Leif Podhajsky is a contemporary Australian graphic designer and art director. He is recognized for designing album covers for various popular music artists and bands. Some of his clients included Atlantic Records, The Vines, Virgin Records, Granta Books and Young Magic.
Born in Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia, Podhajsky grew up to be a versatile graphic designer of his time. His artwork seems to depict abstract nature as it highlights melting cosmic landscapes, engulfing waves and mirrored vistas. Besides creating abstract art, he lent his expertise to designing the cover art for music albums, working with a number of music artists. In fact, he worked with several popular record labels and designed inspiring artwork, t-shirts, tour posters and official record merchandise for them. The globally recognized record labels included Sony Music, Modular Records, Sub Pop Records and Warp Records.
Podhajsky was requested to work with the Australian rock band inspired by psychedelic Tame Impala. He produced cover art for their album Innerspeaker, and upon its success Podhajsky also worked on the follow-up album cover, Lonerism. Moreover, he created covers for their singles, such as ‘Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind?’, ‘Solitude Is Bliss’, ‘Lucidity’ and ‘Apocalypse Dreams’. Podhajsky has a personal philosophy which he follows whenever he is requested to design artwork for music albums. According to this philosophy, he works with the music artists, whose work he respects and admires personally. He prefers to spend some time listening to the album first and then work out the story and ideal cover concept for it. Podhajsky pushes his creativity to its limits when he innovatively creates one image that would encompass the whole album’s story and emotion.
Another interesting fact about Podhajsky’s inclination toward working for music artists and record label is that he personally finds music inspiring. The inspirational affect on him is not only when he is designing covers for different projects “but across everything” he does. According to him, that music helps him shift gears of his brain from over-analytical and logical zone to a more harmonious and calm area. This practice helps him create art in a more fluid and organic fashion. While sharing his fascination for album art he declares that the cover art substantially enhances the experience of the listeners.
There are multifarious themes that Podhajsky has claimed to explore in his work. The themes mostly range from connectedness, fear, love and magic. Besides, his cover art underlines the relevance of nature and the psychedelic or altered experience. Moreover, he employed various techniques to bring out these themes, for instance, symmetry, recursion, repetition and balance. The use of such thematic pattern and techniques is his attempt to encourage the audience to realign with “themselves and their surroundings”.
What sets Podhajsky apart from other artists is his love for abstract concepts that revolve around human emotions and psyche. He picks an emotion from the project he is working on and transforms it into an image that simply states the state of human heart and mind. He deliberately explores the concepts that are supposed to be ubiquitous because he believes that the modern world has disconnected human beings from what is universal and natural to all of them. Leif Podhajsky maintains that what all Homo sapiens are covertly looking for is a means to “true happiness and contentment” in life and that is what his artwork also illustrates.