Posters from songs

Project 1, Projects

I got really excited by this project when I first heard of it. Making posters that represent songs while having virtually no restrictions in terms of concept or production. Let the gates of creativity stand wide open! 

  1. Choosing songs

Difficult! Having thought about it for a couple of days I finally settled on these three: Hit that jive by Gramatik, Les copains d’abord by Georges Brassens and Polska after Jon Marsen (arr for saxophone) by Horn Please! (couldn’t find the whole song unfortunately, but if you have Spotify you can find it there).

2. Ideas

I quite often get images in my head when listening to music so in this case it has been more of a selection process, choosing which images to use for the posters. As I want my posters to be very light, white and geometric in their appearance I couldn’t draw everything that popped in to my head and had to decide on one strong image.

When I listen to the Gramatik song I think about the movie “The Great Gatsby”, I see fancy dressed men with high hats, old records playing, dance shoes shuffling over a polished floor, jazzhands, euphoria, trippy and that weird fun fair from “Pinocchio” when the boys got drunk and turned into donkeys. After sketching ideas down, I landed on men in fancy hats and a little bit of jazzhands.

The second song, the french one, is a song about friendship and life with a lot of boat metaphors and it made me think about an old man sitting on a pier with his guitar, singing about life. Light blue colors, sea and sky, seagulls, beautiful old ships, nostalgia, light pink sunrise, something moving away in the horizon, a sleepy seaside town and the smell of tar. I decided the ship sailing away was my image and proceeded working with that.

For the third song, the instrumental polska (traditional Swedish folk music) by a saxophone group I get lots of feelings at once. As with most Swedish folk music it succeeds in being both happy and sad at the same time which I find really beautiful. I also think a lot about nature when I hear it. The sound birch leaves make when blowing in the wind, a green field, warming sunshine at your back, the cold chill of a dense forest, loneliness and flowers and dancing on midsummer’s eve. Yellow and green. Most of all I think about birches and decided to draw just that.


3. Process

The posters do not need to have any connection song-wise but they have to be coherent as a series presented next to each other so to achieve this I immediately  thought about the layout and placing of the images so they would look good beside one another. I also came up with the idea of having other elements in the pictures (such as squares and circles) that could flow into the pictures beside and with that create a movement from left to right when looking at the series.

As I wanted to give screen-printing another go, I decided to do this whole process using the said technique. But spending a day in the studio, testing out different color schemes and compositions I realized I need to do some rethinking as I’m not very happy with the result. Some of my images:

posters on wall

4. Problems

Looked at separately, what I really like about my posters is the layout. However- when putting the posters next to each other they do not work quite as well as there is just too much blank space.

The stars, circles and squares I thought would hold everything together actually just split everything apart and clutters the images. For example, the bottom left corner image of the black and yellow birches was my favorite image in therms of printing quality and color but as soon as I added the squares I ruined it and now I absolutely hate it. Shame. Same goes with the top right corner and the picture of the ship- adding the yellow dots (not super visible in this image but they are there!) was a big mistake as they did not go well with the color of the paper.

5. Solutions

So, how can I solve this? What I’m now thinking about is cutting the images up and combining them somehow because as it is now, it does not look good. Problem with that idea though is: it’s scary. Plus if it doesn’t work I will have ruined it even more. On the upside though, I still have my prints on silkscreen so I could in theory print everything again if I wanted to.

new ideas posters

Ok, I convinced myself- here’s to cutting!





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