Graphic designer Roberta Landreth’s creative partnership with singer-songwriter Steve Bell has helped her carve out a niche among Canadian artists.
And his work with the Christian folk musician earned him a Juno nomination – for the second time.
“I think I have over 150 albums now, and Steve Bell’s two albums have gotten this incredible recognition,” she said in an interview with CBC Manitoba show host Marcy Markusa. news radio.
She attributes her success with Bell to two things.
“First of all, Steve is an amazing writer,” she said.
“His work is full of metaphors and symbols, so for me it makes my job really easy to create visual metaphors, because the writing is so rich.”
Second, Landreth says Bell gives him great freedom to work with different materials and techniques to create his visual representations of his music, such as the use of die-cuts and foil.
“He kind of lets me go wild creatively,” she said.
Landreth first came to Bell’s attention when the first album cover she created, for her husband’s band, the Bros. Landreth, was nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award.
Bell wanted Landreth to create the artwork for his 25th anniversary retrospective album, Pilgrimagewhich Landreth describes as “daunting” and “incredibly ambitious”, especially for the second such project in his career.
The result was a win for Album Art of the Year at the 2015 Juno Awards, and it launched Landreth’s career as a freelance album art artist.
“I would say about 70% of my work is music related, and there are a few others in the country who specialize in album covers, festivals and all that,” including Michael Wrycraft in Toronto , Jydd Haynes in St. John’s, NL , and design studio Feisty Creative in British Columbia.
When they started working together on Bell’s latest album, Wouldn’t you like to knowher father had just passed away and Landreth was in the third trimester of pregnancy.
“So there was this dichotomy in our lives that was happening, and this album ended up being all about that dichotomy,” she said.
The album’s lyrics explore knowing, either with the head or the heart, and the cover shows a keyhole, which Landreth says represents the wonder of a child gazing through a portal into a new world. environment.
Each song forms the basis of a chapter in an accompanying book written by Bell, which Landreth also designed.
She hopes a win will bring more attention to Bell’s work.
“His album is so beautiful, and the book he wrote to go with it is so wonderful, so I want to tell everyone about it.”
The 2022 Juno Awards ceremony in Toronto will take place on Sunday starting at 7:00 p.m. PT.