I’ve been sitting on this story for several months, but now I can share it with you! So there’s this amazingly talented international group of musicians called Banda Magda. I know of them through my musician brother, Gabriel, and the Music Lab at Jefferson Center in Roanoke, VA. I had the pleasure of seeing them perform live at Jefferson Center in September of 2013 and I felt like I had been transported to another place. It was such a beautiful and entertaining show.
Magda Giannikou, the band’s tireless leader (pianist, accordionist, singer, composer, orchestrator, songwriter, music producer, etc.), is constantly creating and working on new projects. Last year she and her band put out a new crowd-funded album titled Yerakina. During the crowd-funding campaign, she also released a call for illustrators who could help design T-shirts. My brother told her about me and we were soon Skyping and sending messages back and forth talking about goals and ideas. I was a little nervous about the project since I had limited experience in graphic design work, but Magda had faith in me and was very supportive.
I whipped up a couple preliminary sketches based on Magda’s vision and we discussed style, color, and other content. Magda wanted the shirts to be quite bold, but simple and also educational. We decided to create two different shirts and each would feature a different musical instrument (vibraphone and pandeiro).
Once I had the final drawings done, it was time to make them digital and add text. This was the most challenging part of the project. I used Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and I was learning as I went, which is a great way to learn, but also very time-consuming. I learned how to create a vector and I played around a lot with color and placement. Many changes were made along the way, but the designs were eventually finalized and t-shirts were printed! Now many of the people who helped fund Yerakina own one of these shirts and you can also purchase them online here. The shirts have been traveling around the world as Banda Magda tours.
Speaking of tours, Banda Magda’s last stop on their most recent tour was Jefferson Center this past Tuesday. I saw them perform again (SO GOOD!), and I also finally met Magda in person. She is so sweet and she exudes creativity and passion. I feel so lucky to have worked with her and seen her perform live. What an amazing experience!!
Banda Magda is working on their third album, Tigre, which will also be crowd-funded. Click here to check it out and consider supporting them! As always, thanks for reading. xoxo