An album cover I made for the Tokyo experimental soul band WONK. I did illustration/design (minus their name & the parental advisory sticker). When I first sat down with the drummer to talk about what they wanted, he gave me a pretty open framework to get busy with: they liked red, the NxWorries album cover and wanted something ふんやふんや(funya funya, a word which I didn't know at the time). I basically had free reign.
In the initial stages this project went through quite a few thumbnails, all playing off the title 'Sphere,' to figure out which direction to take. They're influenced by the jazz luminary Thelonius Monk, so I had made some ideas using his image. I really dig the Gudetama character (an anthropomorphic egg yolk for the uninitiated), so I played with using the yolk as a symbol for the mind. I eventually found a somewhat trippy mix of these two ideas in an egg yolk being pulled from Thelonius Monk's head, his essence extracted if you will. Being that the band is from Tokyo, I wanted to have some sort of cultural tie-in with the chopsticks without it being horribly trite (as it can often be when referencing any Asian culture that uses said utensils). Cultural tie-in aside, I also really liked the simple drawings of Gudetama being picked up by a pair of chopsticks, in particular, the overlap of the yolk over the chopstick in the foreground.
After I had the basic image worked out, I made some drafts of a custom title treatment, which then got sorted after the band had sent over 'Rubber Soul' as a reference. Drawings got scanned, clean-up and adjustments ran their course, colors were tested and this is the final product that come out of the whole process.
It was awesome to see my work on a finished CD when I went to their album release party at the Jazzy Sport record shop in Shimokitazawa. It was additionally cool when a friend messaged me to say he saw the cover featured on the side of Tower Records in Shibuya for a couple of weeks.
The boys seem to have hit their stride after this release came out, and have since played with a myriad of talented local/touring artists. They've got two albums 'Castor' & 'Pollux' currently out (designed by someone else), were in some targeted Corona ad online last summer, and have quite a few things bubbling, so looks like they're doing alright for themselves. Check 'em out if you have the chance!
Tokyo-based illustrator with a unique blend of styles who specializes in hand-drawn work and hand type.