With any song, the artwork is something which helps to set a vibe and tell a story. For our most recent singles 'Top Drawer' and 'Wild' we left it up to Carl Tai Thompson; an illustration graduate and artist, to do exactly that and he didn't disappoint.
We caught up with Carl to find out about how he does things and to get the low-down on the story behind the artwork, here's what he had to say!
Hey Carl, what was it that made you get involved in art?
Honestly, I think I kinda just started. I know that my Pap was quite a good artist, and I think he pushed it when I was younger but I just started to draw and that’s how it all started!
How would you describe your style?
It's pretty eclectic, I really love mixing things up. I love bright colours, patterns and making a statement.
Which other artists inspire you?
I have a crazy long list of artists that inspire me but to name a few, I’ll go for Keith Haring, Tom J Newell, Luke Pelletier, and Broken Fingaz Group. They are all dope artists.
What was your inspiration/the story behind the Top Drawer and Wild artwork?
I like to have a rough narrative when creating pieces, I want people to be able to understand the narrative through all the pieces of work in that collection. So the narrative for Top Drawer and Wild came from my mind, it's the story of a woman who falls in love with a tiger, and how they live in the world that’s inside the keyhole of the drawer, and how their relationship kind of blossoms life, which is shown with the flowers.
What’s your process when you started this piece?
I kinda just go straight for it! I prefer editing pieces when they are near to completion, as opposed to sketching. Sometimes for bigger works with more narrative, I do have to sketch them out roughly or else all the ideas can get too busy in my mind.
You use an iPad as your ‘sketchbook’ instead of the traditional pen and paper, why is that? How did you decide to do things this way?
For me, I just find it easier to get to the end product quickly. My main medium is screen printing which means you have to split everything into layers of colour which I find I can do really easily on my IPad whilst I’m drawing and save myself a task later on too. I can also experiment so much better. If I make a mistake or don’t like a colour I can just change it with a few clicks, which I find makes the end result so much better as I can just keep adapting it until it’s right.
Do you think this is becoming increasingly common? Is it a good thing?
I think that it is really growing in popularity, and Its quite easy to understand why. It’s cleaner and portable, you don’t need a massive computer or a load of sketch pads, It’s all there on one device and can be stored on Creative Cloud so you can’t misplace it either. I have so much respect for those artists who still use traditional methods to create their work, but I am really excited about the growing community that are using digital resources to create artwork too.
What’s your go-to meal deal choice?
Personally, I love a good Tesco meal deal.
Chicken Salad sandwich.
(And it will never change)
Do you have anything coming up?
I'm going to be at an event in Bristol called 'Shake Bristol' on the 7th October. Also, my project 'Snake Eyes' is currently displayed in south coasts leading gallery 'Aspex Gallery'!
And I’d like to add- Top Drawer for song of the year?!
Thanks so much for speaking with us Carl!