“Logic - Under Pressure” - Album Cover illustration for Def Jam Recordings by Sam Spratt
I usually don’t like to give much context or explainer for anything I’m illustrating, but this is an exception. When Logic reached out to have me paint the cover art for his debut album under Def Jam (this is the first of 2 covers) he started by just telling me his story.
He grew up in poverty in a very broken home filled with violence, abuse, drugs, his brother dealt crack to his own father, mother was stabbed, he was kicked out of school, out of the house, all by age 17, and when these systems failed him, he turned to his friend to stay in his basement — with a couple others close to him, he sat down and started to write — to make music. He showed me a few grainy low-res photos which was all he had from this basement — enough to look at and see how the room was laid out, but little else. There just wasn’t any sort of documentation of that specific moment/feeling he had there — which despite everything that had happened prior, was a positive and warm memory. So he explained to me this quiet scene in the basement of him reading his recently written lyrics off his phone while his two friends sat there, listened, and the sun started to go down and bleed through the window. He described some of the things that filled this basement like an old thrift store painting of a car, an ugly yellow moth-eaten sofa, perpetually twisted-up window blinds, a stolen street sign, the colors, the materials of the desk, stereo, and speakers, down to some of the stickers that were pasted over it. And then he asked me to recreate that.
So this album cover was about a month worth of researching, sketching, and painting but not for a glitzy portrait like I assumed I’d be doing as rap album art — instead it was piecing together the mood, color, feeling, action, and setting of a very vivid, fairly unexceptional, yet important memory that a camera just never captured. I’ll have more to share in the near future as to how this was made in-depth, the back cover, and the other album artwork we worked on together, but I thought I’d share a bit about what went into this one. When you hear the album, it’ll make even more sense as it has this amazing narrative throughout the whole thing that we worked hard together to sync up on the art side. If you’ve never listened to Logic, here’s a small taste of what to expect on a couple awesome tracks: HERE
and HERE with Childish Gambino
Sam Spratt is an artistic gem.