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Paul Whitehead

Genesis & Record Covers

QUESTIONS? by Paul Whitehead

As a visual artist my most fulfilling projects have always been the ones when I get to collaborate with a group of musicians to produce their record or CD cover.

Genesis in particular challenged me and in turn excited me to dig deep into my creative resources and come up with an appropriate design that complimented their music. A lot of musicians do not have a very strong visual language and it is very often my “job” to introduce them to the world of visual arts and all that is possible pictorially to illustrate their music. I usually meet the band, listen to their music digest their lyrics and I talk to them about the deeper meaning behind their music, ask them if the band has an identity - beyond their publicity photos - and if they need a logo - I can design that for them also.

My goal is to finish up with a design that so collaborative that all the band members feel as if that they designed it themselves. Of course these days the package is half as big as it used to be in the days of LP covers, but the challenge is still the same. To create a catching and provocative image that reflects and enhances the music inside the package.

Very often a band will commission me to create an original painting and other times we find that I already have a suitable image in my archive of paintings and they can license it from me, which is a lot less expensive than the creation of an original! I have been painting seriously now for over 40 yrs and I have found that very often subjects that I make paintings about are often the same subject that musicians are writing songs about; we seem to tap into a common artistic zeitgeist.

Paul Whitehead

Genesis were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. Click here to watch the presentaton.


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