Interview with designer Chris Slabber (CS), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design We Set Sail Album Art.

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Interview with Chris Slabber at Thursday 23rd of April 2015: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
CS : I wanted too show how the music can help a person transcend into a more spiritual dimension.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
CS : I always try to make my work seem "believable". I want the viewer too actually think that what they are seeing is real.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
CS : The client has just started their tour of South Africa and will be touring Europe later in 2015. I would just like too get the album in as much people's hands as possible. Its always rewarding when your art work get distributed across the world.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
CS : All in all it took around a month from start to finish.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
CS : It was a mutual decision between me and the client.

DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
CS : The work is being produced by the client (We Set Sail) and will be distributed world wide.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
CS : After hearing the music for the first time I knew I wanted too make use of a dancer as a main subject. At the same time I wanted to reinvent the concept since it has been done many times before thus adding the spirit animals.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
CS : I found a few shots of dancers and powder paint online, but they were mostly for reference when it came to lighting for the studio shoot. I had a clear vision of what I wanted to achieve.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
CS : Since the music is very universal I'd say that anyone who enjoys rock, classical, electronic and experimental music.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
CS : All the other references similar to this were all just the plain photographs of dancers being thrown with powder paint. I took it that step further of actually bringing the cloud of paint to life by giving it its own animal persona.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
CS : The name is the Album title called Animal. So I had to interpret the music into the name.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
CS : I made use of a photography studio along with photographer Dirk Steenkamp. Afterwards all the post editing was done using Adobe Photoshop.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
CS : I think since the music is instrumental, the artwork actually completes the listener's experience. While he/she listens to the music they can loose themselves within the artwork.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
CS : I collaborated with photographer Dirk Steenkamp.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
CS : I played a huge role. Without it none of this would've been possible.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
CS : The research was very much based on emotional research. I had to experiment with a few possible execution methods in order to find the one that would best translate the music into visual form.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
CS : With the photo shoot we had to leave a lot to chance. Once the model threw the paint we had no control, so we never knew what we were getting. The in the post process I had to find the animal faces in the paint clouds before I could bring them forward.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
CS : After winning platinum in 2014 I had such an amazing time visiting the gala evening. I met so many amazing people and learned so much, I figured it can't hurt to go for it again in 2015.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
CS : As always after an intense project I learned that there is always a creative solution.

DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
CS : I'll be back...