Cynthia Nudel is a visual artist born in Buenos Aires (Argentina) who has now lived in Spain for more than a decade. Although she began her career as a photographer, she opened up to other disciplines, such as painting, sculpture and illustration. Her latest project, entitled "Medusa Collective", is a collective of fictitious artists in which she shows her different facets as a creator.
What is special about album cover design that no other artistic format has?
Album cover is a very versatile format because it allows me to experiment with different techniques, artistic disciplines and materials. In my case, this is something very interesting because I consider myself a multifaceted person: what matters most to me is to be able to create, express myself and experiment beyond technique. The creation of album artwork allows you a freedom that you don't find in other kinds of work. That is what appeals to me the most about this format: artistic freedom, both because of the subjects you can cover and because of the possibility of experimenting with different techniques and materials. There are no limitations.
What does the creative process look like when you design an album cover? What are your favourite techniques?
My creative process is different, depending on each album cover. Sometimes I'm interested in a particular technique or material and I start investigating it. Then I try to bring all this knowledge to my domain, providing my touch or combining different techniques. I really like using more than one technique, combining them and looking at the final outcome. I don't usually think about a specific subject, but I let my intuition carry me away, by the ideas suggested by materials, shapes, colours, etc. I build the cover step by step, distributing the different elements within the square format. On other occasions, I reuse some sketches or images that I keep, and I try to modify them to give them a new life. I don't have any favourite technique in particular because what attracts me the most is the blend of several techniques, experimentation and transformation.
What are your sources of inspiration when you create album artwork?
Usually, I am inspired by various artistic disciplines such as cinema, tv series, painting, collage, photography, etc. These are the most obvious influences because they are all visual disciplines. However, I know that unconsciously I'm also influenced by literature and, of course, music. I'm a person who loves to consume art daily, which – in my opinion - is something fundamental. I like to be up to date with what other artists do to generate new ideas, get inspired and learn from what they do. I don't like to work according to established guidelines, so I usually invent my own rules. When I see something that I like, I think: "How could I incorporate this in my style? With what techniques, disciplines or ideas could I combine it?". Then, I start experimenting and I always get results that are different to what I had in mind. That's what I like the most about this job: surprising myself constantly.
In which musical projects have you collaborated as a designer?
I have collaborated with the producer and DJ Henry Saiz on some of his albums. For the album cover of the remixes entitled "Reality is for those who are not strone enough to confront their dreams" I built a diorama inspired by the original album artwork. The image consisted of a painting by Frederic Remington, so I decided to make my own visual "remix". It was a very funny and unique process. We even set fire to that diorama later to include it in the shooting of a video. Recently, I designed the cover of the album that he will release together with his band in spring 2018. In addition to collaborating with Henry and other artists such as Zero Call, I usually work with Maxthor. I have designed the covers for all his releases, with a style reminiscent of the illustrations of old science fiction magazines. Right now, I am working on several album cover designs for the Covercrush platform, of which I am also the coordinator. It is a great opportunity to contact new musicians who can identify with my designs.
Tell us about your musical tastes
I have never been a follower of a specific genre, so I listen to a wide variety of music. Some of my favorite artists are Röyksopp, Daft Punk, Tame Impala, Chromeo, M83... but I also listen to a lot of music from the 80s (I love Michael Jackson) or classical music. I tend to be very obsessive with music. When I discover an album that I like I listen to it again and again, several times a day [laughs]. I am attracted to artists who mix musical genres and who are hard to label. I guess this is related to my vision of art. If you want to see some of Cynthia's album covers, go to her profile on Covercrush.