Destined for Death (Metal)

I can finally reveal the cover I illustrated for Dauthuz‘ first full-length album — in all its original black-and-white glory and goriness.
Dauthuz, skull, tshirt, album cover, death metal, old school

Mind you, this version — the one I prefer and give you here — differs signifcantly from the definitive cover art, as can be seen on their website.

I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus. The band couldn’t get behind the design as originally intended by me, and so they had some changes made (by someone else than me). I don’t like it — but there’s no pleasing everyone, and that’s just the way is. So I’m not going to complain or throw a fit. But I do feel a need to explain what I feel has gotten lost in the final design.

For starters, gone now is the simple triangular composition, and with it the tight negative space surrounding the skull and corpses; gone now the eye in the right socket, and with it a centrifugal focal point. On that last note, the focal potential of the center skull is even further undermined by the bright candy red color scheme of the background — an area that due to its radiance, now “pops” to the foreground.

And it’s not just the layout that took a hit. Subtle references to some of my favorite artists and bands are no longer there anymore. Take the eye, for instance. It was meant to be a design nod to Mark Riddick, one of the industry’s greats, whose work has been of great influence to me. Now it’s just a gaping hole, void of any reference.

Oh well, it is as it is. But it does make me think about how I want to go about things in the future. And, well, I still got a solid portfolio piece out of it, which also counts for something.

The album titled by the way, Destined by Death will be out in November.

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Dauthuz

If you follow my work, you know I’ve been working on some album art and another tee design for Dauthuz. There’s not really that much to say except that things have been progressing well but slowly because I was caught up in “exam hell” with little time for drawing. To clarify, I’ve been taking a course in Norwegian at the Bergen University, and it’s something I take very seriously. So, yeah, now you know it all.

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Well, perhaps there is more to be said there.

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As much as I like my previous and first tee design for Dauthuz — something always felt off about those damned skulls. Specifically, the texture of the skulls wasn’t — isn’t boney enough, so this time around I’m trying to, at least, get that right.

I mean, sure, the nasal bone looks okay enough, but the maxilla and the upper dental arches are pure amateur hour.

6 Months Later …

It’s become somewhat of a joke — every new blog entry opening with the following words: “It has been six months since I posted my last,”  but what can I say? I’m not much of a blogger. At best, I’m a seasonal one, but probably not even that. But hey, at least this way, when I blog, you can bet I’ve got something to say. And boy, do I have some news to tell you! I’m talking N-E-W-S News here! Plural! That’s right. So keep reading.

Let’s start with the big news. About four months ago, I migrated to Norway because my better half was made a job offer she couldn’t refuse even though it meant — well, moving to Norway. As you can imagine, it has been a bit of a busy and hectic time. Funnily enough, me emigrating was, paradoxically, also a bit of a non-event, not least because, for the first two months, I had to do without my computer and drawing gear and, of course, I also had to settle in from scratch. So, in a way, my social and creative life came to a halt.

Well, I’m all settled in now — my computer is at my place in the picturesque city of Bergen, I got my music, and my new friends. I got everything I need to get shit done … and, nope, there’s no “buts.” I’ve been churning out cartoons and other illustrative work at a steady pace. Let me show you some stuff.

  • Sint is Dead

I drew this cartoon in reaction to the ongoing “Black Pete” debate in the Netherlands in which one gets labeled a racist no matter what one says or thinks about the Dutch Sinterklaas celebration.

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  • The Teddy Project

I’ve been doing some character designs and model sheets for some guys at the Bergen University who are working on their first indie game.

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  • The Grand Gnome

I don’t know why, but for some reason, I have a fondness for gnomes. Perhaps it is because, as a child and youth, I spent many enjoyable hours drooling over the gnome illustrations of Rien Poortvliet and watching the televised adventures of David the Gnome.

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  • Dauthuz

Currently I’m working on some album and T-shirt designs for everyone’s favorite Death Metal band, Dauthuz.

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There, now you’re all to speed on what I’ve been doing lately.

Dauthuz: T-Shirt Design

Some of you may have seen the final t-shirt design* already. Some of you who have not seen it should see it, especially if you play in a band. Maybe some who have seen it should see it again.

Dauthuz T-Shirt

It’s been a long time dream come true. Over the years I’ve scratched off a few things of my “bucket list” — I’ve designed logos for some cool bands and I’ve even done some album art… but until now I had never designed a t-shirt. So yeah, it’s been great to work on this one, since it also features in a logo designed by me.

As to the design itself, there’s not much to add. Dauthuz is an old-school Death Metal band. And nothing says “old-school Death Metal” more than a pair of — not really anatomically correct — skulls.

Now, if you’re in a Death Metal band and need some artwork for your album or whatever, feel free to contact me and we will work something out.

*) Soon you can order my t-shirt through their webstore for measly ten euros!