Discover the story behind this band poster's enchanting illustration

For his band poster, designer and illustrator Adam Hill sought inspiration in dark nights and mystic rituals.

When he was invited to contribute to an unusual exhibition that combined his two passions, illustrator and musician Adam Hill found himself conjuring up strange lights and mysterious rituals to capture the mood of psych rock band The Very Wicked.

Tell us a little bit about this project…

It's for a band called The Very Wicked, created for a special exhibition. The organisers paired a band with an artist who would use the music as a brief to create a poster. Every poster purchased came with a download key enabling the buyer to obtain one song from each of the bands exhibited. It was a great way of giving bands more exposure as well as creating a richer experience for the person buying the poster.

What was your inspiration?

The music is always an initial inspiration for me. After that, it's about finding a story to tell. I wanted it to feel like you were being summoned towards the poster, with the figures being drawn to this otherworldly light. It was coming to the end of winter and I was working at night which I guess is reflected in the work.

How did you go about capturing the vibe of the band?

The Very Wicked have a psychedelic, garage sound with darker undertones which I personally enjoy and relate to. The performance of music is almost ritualistic, and I wanted to depict these characters as if they were playing to summon all the creatures of the forest, and as if they were fuelling this mysterious light.

How did you create it?

I started with a pencil sketch to decide on the general composition, I then worked over that in Illustrator and then finished the texturing and lighting in Photoshop.

What's the most unusual thing ever to have inspired a piece of work?

We come up with a lot of bad puns in the studio, they tend to lead to some pretty interesting ideas. I was once inspired by doing a crossword puzzle. That idea came out of nowhere.

This article originally appeared in Computer Arts issue 225.