Music to our Eyes

Fantastical Digital Artworks Produced for Musicians

Part time-graphic designer and music industry designer Nevan Doyle makes show-stopping digital art work that locates itself somewhere between design, music and film. Nevan was a high-school Instagrammer who decided to have a go at teaching himself design techniques using freely available software like Gimp and Blender.

“A big turning point was the first time someone asked me to make cover art for their EP,” he recalls excitedly. “That was when I realised the potential of what I was doing – I became determined to grow as an artist”. Nevan jumps seamlessly between mash-up techniques and 3D modelling for different projects, but he seems to maintain a sort of other-worldly allure about his pieces.

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Much of that sense of wonder is garnered from his love of films. “I really try and capture that cinematic experience in my pieces,” he explains. “I love the feeling of walking away from a movie and just being totally overcome by the spectacle.” The sci-fi influence is pretty palpable in his work with unsettling images that invoke something inside you. “Good scifi shows huge landscapes and grand scenes yet remains grounded in real human emotion. That’s what I really shoot for in my art.”

Nevan was eager to tell us more about what he does:

The Plus: How did this all begin for you?
Nevan Doyle:
At one point I discovered a series of manipulated Halloween portraits by Ted Craig. I’d seen similar things before, but something in that series inspired me. I felt the urge to create things that would illicit that feeling in people – things that couldn’t exist in reality and would challenge how the viewer sees themselves and their world.

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TP: You do a lot of work for musicians, why is that?
ND:
I’ve always drawn my inspiration from music, which is why working in the music industry suits me well. Every piece I’ve made was while listening to music. When I listen to a song, it’s like I see a scene from a movie that hasn’t be created…a landscape or some sort of imagery. I like to tap into the surreal side and go to wherever the music takes my mind.

TP: How do you put together work for a client?
ND:
When working with a client on album art or merchandise designs, I like to read the lyrics and listen to the music to pull imagery from them and get a feel for the atmosphere of the project. I think it’s important to get on a personal level with the clients I work with so I can understand what they’re looking for and make it a collaborative process. I also play guitar and am in a band, so I think it helps a lot with being able to see both sides of things.

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TP: Who would you love to design an album cover for?
ND:
I have a ton of dream clients. I’d love to work with Alt-J, M83, Glass Animals, Olafur Arnalds, This Will Destroy You, Explosions In The Sky, Typhoon, and many, many more. I think my style could be very well suited to each of these groups in very different ways.

TP: Anything coming up that you’re particularly excited about?
ND:
I have a few potential projects coming up that I’m pretty pumped for. I maybe working with a post-rock band I love which will mark the first time working with a group whose music I know and love before working with them. I also may try and push my portfolio on a few different smaller groups I really enjoy.
Somehow I’ve mostly done stuff more in the metal scene, but I’m excited to break away and work with artists in other genres. (I’m not the biggest metalhead haha) At this point the biggest thing is getting my name out there. I’ve come a long way since I started and am excited to see how much further I go!

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