Create an illustrated interpretation of a musical track that is experienced by the viewer in an unconventional and pioneering way. Choose one band/artist and interpret two of their songs using illustration.
Band: Desmond & the Tutus
Song: High Fives
‘High Fives’ is a song about an individual named Darrol and his inconsideration with the strength of his ‘high fives’. The lyrics state that Darrols high fives are just far too hard.
I decided to interpret this song as a playing card game. I came about this idea by playing with the concept of ‘Darrol’ being able to ‘trump’ any high five. From the word ‘trump’ I decided to research old trump card games. From here, the ‘Darrol’s High Fives’ playing card game was born. The card game reflects the bands quirkiness and no frills approach to having a fun time. The colours and style of the cards are inspired by the imagery of the lyrics. The song makes reference to primary school which influenced me to reflect back to my childhood where my peers and I would take great delight in using crayons and coloured pencils to create works of art. This childish and naive approach to ‘design’ inspired me to create the hand rendered triangular pattern and really have fun with the design of the cards and the packaging.
This game can be used as merchandise by the band and can be sold at gigs or given away as free merchandise. I believe this can be used as an effective contact point for the band as they could release a range of games and other merchandise that could incorporate the illustration of their rich imagery and music experience.
Song: Saggy Bottom Speedo Swimmer
In typical Desmond & the Tutus style, the lyrics to this song express a quirky story about a boy who lost his board shorts in the ocean and now his mother won’t buy him a new pair. So he is forced to don a saggy Speedo in front of his peers at the next swimming gala. Despite his unfortunate predicament he manages to win the race and dismiss the mockery of his peers.
I interpreted this song by depicting the boy looking back out into the ocean trying to find his board shorts that he lost. His stance is determined as he sets out on his quest to find his missing board shorts and win back the respect of his peers. In essence this is a continuation of the story that the band narrates. The nature of the band and the song is very quirky and gives the listener a sense of no-frills fun, thus I wanted to reflect this quirkiness in the treatment of the typography and the illustration style.
This is a more traditional approach to illustration and its involvement in the music industry. The poster can be included in the playing card box as extra merchandise. Or it can be used as a limited edition collectors edition for any diehard fans of the band. The idea behind a limited edition poster is that a series of the bands’ songs can be illustrated and be collected by fans. The sense of ownership and exclusivity that rare vinyl perpetuates can now be reflected in the medium of limited collectible posters.