…From the Flat File: 2003 – Aquarium

Ten years ago my good friend and composer Nicholas Lawrence asked me to design a CD for him that was to feature his original compositions inspired by his love for sea life. Titled Aquarium, the concept lent itself to fun graphic possibilities, so I accepted!

I first met Nick when he was just a student in the film music program at the University of Southern California (USC) where some of his professors were Elmer Bernstein, Leonard Rosenman, David Raksin, Jerry Goldsmith and Christopher Young. He and I both attended the same church, and with his interest in composition and my love for film music, we had an instant common ground. Friendship had to ensue.

While I am an illustrator first, it seemed that Nick’s new concept album should be given a stripped-down minimal graphic treatment to the art. He performed his music for the album on electronic instruments in what could be considered a New Age instrumental style. So, using my illustration abilities, the cover art was created completely as a gouache painting just hinting at the variety of sea life the music evoked.

Nicholas Lawrence - Aquarium
This is the front cover of Nick’s CD called “Aquarium” (in case you couldn’t tell).


For the rest of the album design, I dusted off my old college graphic design training and played around with hand drawn art and digital type composited with Photoshop. Here is a sampling of what the CD itself looked like.


Nicholas Lawrence CD
This is the design of Nicholas Lawrence’s actual CD.


If you’d like to see the rest of the album art, and would like to hear Nick’s music, CD Baby is offering the CD for the low price of $4.99 right now. CLICK HERE to listen to free samples and to order your very own copy. This is the only CD art I’ve done for a commercially available item – unique in my artography!