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Behind the Design - Midnight River Crew - Mistress in the House of Life

I owe Mark of Midnight River Crew quite a debt, truth be told. I worked with him on one of my earlier jobs, and his enthusiasm to see me also work on a physical artwork design for his album Scirocco pushed my then-level of expertise to new grounds.


When he later approached me to work on additional pieces of artwork I was absolutely on board, and today I want to share a look at Mistress in the House of Life. This song was, by Mark's own words, unlike anything he had written previously, achieving a grand cinematic feeling.


The artwork had to reflect this, naturally. And so I went plumbing the depths of stock sites such as Pexels, Pixabay, for stock that could be combined for a suitably grandiose look. Below is the compilation of stock images that I used on the project. Some were added later after a round of feedback in terms of what we felt was missing from the composition.

The first pass was strong, and I remember one of my main personal ambitions before presenting it to Mark was that the rock our woman was going to be sat/posed upon should not look like it is absolutely covered in bird shit. Wherever this photographer and dabber were, it was clearly the place to be if you were avian and needed to drop a deuce. I edited out as much of it as was seemly, and that which wouldn't be covered by the woman.


The roses were placed in her hand and hair to create an added delicate air around the song's character, and with the channel of light streaming down from the heavens, achieved the aim well.

The areas that then needed addressing were in adding more power to her. She needed to exude more energy akin to a queen of ancient times. This was addressed by the addition of a long dagger for the strength symbology, and adding a few touches of makeup that one might've seen similar to on say an Egyptian queen. Granted I'm no ancient historian so it was led by freehand imagination more than in-depth knowledge!


The other task was to remove the more standout aspects of modern clothing - namely the zip and the metal snap-buttons.

You can find Midnight River Crew on Instagram, and you can listen to the EP right here on Spotify:

If you're looking for a cover art designer, my services are available and you can get in touch with me directly on my website or my own Instagram at JBCoverArt.

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