I’ve made hundreds of postcards, posters, and flyers for art exhibits, theatrical events, and concerts. It’s fun work compared to the emotional labor that creating art can sometimes be. For a couple of years I operated onewordlong as a boutique audio label. I designed some album packaging for the releases, with help from the individual project’s creators (I really should get around to reposting those recordings here).

The Invisible Teal’s “Debt & Quandaries” though, is the first time I stepped up to create art for someone else’s project. I’ve known Todd Hoover for more than a decade, and have watched his music, and his person, evolve a lot.

I got to listen to a rough version of the album, and felt like there was a lot of self-reflection and growth expressed in the songs. The image of a person looking out a window thinking about life occurred to me, so I decided to use “windows” as a jumping off point for my collage.

I visited with Todd a couple times, and he let me take photos of him, his workspace, as well as items from his creative archive. I included as many of those images as I could in an effort to make it feel ‘of him’. A number of Todd’s friends donated pictures for the album art, which I included in the final piece. One of my last ideas  was was to have Todd write all the liner notes freehand rather than use a readymade font, a touch I really like.

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Todd was great about giving me all the time I needed,  I moved while working on the art, and lost a month to that. I was able to let the ideas sit in the back of my mind, come back and make them clearer and stronger. He let me experiment and go wild, I wasn’t expecting the amount of freedom he gave me. That was intimidating, but I appreciate his confidence.

Here’s the final product (digital version)…

Debt & Quandaries, by The Invisible Teal / Todd Hoover

It’s very busy compared to most of my collage work, and should give fans a lot to look at as they enjoy listening to the album. Now that it’s done I’ll need some time to step back and consider how I feel about how it all came together. Most important, Todd is happy and The Invisible Teal are getting good response to the album, that’s the measure that really counts.