King_leer's Videos Playlist....Summer 2015

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Kasabian - West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum - The art of Design - PART III

Well, now we reach to that part where everyone of us surely admires. Who never hold a LP, CD, K7, etc and observed the art work and was influence with some besides the musical content. For a better understanding on this task, I’ve asked Tom Skipp a couple of questions about his work on this record. I hope that – as I did – you all better understand the story and the real concept of this “West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum”.


To readers fully understanding, explain please to us what is the role of a graphic designer on a musical work like this one?


A Graphic Designer's role can be very different on music projects. With Kasabian and this project I was very involved. When I joined the project there was a loose idea derived from the name of the album "West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum". I began discussions with "WIZ" (Andrew Whiston) on how we could make this album feel like a collection of things that could've been found at the Asylum. WIZ had collected many images, objects and quotes as reference which led me to explore some surrealist concepts and also optical illusions. Also I looked at various ways to compile this apparently disparate collection of imagery. We then carried out the shoot, for which WIZ enlisted the help of costume designers and prop stylists. I also documented the day of shooting and took my own portraits of the band on an old Polaroid Land camera, some of which can be seen in the album art. When we had collected the imagery it then became my job to make things reality and deliver everything in a printable format to the record company. With Kasabian there were many different formats and surrounding marketing to deliver, my working hours became 24/7 during this time.


Who approached you in order to get along in this Kasabian's project?


I was contacted by the head of Creative at Sony UK. I was invited for a meeting unaware of what the project would be and then asked whether it would be a project that interested me and whether I could carry it out successfully. I think I was chosen due to the abnormal nature of the project and my history of working with people notorious for their unconventional working methods.


How was the creative process? How did it work? Did you received initial instruction from the band or management for the path they would like to follow? Tell us a little bit about the story of this work of art.


When I joined the process WIZ and Serge (Sergio Pizzorno) from the band had already been playing with concepts. There was not a strong visual direction from the record company but I kept them well informed throughout the process, making sure they were happy with the path we were taking. The creative direction came from WIZ and that was translated from the band. So I became the communication conduit between the record company and WIZ, but in this role I also had to translate what became our ideas into something tangible. It was not easy, as WIZ is a prolific Video Director so would be very busy during this time and neither of us had a permanent office, let's say the process was fluid.


From all Kasabian members who was the one that followed the creative process with more attention?


Serge took the most interest in the artwork, I don't think it's that the others didn't care what it looked like, I think they trusted him to take the lead. This was very refreshing as there appeared to be one decisive vision. I think that Serge also respects the people that were installed to carry out the work, he trusts WIZ and that trust was also given me. Serge was very open to our ideas and we were open to his. Compared to other projects this felt like a genuine creative collaboration.


I'll post also links to your website but as a final question tell me a little more about your background, future projects and how it was to work with Peter Saville?


I have worked in graphic design for 9 years. Starting at university where I did a very short placement at Form ( Then I spent a summer at v23 with Vaughan Oliver and Chris Bigg. When I graduated from university I got a job at v23 and also with Peter Saville. I worked 2/3 days a week at each, neither of which are what I'd call 'normal' studios. I've meandered along many a path in between then and now, working at many different places including Big Active, Blue Source, Love, Gap and many others! Working with both Vaughan Oliver and Peter Saville gave me a great start. After working in London since graduation I moved to Paris in the summer of 2009 and have started to make working connections here, while also still working for clients in London. Paris is a new challenge firstly for language and then to build clients and working relationships, who knows what the future holds!

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