For the artwork of the new Rivers & Robots album Discovery, the concept was to have a cover which shows the idea of exploring a new realm, and diving into the discovery of the knowledge of God. Originally we tried to do that with photography. Our friend Ryan Pernofski took some incredible photos of a friend diving into water, which we played around with for a couple of concepts but it never quite felt right. (We ended up using this photo on the inside of the packaging instead, as it perfectly captured the lyrical themes on the album).
In the end we decided this concept of having somebody diving into a new realm or surreal world would work better as an illustration, where we could have more freedom to bend the rules and use some more imagination. We also thought it’d be more unique to have an illustration based cover because it’s not something we’ve often seen in the world of christian music.
For a while now we had been following the work of Illustrator Mozza, a Korean-based illustrator who often works in fantasy and imaginative illustrations. We loved his style and decided to reach out to see if he would be interesting in contributing to the album cover.
To our delight, he agreed to come on board with the project and began to send through initial sketches and ideas. He fully grasped the concept and the idea of exploring the unknown and entering into mystery. Our favourite concept was this idea of having somebody floating in an underwater world and looking through this doorway.
After landing on this idea, Mozza then developed the idea into a pencil outline, which was then traced in Photoshop to create the digital artwork. We decided to keep the central doorway as a simple shape with no detail inside so that it made a strong contrast to the detail surrounding it, and also left some mystery to what could be through the doorway / portal.
After the outline was approved, the next stage was adding in colour. We agreed on the more natural colour palette for the man and the city and then opted for going with a bright coloured background to make it stand out.
After approving the yellow, the final cover was done by adding more shading and lighting into the illustration. And we love how the finished product came together!