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For my final university project, I decided to undertake one 12-week project in which I aimed to illustrate a full song as a graphic narrative, and package it as part of an album anniversary reissue on vinyl and CD. I chose to focus on hip hop music due to my exploration of the genre in my dissertation, choosing the title track from the visually inclined album 'Liquid Swords,' which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2020.

I was very pleased with the final outcome of this project, feeling that I successfully translated my chosen song into a powerful graphic narrative, achieving my aim of visually capturing the energy of music and exploring themes surrounding this particular song and the genre of hip hop. Using photoshop I produced mock-ups detailing how the product would appear to a consumer, with the example below showing a key moment in the narrative.

In developing this narrative and using it in the packaging for the album, I felt that I successfully created a reissue that would stand out to a consumer, elevating their experience of the album. I also felt that in providing a unique visual interpretation of the songs subject this product would be intriguing to long-time fans, acting as an incentive to revisit the album and celebrate its 25th anniversary.

The graphic narrative would be bound inside the gatefold sleeve, as shown in the images below. Packaging the records themselves alongside the graphic novel cements the link between the music and the narrative, encouraging their simultaneous use. This improves the overall experience for the consumer and creates a more cohesive and convincing product.



Narrative inside of gatefold

Narrative inside of gatefold

Character Development

Storyboarding Process

Narrative Artwork

This narrative focused on the theme of using music as a mental weapon to fight against a negative mind state and oppressive surroundings. I developed characters and visual styles around these themes, aiming to create a narrative that was visually engaging and powerful.

The majority of the time spent on my final outcome consisted of producing the artwork for the graphic narrative. I produced each panel physically at A3 scale, largely using acrylic paint and inks. I then digitized each individual panel, editing and improving the colours and overall image quality in photoshop. I then laid out each page in InDesign, ready to be physically printed.


Each page of the narrative is shown below:

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