Does something count as a portfolio piece if it’s made from other portfolio pieces? Asking for myself, because my fantasy maps have become album-artwork wallpaper for a personal music hobby-project called “Lost Songs For Lost Singers” that’s coming down the pike later this fall. It’s sort of a convoluted explanation, but the TL;DR is this:

Years ago I acquired a custom mandocello and am slowly learning to play it by writing/recording songs in new or different ways than I did in the past with bass guitar, and then I decided those new “fantastical folk” songs would be a much better way for me to tell short stories via/about/with my beloved D&D bard character (instead of writing, say, an epic novel). The maps (and some character/location imagery) are simply included to help illustrate the song-story narrative (and because they’re rad and I’m still proud of them).

Listeners won’t really need to know any of that worldbuilding stuff to dig the songs, because while I am indeed a ridiculously pretentious person I don’t want this to become a “Sting made a lute album?!?” fiasco, and I’m not expecting many people to care. It’s not even finished yet—I still have to record vocals—but I’m looking at a 10/6 release date (check @mybandrockspod for updates!). And anyway none of that means I can’t show the reconstituted map artwork on my “professional map artwork” account, right? Right. So here we are. Mock-ups of the CD booklet, with the maps in it, are below.

Side note: one of the tips I’ve seen about running a business or side-hustle or whatever is something along the lines of “only promote the thing that you do for business, to avoid confusion and keep your brand strong.” I worked in branding for a long time, and that’s not wrong, but I’ve never liked that advice and have rarely followed it. This project is only the latest example. If you contain multitudes, show them off.

Update 10/6/23: It’s done and released on Bandcamp, Apple Music, and Spotify!