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 brought a bunch of records to my studio and was flipping through the ones that hit a chord. There was one called Hansel and Gretel that was super interesting, and a few others that had stories with a theatre booklet inside and stuff. But this one was lousy looking with bent edges and a very dreary elongated yellow circle on the cover with “Sunny Side Up” written on top. I was so bored looking at the cover that I chose it to have fun with it. One thing led to the other.
Is this your typical art style or are you doing something different?
I am working with narrative/informational illustrations that involve playful image-text combinations and I'm trying this out on different surfaces. I guess this artwork falls under the umbrella. Honestly, I don't know what my style is specifically and I don't think much about it either. But the work I make seems to broadly fall under this style.
What did you find most enjoyable when you were working on this piece?Many things! Firstly the research that went into understanding the trio's work. Since I wasn't familiar with the Vaudeville/Broadway culture I read almost everything there is (and there is very little) about each of their shows online, how they met each other and how successful they were as songwriters and producers. It put breathing life into the process. Also, I really wanted to do something to the elongated yellow circle (trust me if you'd seen it you would've yawned) so I started by imagining their happy heads in it.
You used every part of this album in your final piece. What gave you the idea to do that? What was the thought process behind it?
The title Sunny Side Up was so visually appealing in my head, but that wasn't translating onto the record cover art somehow, even though the moving arms and pants were doing something. One night I was listening to one of the Trio's composition while working on the piece in the studio. I was generally lost in thought staring at the record and suddenly it looked like the base of a perfect nonstick frying pan or a plate. Then there just had to be a Sunny Side Up on it.
Did you listen to this album for inspiration?
Oh absolutely. The whole piece was made listening to the album Sunny Side Up and other Broadway/Vaudeville shows. In fact the dancing limbs are directly inspired by the rhythm and playfulness in their tracks 'Sunny Side Up' and 'Varsity Drag'.
What did you learn in doing this project?
The same thing I learn every time I do a research based project. There is so much to know, see and learn in this world!
What is your relationship to vinyl as a music format?
My dad used to own a record player and some vinyls, like really old ones. I have faint memories from childhood of him playing it at home, but it stopped working one day and he never fixed it, tucked it away. Just like he tucked away his mandolin and his ability to jive. So my relationship with vinyl music has always been one of curiosity.
What have you been listening to lately?
I'm really enjoying my mornings with chillhop and jazzhop lately. [I’ve been listening to] This UK based group, Kokoroko, in the evenings, and Odesza is an all-time favorite.
See more of Roshan’s work on her Instagram, @blingalingthoughts or visit her website, https://roshanganu.wixsite.com/website