Of all the Illustrator artwork I’ve done over the years, this cover for new band Night Surgeon proved to be so intense and complicated that I had to go out and buy a new PC (each brick in the left wall has between 3-6 different layers and the RoBoHo took almost a week to complete). While the story concerns the antics of Britain’s most famous serial killer, Jack the Ripper’s shadow is the only evidence of his presence in the scene.
I was heavily influenced by my research into the crimes of Jack the Ripper and spent hours poring over some of the lurid lithographs of the period, trying to somehow convey the flickering effect of old gas lamps on foreground and background shadows. In addition to the lithographic research, I sourced early Kasimir Malevitch‘s paintings of farm workers etc. to convey the stiffness in the coats and uniforms worn by policemen of the period.
Of all the work I’ve done so far with Illustrator, this piece has had the steepest learning curve of the lot and the compunction to continue layering was hard to resist. In recent years, I’ve endeavored to minimalise my style to such an extent that I’d forgotten the power of detailing in telling a story. These new skills, plus the power of the new PC, will enable me to generate a more in-depth dimension to my work in the future.
More information about the new release and the band here