Collaborating with my close friend and associate, Spencer Vandergrift, we were tasked with creating album artwork for a local band's upcoming release, as well as artwork for singles to be released online. Right away we both decided that the work should not be a literal interpretation of the band name, "Kids in the Trees", because it would be expected. Instead, we looked to some of their personal interests and inspirations for their music and settled upon emulating the 'Vaporwave' aesthetic.
If you are unfamiliar with Vaporwave, it is characterized by a nostalgic or surrealist fascination with retro cultural aesthetics (usually that of the late 1980s and early 1990s), entertainment technology, and consumer culture and advertising. The visual style of Vaporwave, as seen on album covers and in art videos accompanied by the music, is commonly referred to as "aesthetics".
There are many common tropes within this genre, and thus many cliches we tried to avoid that might make the work look cheap. What was eventually created was a surreal window scene looking out to a sunset emblazoned by Spencer's hand lettering, which utilized many aspects of the Vaporwave aesthetic; mainly, facets of early computers, a Japanese influence, palm trees and, of course, the color palette. To add to the surrealism of the work, the reverse side of the album reveals the same space as seen from behind the sun.
Using stereoscopy, we also created a side-by-side version of the artwork that allows the viewer to witness the illusion of depth within the space we've created. To see it properly, cross your eyes until the two images merge into a center image.