Last fall my ridiculously talented friend Travis Knapp recorded an album, and I loved it so much I put my art all over it. It's one of my favourite things I've illustrated; both the music and the way the printing on toned recycled paper came out. I'd already spontaneously done a pen & ink drawing a few months earlier when I first heard his Permaculture Saints, which you might recall from this previous post. That fit nicely on the back of the booklet-style cover.
Travis had a solid vision of the cover piece incorporating a musical "natural" symbol, and a wooded pathway into the sunrise. It took me about 100 tries with a brush to come up with the line work that was just right. Then a little brown paper and watercolour landscape to fit inside. He'd scribbled the album title on one of his layout ideas, and it turned out to be the perfect font.
The inside and lyrics booklet are punctuated with spot art of plants, birds and foxes. A friendly studio headed by Pat Burke handled the design and printing. I wasn't sure how my brown paper illustrations would print on brown paper, but it turned out just lovely.
Travis is currently on an album tour, traveling America by bike with his banjo on his back. I ran into him a few years ago at the Ithaca Zen Center where he was the resident gardener and musician. You can tell in the first moments of meeting him that he's a fellow of unusually generous heart and extra bright spirit. Though he's got an illustrious background (including winning the BMI John Lennon Songwriter's award) he joyfully does his work without need of accolades or fanfare in the sparsely populated woods of New York state. But having seen the way his music and gentle way of being affect people, I think it's important to spread it around a little more. So I'm very happy about this album and his tour, and I hope you'll have a listen and follow his adventure on his blog.
After getting very acquainted with my Epson wide-format fine art printer this week, the sepia tone ink work is coming out far better than the laser prints I've been doing for ten years. So at long last, Permaculture Saints is available as a print, and it's part of a deluxe package with the album on my Etsy store. (Yes, my Etsy store! It's back!)