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the Smoking Flowers

Update:

Well, I finished and screenprinted this one a while back, but just noticed that the pictures I had inserted in my orginal post were cut off due to some kind of formatting error on my part, so I'll try again to post them now

Here's the rough sketch I ended up with after sketching out several different compositions:

I struggled for a bit trying to figure out how to work in the blank space for the "write-in" gig info, and after deciding to stick these birds into a cityscape, I ended up with the idea of having them perched on a clothesline stretched between two buildings.

Here's the final design:

Here's a pretty bad photo of the 3-color screenprint.  The colors weren't quite as off as they appear in the photo,but the blue was a little more vibrant than I had wanted it.  I definitely made a few beginner mistakes, like using metallic gold with pretty tight halftones, but I ended up learning a lot and the band was happy with it:

Hi There!

I know I'm very late to this party, but if there's anybody still out there, I'd very much appreciate getting some fresh eyes on this and some advice/feedback to help me polish it up before printing.

Project

This will be a blank tour poster for The Smoking Flowers, a husband/wife duo out of Nashville who are friends of mine.  I've done some album artwork for them in the past, and they've asked me to design and print a poster for them.  The added challenge here is that rather than being for a specific gig, they want a " tour blank" poster with an empty space for them to write in the gig info for various shows and I want to be sure to have that area work with the composition and not just look like an incomplete design.

They've given me complete freedom to come up with my own concept that fits their sound and identity.  They describe themselves as a combination of rock, blues, and country with a Southern Gothic folk flavor and a punk attitude.  If your interested here is a link to their website:

http://www.thesmokingflowers.com/index.html

and here is some of the artwork I've done for them before, which they seemed really happy with:

front cover of their debut album:

cover art for Nashville band the Smoking FLowers' debut album, "Sweet as Port"

border illustration for the back of their second album:

border design for The Smoking Flowers' upcoming LP "Two Guns"

For this project, I want to go with a hand illustrated look that evokes their rootsy, and eclectic sound.  I want to keep the color palette very minimal or monochromatic, preferably no more than 3 colors.  I also want the name of the band to be hand lettered and a prominent part of the design.  I want to go for kind of a rustic, handcrafted, vintage feel and avoid obvious imagery...no smoke and/or flowers.

One prominent element of their sound is two-part harmony and they recently released a video for one of their new songs which played off the themes of the duality: light/dark, male/female, day/night, yin/yang, so when I started brainstorming I initially the idea of portraying a raven and a dove as mirror images of each other in a kind of ornate, victorian cage with the gate open but after sketching it out a few times, I couldn't get it to work as a composition.  Eventually I stumbled across this old japanese matchbook of two birds sharing an umbrella and decided that it would make a much better scene for my raven and dove:

http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/18qlf326wyassjpg/ku-xlarge.jpg

I started to like the idea of the dark side being kind of protective of the light :

Here are some of the initial sketches:

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