Here is the front and the back of an album cover that I illustrated and designed, for Dame Judi Dench’s album, Exits and Entrances. It is an album of Shakespeare sonnets narrated by Dame Judi , David Suchet and others, accompanied by classical music, some of it composed originally for the album. I worked closely with the record producer, and it was really his vision that I executed. He wanted the album cover to be light hearted, quirky, whimsical and a bit tongue in cheek. His sources of inspiration were Monty Python artwork, and art work from some of the later Beatles album covers such as Sgt Peppers Lonely Heart Club and The Yellow Submarine. He had the idea of the actors sitting on the stage, with red curtains, but he wanted their heads photographic and their bodies drawn. We decided to do the rest of the illustration in a photo real style. I came up with the idea of having the Exit sign and the Entrance sign….. First of all I drafted up a pencil sketch of the idea….. then once it was agreed upon, I started illustrating the whole thing. I drew all of the background first , and did the bodies and the costumes last….. We then did an empty stage for the back of the CD cover. I drew the costumes twice, because I wasn’t happy with the costumes the first time around. The costumes were taken from Shakespeare plays, Richard the Third for David Suchet, and Titania for Dame Judi Dench. Actually, while I was google imaging the costumes, a picture came up of a very young Dame Judi, playing Titania…… ironic !!! At first the curtains were done purple, but then we changed our minds afterwards and changed them to the deep red that is the more classical colour for theatre curtains. It took a couple of weeks to actually illustrate the front and back, but we were going back and forth on the phone and the e mail for about a month….. Then it was time for the artwork to be sent to a design studio, who designed the whole CD booklet, and inserted the artwork into the booklet….. I must say, they did a fantastic job preserving all the colours and details….. Here is the finished result for you to have a look at – enjoy…..