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Starman in the Stratosphere

About project

David Bowie has been a great source of inspiration for me, both in terms of the visuals he employed and his music.

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars – album redesign

Given Bowie’s playful approach to gender and fashion, I used my redesign of the album cover to focus on Ziggy Stardust as an androgynous entity. I wanted the album to look textural and played around with digital and traditional collage. In the end a printing mishap where I printed several Bowie images on top of one another gave me the collaged look I wanted.

The songs Five YearsStarman, and Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide especially all contain allusions to apocalyptic scenarios and an alien trying to save humanity from themselves. I imagined Ziggy writing these songs in scrawling capital letters and chose that style to write out the track list over and over on the back.

The Chronicles of StarMan

David Bowie meets David Pelham in these illustrations where I imagine a series of books by Bowie that follow the adventures of the intrepid space explorer StarMan. Using Pelham’s illustrations for Penguin’s science fiction books and Bowie’s songs and personas as inspiration, I crafted these covers as well as synopses for these fictional books, each one showcasing themes from the songs chosen.

Deep in the hollows of planets and beyond the recognizable pattern of stars, the infamous galactic traveller StarMan explores the universe to circumvent the prophecy of his death. Desperate to enjoy the time promised to him after the Spiders of Mars warned him of his demise, StarMan trails his hands in stars and looks out to the vast galaxy, visiting planets inhabited by both friends and foes in his search for answers. But is he speeding away from his destiny or towards it…?
After his ship crashes on the desolate moon of Centauri Prime, StarMan meets the lone inhabitant of the planet, the mysterious Baal. Though he is gracious and polite, playing his flute to amuse his guest and sharing his food freely, StarMan notices the stormy sky lurking behind his eyes. As the days wear on, StarMan’s ship is no closer to being fixed and Baal becomes increasingly insistent that he stay longer. Is it loneliness that drives Baal or something far more sinister…?
In the villa of Ormen, a solitary candle burns in memory of the legendary hero StarMan who managed to feed the swooping vultures the flesh of his attacker before succumbing to his wounds. As the galaxy mourns the loss of the intrepid hero, the Spiders of Mars adorn a skeleton and initiate the ceremony that heralds the beginning of a new prophecy, one hinting of a hero reborn and stronger than before…
A lone sphere traverses the empty silence of the universe, its shell chipping away as it calmly makes its way to Ormen. Is it a hero promised or a new evil to be thwarted? Has the saga of StarMan truly ended with scars that cannot be seen or is there a glorious revival ahead? Only time will tell…