Illoshow 3: Remix is a showcase of album art re-imagined by local artists, designers, and illustrators. Curated by local illustrator and designer James O’Brien, Illoshow 3: Remix provides an unexpected take on both iconic and obscure album art seen through the lens of various Twin Cities artists. Each participant was asked to choose an album as a starting point, and was given the option to use the existing artwork in their concept or to change it completely.
Why did you choose this record?
I chose this record because it had a large image area beneath the text. I really liked how the type was set, and I wanted to keep that part. There used to be a photo of The Grand Canyon below it, and i really wanted to simplify it to its extreme.
You and Katie (Aaron's wife and fellow Illoshow participant) both chose albums with a canyon theme. Were you planning on doing similar work when you started, or did you come across these albums and then make that decision?
We both went our separate ways when we were searching for albums at the store, and when we re-grouped, we had both picked these canyon albums. We thought it was an interesting thing that our heads were in the same place, so we just ran with it!
Is this your typical art style or are you doing something different?
I have done a lot of printmaking in my past, so simplified shapes and large floods of color is what I enjoy the most. I know my limitations as an artist, so I just work within them and find simplified methods of image making.
What did you find most enjoyable when you were working on this piece?
I used a slightly metallic ink for the browns. That came out better than I thought and I really enjoyed the act of laying that on thick.
Did you listen to this album for inspiration?
Admittedly, I didn't. I was raised taking piano lessons and playing classical music like Chopin and Clementi and I never learned or cared to appreciate it. Things just never clicked in my DNA. I've tried as an adult to listen to classical music, but it just ends up being distracting and I feel like a phony, so I often just end up putting on Operation Ivy or old Emo albums for the 100th time.
What did you find challenging about reinterpreting an existing piece of art?
The process of finding an album cover that inspired me was particularly time consuming and a bit taxing. There was so much to sift through and so many possibilities!
What did you learn in doing this project?
Metallic paint is fun! I will use it more!
What is your relationship to vinyl as a music format?
I bought my first vinyl in middle school in the mid-late 90s. My favorite punk and ska bands would put out the occasional 7 or 10-inch records that had vinyl-exclusive songs on them, so I would beg my parents to mail order them for me (this was when it was semi-rare for bands to sell merch via online portals.) It wasn't until my early college years when my favorite bands starting putting a lot of stock into releasing their music on vinyl. In my freshman year of college, my friend gave me a crappy vintage portable record player that used to belong to an elementary school, and I haven't stopped collecting vinyl since.
What have you been listening to lately?
I've been going back in time and listening to emo bands I listened to in high school like Mineral, Further Seems Forever, Hey Mercedes, Jimmy Eat World, and Hot Rod Circuit. Other than that, I've had Pinegrove, Natalie Prass, Wild Pink, The Japanese House, and The Beths in a pretty heavy rotation lately as well.
Aaron and his wife, Katie, also run a design practice together. Learn more at http://deyoedesign.com.