Underlapper – Drinking Dust Artwork

Underlapper – Drinking Dust Artwork

Greg from Underlapper asked me to put together some artwork for their forthcoming single, Drinking Dust. The track will be released as a free download, along with remixes by Cleptoclectics and Vorad Fils very soon, so I needed to turn something around quite quickly.

Fortunately, I had been speaking to Julapy about the delaunay triangulation he used in his/Gentleforce’s app, Horizons, recently. Along with a photo I had been wanting to use from last year’s Sydney Biennale, I had a good start already.

An Apparition of a Subtraction (2010), Mikala Dwyer.

As much as I’ve tried in the past, Jitter really doesn’t lend itself to creating complex shapes (at least by design). So I set off at OpenProcessing, and immediately found an excellent sketch by Kyle Macquarie which creates a delaunay/voronoi mesh around typefaces. Though I spent some time playing with the sketch, it was one of those fortuitous moments that I simply stumbled across something which already did the job perfectly.

The text 'underlapper', rendered with Processing Mesh Typography sketch.

The abstraction and swirling colours of my photo were something I wanted to play with, rather than the entire image. The first couple of iterations were based in geometric shapes…

A simple circle.
A slightly less simple circle.

The clean geometry wasn’t really working for me against the mess of lines, so I decided something more textured would be a better approach. Although I was still liking the ‘porthole’ metaphor: looking through the image to see something else behind, it was more a feeling of decay that I was after.

A quick trip to CG Textures later, this was the result…

Draft version of 'Drinking Dust' artwork.

Though it’s not quite finished, it does capture the tone that I was after: Underlapper’s music is heavily layered and often the vocals are washed in reverb, like a dream or a memory. The colours and textured look of the above version reminds me of images from my youth, whether they be real or remembered.

I must say, after spending a lot of my break working on commercial design, it’s nice to have the freedom of a totally open brief – I’ll post back with final images once I’ve played some more.

Update: Here’s the completed artwork, along with single (and remixes) now available for free download. Get on it.

Final artwork for the 'Drinking Dust' single.

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