The man who drove the music
Text Francesco Passanisi
Images Courtesy of Travis Smith
How did you get in touch with art?
Well, i've really been drawing in one form or another since childhood, if that's what you mean. Professionally it started with doing some flyers and a CD here and there for local bands.
How a Travis Smith's Artwork born?
No specific way. I usually have a general idea in my head of what I'd like to see in the end but not always certain of how i'd like to get there, so it starts of with a lot of experimenting with various elements, compositions and proceedures.
You Work in contact with the musician, or prefer to have the total freedom?
I like both. it's nice to have some direction to get a feel for what and how they are seeing things, but it's also nice to have the freedom to explore different things and ways of doing them if different ideas come up that way. Sometimes that could lead to new things that were;t originally thought of but working together also can often serve to make the result even better in the end.
Do you listen to music during your creative process? Maybe the band with whom you're working or just the album to which you are developing the cover?
I do like to often have music going while i'm working, either to put me in the right mood and frame of mind, or even for possible inspiration. The music for the project I'm working on is not always available. In that case I will listen to a band's previous works to the same effect if available. Sometimes not just the same band but similar things too.
Choose three visual artists (painter, photographer exc.) that you love and explain us why:
Dave McKean for his mood and theway he combines photography with painted elements and the way his work looks real and unreal at the same time., Stephen gammel, Ralph Steadman. I love his sketchy chaotic feeling and style and they way he can quickly develop something from nothing.
Do you think that your images would work outside of a booklet or a cover? Have you ever thought about your own personal exhibition in an art gallery, maybe with the simple image without the band logo and the album title?
Yes, I think a lot of them could. Some are done specifically for an album and might be stronger in their respective context, but i think most of the images can stand on their own. I have some that are based on my own ideas but adapted for certain albums that could work well on their own. i've never really considered a gallery or exhibition of album work, but Maybe someday.