Category Archives: Artwork

Artwork: Soaking Up the Cover Art


Soak Lucy’s only release on Rachael Records ©1999

In late 1999, the marketing company delved into a new business venture by signing on a band to a distribution deal for their CDs. We had created CD artwork for many releases by this time but none for our own projects. This wasn’t a typical record label deal, but our first outing into creating and producing a new release. The band we started working with was from Tennessee, called Soak Lucy, and had some promise. We did the typical marketing and show promotions as we were putting the release together on our newly created label, Rachael Records.

The first order of business was creation of the logo and cover art for the CD release. With a request for a photo shoot, done by the wife of a band member, and the newly created band mascot, dancing stick man concept of the drummer, we were on our way. After a few designs, the one you see above came to light and was released. The first, and only, run was for a few hundred copies. But, the artwork carried over to many of the show posters and marketing material. Sadly, the band’s many changes in members, along with a change of band name, caused Soak Lucy to slip out of existence and as the client we contracted. The hopes of creating a record label to open doors for new artist went out of existence as well. This was one of the projects I enjoyed as it was building not only graphics, but building a product image and foundation for what we hoped would be a new adventure.

On a personal note, the record label was named after my oldest daughter and I still have a copy of the CD to remember that little dream of creating a venture which, if successful, would be something she could work on with me when she was old enough. There are times that I look back on this and wished that it would have taken off so that I could have shared this with her.

I hope you enjoy a glimpse into my past life as a graphic artist as I revisit the stories behind the art.

Until next time…

© 2010

Related Post: Artwork: A Daughter’s Day; Artwork: The Story of “Night Fears”; The Original Trip;

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Posted by on December 9, 2010 in Artwork, General, Music


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Artwork: A Daughter’s Day


The little moments are what matters. “A Daughter’s Love” ©2010

The image above was part of a post back in October for my daughter’s birthday. The article “A Reason For Hope: To My Daughter” was one of the more personal writings that I have done here. As I watch her grow, my eyes are opened to many new things. She is one of the reasons that I continue to have hope and pay attention to the world around me.

To get the feeling of the article, I looked through many pictures over the years. I reviewed the digital images from her birth to present. The base photo that this image was based on was from a trip to a park we did on Father’s Day  2009. We were walking around the park, looking at different animals and enjoying the bright sunshine. My thoughts were on how amazing it is to be a father and how important it is for these moments to be remembered. Each day is part of the building blocks of a child’s life.

It is these moments that help them to become the person they will become. I remember my childhood moments Like the time my dad helped to rebuild my bike, taking time to paint it and add things, making it new again. I look back on the memory of going to the river, where we climbed the high cliff and slid down the mud slide to the warm water below, knowing he was there to rescue me when I couldn’t swim. I hope that when my daughters look back on their childhood, they have memories that will bring back the importance of family.

The graphic was something of a personal journey for me to create the feeling of that day. The graphical filters, removal of the colors, and the added shading helped to bring the moment back from my memory and to share that with you through the finished project.

I hope you have enjoyed the image and remember moments in your life that mean something important.

Until next time…

© 2010

Related Items: A Reason for Hope: To My Daughter; Will you read to me?;  Fresh Eyes…; Just Another Day

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Posted by on December 7, 2010 in Artwork, Children, Family, Life


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Artwork: The Story of “Night Fears”


What keeps you awake at night? These are my “Night Fears” ©1999 J.Benns

During the period of a commercial sabbatical from creating marketing material for my company in the late nineties, I took a few days to just create artwork for the sake of personal art. As with the image of the original “Trip Through My Mind” shown before, a new, more personal piece started to come to life on my screen. Through its creation, primal emotions and fears surfaced. The dark over-tones of the image that emerged struck me personally with its honest exposure of my inner turmoil. In the late nights of working on the project, “Night Fears” was born.

“Night Fears” started to out with me playing with different imaging techniques to try to find new ideas for my other contracted pieces. The best way to develop techniques was always to playing around with the different layers and styles. I started playing with scanned images and previous taken photographs. What developed was more of myself than I thought possible.

The idea of the piece is the things that kept me up at night. The fears in the dark hours when others were sleeping, I was worrying on things beyond my control. Money, home/family, time, and the looming presence of my own mortality overshadow the night.

Fear was a constant presence in my life at the time this piece was created. As time passed, I grew more accepting of this emotional strife. I still worry about each of these and many more things but unlike those late nights, they no longer control me. I hope you enjoy “Night Fears”. What are you fears?

Until next time…

© 2010

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Posted by on December 2, 2010 in Artwork, General


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The Original Trip

The Original "Trip Through My Mind"

The Original "Trip Through My Mind" © 1999 J.Benns

It was back in the late nineties; I was owner of a moderately successful marketing and event coordinating company.  I collided head on into what could only be described as graphic artist burnout. All of the work I designed started to look like a lazy replication of the previous job. The long hours and tight deadlines caused the work to lose the feeling and passion that they once held. In an attempt to locate my creative spark, I closed down the office for a few days and created artwork that was not intended for commercial gain; it was artwork solely for the purpose of creativity and personal inspiration. The original trip through my mind was born.

The piece started out with no real concept or end result. I built upon images taken on a recent trip to Chicago. One of the components was the silhouettes of Chicago from the marina, with its towering buildings cast in the dim light of the early evening. The sky was clear that day and the colors didn’t quite seem to fit with the images in my head. Once the sky was created, the background was set.

Layer upon layer fell into place as I delved into the images racing through my mind. A trip of discovery and personal search unfolded over the next twelve hours. In the end, the piece reflected my mental exploration. It began the concept that would later be known as my “Trip Through My Mind”. I hope you enjoy.

Until next time…

© 2010


Posted by on November 30, 2010 in Artwork, General


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