My friend Josh Gaines was looking to publish a second printing of his book of short prose Cigarette Sonatas and approached me to design the cover.
We settled on creating a high contrast image of a man smoking as a wisp of smoke formed a treble clef above him. Using a dark room with a desk lamp lit brightly behind me, I photographed myself in an old gangster-style hat and then Photoshopped in the cigarette and smoke afterwards. The glow of the butt and the angle it tapered went through a few iterations to get it as realistic as possible to the author’s liking.
The piece was completed after adding some filters and layers to the text to keep the fleeting quality of the whole intact as though it could all disappear into the darkness at the blink of an eye.