IOANNIS - More Than Meets The I Page 4
by Martin Popoff

You like color...

"Yes, I think, people say... the name of the agency, literally is Vivid, just like the artwork. It seems like really strong colourful imagery has been our trademark, no matter who we are working for, whatever type of band. You know, Roger Dean was obviously who I idolized as far as the traditional painting stuff goes, as opposed to Derek Riggs or the other guys, that made a name for themselves, Rodney Matthews for example. But the guys that I admired wholeheartedly, how they handled album cover design, who I was really huge fan of, was Hipnosis. And I think there is a lot of Hipnosis and Storm Thorgerson that has seeped into the way I approach things. Especially a cover I did for a prog metal band called The Flower Kings. As a matter of fact, a bunch of people wrote me from Holland saying, gee, we haven't seen a cover like this since the old Hipnosis days, which are our favourite covers. And I took that as a massive complement. So I'd say my style is a combination of painting and digital stuff."

Now, do you ever get criticism for going digital, as opposed to traditional, i.e. people saying that is actually looks digital?

"Being honest, the bottom-line is - and I have no disillusionment about this, working in the industry - that as much as the fans themselves analyze everything about a band that they love, or the artwork that they love, they treat it as such. But the people in the industry just treat it as another business transaction. So I learned not to take things too personally. I realized that there is no such thing as really great art or bad art, especially when it comes to dealing with clients. It really just comes down to: does it work for the client? You can come up with the most gorgeous, the most brilliant, most beautiful package, a painting, or piece of artwork, and show it to the client, and if he doesn't feel that it hits the theme of who they are and what they're about, then it doesn't really matter. And then on the other hand, there is a piece of art, and you look at it, and you go, what the hell is that? But it works, it really works for the identity of the band and what they are. That's pretty much it. So I'm not personally worried about that. For me, on the end result, on that part of it, if I do something digital, there's really no "one." There's no original source per se. In other words, if a collector wants to buy "the one," there is no such thing. So there's definitely loss of income there."

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