Combining creative forces

For years Nelson native Emily Beamer has combined art and music, creating album covers for musicians, but now she has a unique experience, showcasing her art at the Polaris Music Prize.

The Polaris Music Prize poster Emily Beamer designed for musician Destroyer.

The Polaris Music Prize poster Emily Beamer designed for musician Destroyer.

For years Nelson native Emily Beamer has combined art and music, creating album covers for musicians, but now she has a unique experience, showcasing her art at the Polaris Music Prize.

“I was hand picked. A guy that works for them saw a CD that I did a few years ago for a band called the Invasives that toured with No Means No, and he asked me if I’d design for one of their nominees,” said Beamer.

She was asked to create a poster for the song Kaputt by Destroyer.

Beamer grew up in Nelson, but now lives in Victoria where she works in marketing for the Ocean Island Backpackers Inn, but also does freelance graphic design.

“I’ve always drawn it just sort of came naturally. I mainly did botanical illustration and some painting. I wanted to pursue the arts but have a more tactile sort of purpose with it, so an art that can be used rather than just hung on the wall,” she said.

Beamer has created work for AIDS Vancouver, The L Word TV show and Kootenay Bakery (to name a few). She has also designed a number of CDs for Canadian and American musicians.

“I was very honoured when the Polaris Music Prize selected me. They gave me a really short deadline but I said I’d do it anyway because it’s such an honour and a great opportunity to be involved with Canadian music,” she said.

Destroyer won’t see the poster Beamer designed until the gala on September 19 in Toronto.

“They just sent me an invitation to attend their gala and they send one to each of the designers. I would be able to see whether the nominee I worked for won,” she said.

When designing the poster, Beamer embraced the nature of the song. “It’s a very soft, mellow song, so I wanted to go with something that was sort of more soft and romantic,” she said.

The Polaris Music Prize is a music award annually given to the best full-length Canadian album based on artistic merit, regardless of genre, sales, or record label.

The award was established in 2006 with a $20,000 cash prize. The prize was increased to $30,000 for the 2011 award.

Past winners at the Polaris awards have been Caribou, Patrick Watson and Final Fantasy.