Monday, 30 April 2012

Black Flies

Back in February I was approached by a man named Kevin King, who had a project called Secret 7, which was linked to the annual event of Record Store Day and Teenage Cancer Trust.

The project was to feature 700 unique 7" record sleeves, interpreted by 700 artist's with an aim to 'rekindle some of the excitement for vinyl sleeve art in the digital era'. These were then to be exhibited at the Idea Generation Gallery in London and sold with 100% of the profits given to the TCT charity.

From the list of tracks available I picked 'Black Flies' by Ben Howard, whose debut album 'Every Kingdom' gets played quite a bit in my office.

Since the purpose of this project was create a one-off artwork, I decided to take a different approach to the design process. I selected various elements from previous designs I had created, not knowing if they would work together as a single composition. I did of course, resize them all to fit on a 7" sleeve, so I wasn't going in totally blind.

I decided to create an environment for the design, using screen-printing and here are the transparencies for the print.

A layer of light sensitive emulsion is applied to the screen and then the images are transferred to the screen using UV light. Here are all four layers of the print on one screen.

Here is the first colour, having been pulled through the screen.

The print on the sleeve - as you can see I've used masking tape to create a white frame around the print.

A close-up, showing that the sky is made up of halftone dots.

Printing the second colour.

A pink sun...

The third colour down, orange bricks.

Using the same orange, I printed the titles on the reverse of the sleeve.

Now here comes the tricky part. I wanted to create a 3D layered artwork, so I cut out a window frame shape from a piece of mount board. I then used my trusty Pentel pocket brush to illustrate a wood effect for the frame.

I then painted the window frame using a selection of acrylics, and never applying the paint too thick, so as to allow the illustrated wood effect to show through. I also printed a few flies onto acetate, which were affixed to the frame.

Here is a picture of the screen-printed sleeve, awaiting the frame to be put in place.

Here is the final cover, with the frame attached to the sleeve using double-sided tape.

A close up of the finished sleeve.

All in all, this was a fun project to work on; going into production of a final piece and not really knowing how it would turn out was a pretty daunting experience but I'm really happy with the results.

It was also fun to combine my love of screen-printing with a different, crafty approach. Hopefully the owner of the sleeve is enjoying it as much as I did putting it together.

You can buy the remaining sleeves from Teenage Cancer Trust's eBay page.

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