Behind The Artworks: Leo Maia - Sonhos (Single) (2022)

This artwork displays the full brilliance of my dear artful friend and tattoo artist: Anna Idza. I've always been an admirer of her work, I even have a beautiful colourful tattoo made by her on my left arm. She is always pushing me forward to release my art to the world with her never-ending incentives and support, and during the release of my debut song Pneumothorax, it was no different, to the point where she offered me to use a beautiful painting that she had of a person bending backwards with energy flowing from his chest, which fit perfectly with the thematics of that song (which is about my own lung collapse and chest pain). I had also counted on my incredibly skilled designer friend Pedro "TheZakman" who drew me an awesome logo for my project with my own name "Leo Maia". That cover ended up amazingly beautiful and was heavily complimented by everyone who listen to my first single.

Following that up with "Sonhos", I saw no reason to change the recipe, and I've approached Anna once again for help with the cover art. This time, she opted to do a painting specifically for the intent of this song. I've briefed her that the inspiration for the song was lucid dreaming, a never-ending chase of your own dreams while enduring the mundane life, waking up amidst almost reaching your goal and never giving up. I've also discussed a bit with her how I felt the synesthesia of the song and that elements of air and water would accompany my senses as I experienced the audio. She took the hint and we agreed to use blue and white as the core colour pallets for the art, and I have her full autonomy to do whatever she wanted with just this little guidance plus the audio.

After a week or so, Anna told me how she woke up inspired by her own dreams and how this image of a person came to her, so she woke up, picked up her painting gear and dumped all of her inspiration into the artwork, sending me pictures as she went through. In just a single day she had the painting done and it is stunning! I was amazed by it and once I added my geometric "Leo Maia" logo on top of it, I interpreted it as an inter-dimensional time traveller who uses an advanced alien technology head device to astral project consciousness through dreams. I think I might have borrowed this type o thematics from my countless Ayreon vinyls. Anna immediately bought into the idea and what was next for me to do was find a core font for "Sonhos" and compose the album cover. After some time fiddling with sci-fi-inspired fonts I ended up choosing one and then made manual edits to it in an image editing software to get to the final artwork that became the cover of the single.

Anna's own words on her lapse of inspiration: "When we are in the world of dreams, submerged in a flow of feelings and colours, we penetrate an internal dimension more important than we can ever imagine. To dream, either through the act of sleeping in your internal world or the metaphorical meaning of desiring what is not yet concrete, are both projections (conscious or not) of a world that is only yours. A limitless world where you are allowed to experience unique shapes and colours, where we can in multiple meanings exist, simply be."

Nevertheless, I have to mention the contributions of my college designer friend Ian Guerra, who worked together with me to animate the artwork for both singles (Pneumothorax and Sonhos) and delivered amazing-looking visuals which I've used for my social media promotions of the singles. He also built on top of these animations to create extremely uniquely styled Lyrics Videos which can immerse the viewers in a psychedelic progressive journey for both singles. It turned out absolutely amazing and all of this can attest to the power of friendship, and how being surrounded by great friends is integral to my development and career as an artist, I love you all!

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