickly so I got a direct line to speak with the band about what they were looking for. They wanted a vintage style poster that would feel much like the traditional vaudevillian performers of the Victorian era. I quickly set to work and sent a single sketch to keep things moving. They signed off and in less than 24 hours I was getting out the brushes. They were thrilled with the end product which ultimately earned the Stephen Dohanos Award from the Society of Illustrators in New York.
Some other CD assignments did not go so swimmingly. After two rounds of finished artwork for rapper, T.I., the cover ended up a photo shoot with a lion. The two covers were for his album titled UNCAGGED that followed his incarceration for weapons charges.