The Art of Derek Dohren
soñando tu camino
In the summer of 2015 I was given a commission to design the art work for a heavy metal band based in Granada, Spain. The band, 'Metal Inside', had an album of five songs which all needed to be illustrated. They asked me to design a series of independent images that would at the same time exist as standalone works. The album is called ´Soñando Tu Camino' (Dreaming Your Way).
The images would form part of a booklet inserted into the CD package. The booklet required two more images, a front and a rear cover, making a total of seven pieces of art. I was also asked to design a logo for the band.
After readily taking on the challenge I was immediately rendered creatively impotent - for a couple of days anyway, before inspiration sprang forth when I was given a copy of the music and played it over a few times. Once I got moving the project evolved quickly.
step 1 - initial design
I made the decision to steer clear of typical heavy metal imagery. I also had the idea to go abstract and to base my images around geometric forms. The reason? None that I can give you, except to say simply that this is what suggested itself to me.
Kicking around ideas and sketching some forms on paper I decided to restrict myself to using only the following shapes to create each picture: one circle (white), two triangles (yellow), three rectangles (red) and two squiggly lines (blue).
Having formed some ideas I drew a rough copy of what each image would look like. Here are the initial designs for the first two tracks, ¿Quién Soy Yo? and Ave Fénix.
Each image was in square format. The geometric design was placed onto a black and white checkerboard pattern, with additional geometric forms around the outside of this checkerboard. The title of each song was made up of letters constructed using the same geometric forms. For ¿Quién Soy Yo?(Who Am I?) I had the idea of a man behind bars, maybe the real bars of a prison or mental bars of his own making. Ave Fénix (Phoenix) was an attempt to represent the mythical phoenix bird using the basic geometry I had restricted myself to.
The design I came up with for the front cover was later used for the back cover and a new image entirely was created for the front without pre-existing as a sketch.
step 2 - the logo
After rejecting a couple of ideas that didn't quite work my solution for the band logo was to depict the letters of the band's name spelled out on the heads of flat head screws. I painted a first design fairly roughly in acrylic paint and this broadly met with the band's approval ...
They weren't happy with the form of the 'M' and requested a change which I went back and made. Having made the changes I photographed the image and ran the jpg through a short series of effects using GIMP until I arrived at something I was happier with.
step 3 - acrylics
Next stage was to paint the images on canvases double the size of the sketched versions. Some alterations were made to the original sketches here as I tossed out things I felt didn't work (for example, I'd experimented using gold for the background but reverted to white). Here are the painted images of tracks number three, Inmortal (Immortal) and four, Aquí Estoy Amigo (Here I am Friend).
A selection of my paintings and photography
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