Question Time with Rianne Rowlands

The latest album by Funeral For A Friend has just been released and in each review, quite rightly, touting this album as a return to form. They also mention the artwork and packaging, a twisted cartoon based view of the family and the end of the world, as being some of the finest seen for quite some time. With people buying less and less CD’s, bands are putting less and less into the packaging of these albums. Not so for FFAF, they have gone all out with the deluxe version of the album, containing numerous illustrations and a set of band cards with ace caricatures of each band member.

All the artwork was done by Welsh based artist Rianne Rowlands, who has also done the cover for band Young And Defenceless EP. A very talented individual who we were lucky enough to catch up with her for an interview.

Who are you, and what do you do?
I’m Rianne Rowlands. I’m a freelance Illustrator and Character Designer.

How did you get started?
I’ve drawn for as long as I can remember. It was all I ever wanted to do and I would pore over animation books when I was a kid. I spent hours watching animated movies and every cartoon I could.

What have you got going on at the moment?
Right now I’m working on some character designs for an animated children’s tv series.

Favourite music and why? 
I love electro! I grew up listening to my dad playing synthesised pop like Gary Numan and ELO, who I still listen to now! It evolved into a love of Nine Inch Nails when I was a little older, and Trent Reznor is still one of my greatest inspirations. I also love ska, punk and a bit of dubstep. It’s like electro for grown ups hehe.

Favourite book and why?
I adore Stephen King. I’ve read nearly every book he’s written. I love the way he develops his characters, they’re usually flawed, weak or corrupt but you still care about them. It takes a powerful writer to do that. My favourite book by him is The Black House.

Favourite film and why?
Ooh that’s a tough one. I’d have to say ‘Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind’. It’s an absolute masterpiece.

Best experience in the business?
Working with Funeral for a Friend has been the highlight so far! They’re fantastic guys and the project was a joy to work on from day one. They gave me free reign with the artwork, and now I’m able to walk into pretty much any record shop in the world and see my artwork! It’s such a great feeling. 

What kind of brief did the band give you for the artwork? 
Basically the end of the world concept was mostly Matt’s idea (Matthew Davies-Kreye, FFAF singer). We worked really closely and I developed his idea into something visual, and I fleshed it out with this cartoon family. They are a running theme throughout the artwork, A lot of terrible things happen to this family! But there’s a really strong message running through the whole album, the music and the artwork. It’s kinda dark, and it’s almost a warning that we need to start making positive changes to the world now, before it’s too late.

Did you listen to the album before starting work on it?
No I didn’t! I really wanted to, but I had to wait until release day to hear it. I think it’s amazing though, arguably their best yet! 

Tell our readers an interesting fact about yourself?
I’ve been vegetarian for 10 years!

Best thing about coming from Wales?
The people and the sense of community here. I’ve travelled a lot and never found anywhere like it.

Who are your role models/idols?
As a life long animal activist and animal lover, my heroes and role models are those guys who go
out there every day and help animals who are mistreated or in need. If I ever won the lottery the first thing I’d do would be open my own animal sanctuary. And every animal is welcome! 

Hardest thing about the current business?
It’s so hard to find work right now, as the technology is so accessible (Computers, iPhones, photoshop, etc), there are a lot of people out there advertising skills that they might not necessarily have. But it’s like any job, you have to try and outshine the rest to be noticed in the crowd. And I have such a passion for what I do, I just want to keep creating artwork that people will enjoy!

Please go and check out Rianne’s website, where you can view loads of her excellent artwork and you can follow her on twitter right here

And I’m sure you’ll agree she is mega talented with a very distinctive style.

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