I've been thinking and constantly trying to make this album real for around 8 years. We've been recording some songs more than several times, with various musicians, but we haven't managed to finish the album until the perfect team of musicians gathered up and made it happen in 2017. Along the actual music, many artwork ideas crossed my mind. "The Life" album itself is a story about emotional, mental and spiritual creation and destruction.

One day, right before mastering the album, I was walking around my house, and one of my mom's paintings caught my eyes' attention...

 

It's about one thing breaking up to form totally another thing - a metamorphosis of a sort. So, that's the theme I've been looking for in artwork. There were so many directions to take I got really buffled about what to do with it.

My late mother, Branka, was an exceptional painter. She mastered painting in many techniques - graphite on paper, watercolor, oil on wood - which she made early in her painting endeavors, and oil on canvas - which she used for most of her creations. She also mastered painting extraordinary diverse themes and had so many ideas which seemed to be out of this world. Just from out of her head she could make a painting which would take to that place, when she did nature. Waterfalls, lakes, birches, mountains and meadows were her favorite themes, as she grew up on a village and carried those moments in her heart all the time. She could also make a wonderful and convincing portraits. I still remember people coming to our house and hiring her to do a portrait of their kids, or just married couples, or sometimes elders. Animals were also her inspiration, as she's been a huge lover of them. 

Then came her most inner givings of art - abstract paintings with realistic moments. Those paintings are something really personal and exceptional. I know it because she wouldn't show them to anyone, except to those who she thought would understand. At the time I was really young and I was all confused about why she wouldn't go out with those marvelous paintings. It's something that's perfect, different and makes you feel what she felt at the time. But I see now, that it's difficult to let your most private pieces of your personality be left for outer critics, who might not understand, or even care what the real message is.

With a huge amount of respect for her art, I found enough bravery to make her painting a cover for my bands album. 

I saw so many things in that painting.

I saw the beginning of life.

I saw the universe, and the connection of micro and macro worlds.

I saw the dreams and reality. 

I saw the darkness of life and I saw the hope. 

 

For a few years I've been making living from web design and graphic editing. So, I took a time to remember my skills and go ahead with making a functional album artwork - both covers and booklet, from that painting and it's details. I didn't have the courage to give this work to freelance graphic designers, though they might have made something more eye appealing than I've done. This is a really personal part of this whole album story and it's my privilege to keep this legacy a part of my musical creation and expression. 

I've been working on it for several days non-stop and it was really hard to spot that thin line of keeping her original work of art, yet having it work for the cover. 

There's also one special artwork in the middle of the booklet, where I took fragments of the painting and blended it with real images of Milky Way. It's just a connection of her imaginary world and this endless universe of ours. I believe she'd love it....