Saturday, April 24, 2010

Succulent Saturday - Vintage Influences

On one of my illustration mail lists we've been discussing what early SciFi/Fantasy covers had an influence on us....

My earliest influences were more fairy-tale than scifi. And at least in part, because of the compelling illustrations I read the magical texts that accompanied them. A delightful self-reinforcing circle - the pictures informed the words and the words reinforced the imagery. They are near-inseparable to me.

When I was not much older, I started into more complex scifi/fantasy fare - I read Tolkien in grade school and was absolutely mesmerized. My parents had this Maxfield Parrish book - which I looked at over and over again for years (I still have it).  Next for me was CS Lewis, Bradbury and Asimov.

Visually however, the more I think about it, by Junior High and on I may have been more influenced by record album covers than books even. We had a lovely pile of psychedelic Moody Blues records that got lots of eyeball time from me!

So to celebrate my earliest LP-cover-love, I give you this montage of some of my favorites (the Moody Blues were my parents, these were mine!...) Some I bought just for the covers - I didn't really enjoy listening to Molly Hatchet -but they had the best record sleeves! I kept The Steve Miller Band 'Pegasus' album cover for years - long after I'd thrown out the actual record..

So what were your earliest visual influence?


Anonymous said...

Arthur Rackham!
And when it comes to record sleeves,Santana's "Abraxas" still grabs me.
But, if I'm honest, it was the early sc-fi covers that put me off reading sci-fi!

Anonymous said...

Moody Blues definitely! I'd illustrate the lyrics and my school friends would buy them. I'm not one for Molly Hatchette either or the Grateful Dead, but the art on the covers of the albums really was quite wonderful.ELO was big on my list too. I could go on and on and on, so I'd better stop now!

Hayden said...

that's just fascinating - and demonstrates to me (AGAIN) how visual I am NOT. I can't remember looking at picture books when I was growing up, or paying much attention to record covers. I read constantly - as much as a book a day over the course of several years during elementary - but it was words, words, words that gripped me.

It's probably why drawing has always been a struggle for me. I don't "see" things so I don't remember -

The Art of Kim Kincaid said...

Oh man, Tara...these take me back. Love the top three illustrations.
I would have to say 2001 Space Odyssey's cover influenced me alot.

Wendy Wright said...

Awwhhh I am a big fan of some of these album covers too....just awesome! :) Love all the Boston covers and that Styx Grand Illusion is just the coolest. I was also a fan of some early Journey covers too. :)

Anonymous said...

I miss album art!