Recent Number 1 album Immersion by drum n' rockers Pendulum features a photo-illustrative cover by artist Valp Maciej Hajnrich, in collaboration with album art legend Storm Thorgorsen. We spoke to Valp about the project, which also included the artwork for the CD booklet and items such as a T-shirt that was included in a Collector's Box Set.

DA: What was the brief?

VMH: It was quite simple. I was introduced to overall idea of Immersion, got some rough comps and very clear feedback to first round previews. The goal was to create sinister deep ocean scenario including strange creatures, corals, water reflections and such.

DA: Did the client reference any previous work of yours for this project?

VMH: The guys said that they liked the whole set of NCA/Priscilla artworks. I included some similar effects into the cover and booklet artwork, but in a way that's additional to overall the graphics than fundamental to it as in those examples.

DA: What was your initial concept and how did you develop this?

VMH: I was given a lot of freedom for execution, technique, details and additional imagery. My initial and core idea was to keep it mysterious, obscure and intriguing. From the beginning, I was aiming to deliver complex artwork very high attention to detail, but I also want to avoid creating a matte painting or collage piece – so I included a lot of hand-drawn lines, electric bolts, water bubbles and lightning effects.

DA: How did you create elements and how did you combine them?

VMH: I used a lot of additional photography. The first thing was to get the proper mood - colours, sun rays, water reflects and such. Then I started to build the composition by adding the sea bottom and stone walls, and covering them with corals. While I was doing this, I was also playing with the lights and shadows by drawing all glowing elements.

DA: What was the biggest creative challenge and how did you overcome it?

VMH: The real creative challenge was to achieve an original and natural-looking scenario merged with some creative/artistic techniques. The more you look at the cover, the more you can see. It's designed to hypnotize, and immerse the viewer.