Check out this great interview with Joe Hahn, Mike Shinoda and James Jean – the masterminds of The Hunting Party‘s artwork!
When looking for someone to design the cover art and promotional visuals for their new album, The Hunting Party, Linkin Park didn’t have to search too far. Having been fans of James Jean’s work for a long time, “the conversation just started naturally,” said Mike Shinoda about the collaboration.
Jean is a Taiwanese American artist whose work is often populated by mythical beings and fairytale creatures. His canvases swirl with color and dynamism, and his work is full of energy. For Linkin Park’s new album, he created aggressive imagery of warring men, appropriate for a title like The Hunting Party. After Jean sketched the works, digital artist Brandon Parvini rendered them in 3D, and the resulting images became the face of the new album.
We got in touch with Jean, as well as Mike Shinoda and Joe Hahn from Linkin Park, to ask how this explosive collaboration came to be.
In making The Hunting Party, we were striking out to make something visceral and aggressive.
How did you come up with the concept for The Hunting Party cover/promotional art?
James Jean: I had a few discussions with Joe Hahn and the creative team about the visuals, and we created mood boards and shared images that seemed to define a general direction. Joe wanted to create a universe inhabited by powerful characters and defined by strange landscapes. At first, the concept was as simple as creating a character or landscape for each song. But then we wouldn’t know exactly what that would be until I started sketching.
Mike Shinoda: We try to approach our art—packaging, merchandise, tour visuals, videos, anything—in a holistic way. All the parts are interconnected, and by creating great imagery that can be used in multiple contexts, we can immerse the fans in a universe that is consistent and unique to each release. It’s always a work in progress, but I feel like we’ve learned a lot and continue to make it better each time.
Why did you choose figures in battle, either armed with a bow an arrow or fighting? Is there a reason you went for this aggressive, masculine imagery besides the title?
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