I recently had the pleasure of working with Molly on an EP cover after following a recommendation from fellow producer and recent bass collaborator, Chompa. I reviewed a few artists’ works that were actually really, really good, but when I saw Molly‘s work, I was hooked on first glance.
Every album cover on Molly’s instagram page was a window into another planet, time or dimension. It immediately conjured mental images of Ray Bradbury novels, or the Twilight Zone, of the work of Edward Hopper, or Edvard Munch. It was absolutely captivating, and her photo-manipulation and color technique was not like the usual “future bass” psychedelic artists or run of the mill EDM cover artist. No mandala-esque designs or robo-futuristic steel fonts and purple shiny geometric logos. Just moving, impactful, other-worldly art with a psychologically evocative edge that transcends the album cover milieu.
Not only talented, but she easy going & friendly while at the same time, completely professional. Her turnaround time was exactly what she stated, she was communicative and open to critique, and was all about the music first. An astonishing combination in today’s over-saturated EDM environment. Needless to say I went with her, and I think you should too.
I had a chat with her about her work recently and asked her to share her process and thoughts with All the Machines, and being an ex-blogger for Afromonk.com, she had no trouble expressing herself in writing for us.
El Diablo: Tell me about your process:
Molly Brooks: When doing release art, I start by rinsing the hell out of the music. I’ll straight up listen to it anywhere from 5-10 times right off the bat . First run through it, I start to envision an overall vibe that will go on to dictate the development of the piece.This is usually when I’ll choose a color scheme or the main object or focal point I want to use.
If I’m not provided the music, which happens more frequently than I’d like, I’ll go through the artists soundcloud and social media pages to try to pick up a feel for their established branding and sound and then work from there. At that point, I just kind of go for it.
I’ll experiment with a bunch of different things until I find something that sticks and that I feel visually represents the music. And then I start to frantically hope that the artist is going to like it too.
ED: What are your influences and are they from this world?
MB: Well this is kind of a given, but definitely music. I love visual art but music is easily the most important thing in my life. Electronic music is my heart and soul and I got into art and graphic design through music and the music scene.
Aside from that, Science Fiction and Fantasy are both hugely influential on not just my art but my being, especially the aesthetic of retro sci fi/fantasy films and old book covers.
And of course, heavily influenced by the natural world around me. This planet is so insanely beautiful and fascinating, how could you not be constantly inspired by it?
ED: Which artists have you enjoyed working with the most? (besides me, of course)
MB: This isn’t necessarily an artist, but I do a ton of flyer work for electronic music events and over the last year I have worked very closely with a Seattle based production company called Tom Kha.
Doing flyers for them is a whole different ball game than any other flyer work I’ve done, as I create a full piece of art for each show. They’ve been extremely supportive of my career and very easy to work with and give me a lot more creative freedom than most clients.
For the most part though, I’ve been lucky enough to only have a few negative experiences in regards to clients. I love getting to work with people numerous times cause I feel like we build a repertoire and I know what they’re looking for and they know what I’m capable of (s/o to Kozmo & Profresher for hiring me a bunch of times).
It’s also really epic to get to do work for artists that I listen to regularly and am a genuine fan of. That shit gets me so giddy.
ED: What else have you been getting giddy about lately?
MB: I’ve been in the process of attempting to start a clothing line for seriously months now and getting into doing more fashion related work in general. I have a folder of like 15 half finished designs for clothes, fashion graphics, patterns, & textiles that I need to prioritize way more in my work life and materialize into reality.
I’m also really excited to start spending a lot more time working with 3D rendering, video production, and animation.
ED: I can’t wait.