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PLEASE COMMENT BEFORE ADDING TO YOUR FAVORITESNinety-nine dreams I have had
And every one, a red balloon
It's all over and I'm standing pretty
In this dust that was a city
If I could find a souvenir
Just to prove the world was here
And here is a red balloon
I think of you and let it go
The above passage, which is the last verse of Nena's "99 Red Balloons," is what this album name and design is all about.
Truth be told, I came up with the idea for this one weeks ago, but I wasn't able to work on it because my computer got upgraded and I had to wipe the whole hard drive out. It was listening to the above song that gave me the idea for the title right off the bat. The basic layout of the design was soon to follow.
The first challenge was finding a picture that best represented a barren wasteland. The picture I chose was a recolored version of a photograph taken as part of an Arctic expedition. I knew next that I would have to incorporate a silhouette of a person releasing a single balloon, keeping true to the words from the song. In my initial online searching, I found no silhouettes that fit the pose I was looking for, so I knew I'd have to make one of my own. I created the person silhouette by having someone take a picture of me in that pose, and then tracing over it. I'm surprised how well it turned out. I traced a picture of a balloon I found online, adding the balloon string in myself.
My inspiration for the look of the sidebars and text was the MercyMe album "Spoken For." You'll see similarities in the style between that album cover and this one. As for the colors I used on the text, I tried using dull versions of indigo and magenta, the two primary colors in the color scheme of STP the Hedgehog. The decision to make the word "world" in red again comes from the song, since I realized I couldn't give the silhouettes any reddish tint.
I'd say this only took about an hour to make once I had all the materials at my disposal. The majority of that time was spent tracing my pose to form the silhouette.
I recently found out about a public project *Ink-pad
is hosting called "99 Red Balloons
." After showing this entry to him/her, I was told that it wasn't quite the focus of the project -- (s)he wanted there to be more of a personal, meditative component to the work. However, (s)he would be willing to accept it as an entry if I expanded upon the description to include those components:
My original intent for this was to essentially capture the last verse of the song in a single picture, but by putting myself in the work, I leave it open to symbolism. Inside the balloon (metaphorically speaking) are all the things that make me who I am. At the same time, portraying myself in silhouette generalizes me and transforms me (and the balloon) into the essence of humanity. Releasing the balloon, as opposed to holding onto it, is releasing the proverbial message in a bottle out into the desolation that surrounds, in the hopes that someone, somewhere, may find it and be reminded of who we were and why we were here. It is a beacon launched into the unknown "just to prove the world was here."