Turning On, Tuning In

Book Design & Illustration, 2018-2019

I was raised on rock ‘n’ roll. My parents, who grew up with it, played it for me from the start. My childhood soundtrack was a strange combination of Three Dog Night, Barney (yes–the giant purple dinosaur), The Guess Who, and Bob Seeger. My interest for rock ‘n’ roll grew and I began reading (often at the recommendation of my father) various rock (auto)biographies.

A quick search of good rock reads lead me to Pamela Des Barres’ (nee Miller) book, I’m with the Band: Confessions of a Groupie. In one section of the book, Des Barres describes the first time she saw Jim Morrison step on stage with the Doors, saying, “he [Morrison] looked like a Greek God gone wrong, with masses of dark brown curls and a face that sweaty dreams are made of.” For whatever reason, this quote stuck with me, and when it came time to come up with an idea for this project, that quote was the first thing to pop into my head.

Interestingly enough, neither Jim Morrison or the Doors made it to the final book (at least not this version), but Pamela Des Barres sure did. And rightfully so, as part of the inspiration for this book.


Turning On, Tuning In is a coffee-table style book, designed to be displayed. While the people, places, and events in the book are arranged in a loosely chronological order, the book has no true beginning and end, and can be flipped to any page to start.

Torn between multiple design directions, including the idea of creating elaborate and ornate psychedelic art, I ultimately settled on a simple style which used a soft pink, pop of red, contour/continuous line drawings, and a font pairing of the serif Morion and the sans-serif Optima. While somewhat simple, and perhaps not so rock ‘n’ roll, I wanted more focus placed on the illustrations and the stories themselves.