JP Thurlow creates our latest Designers Series print

by Andrew Losowsky in February 2011
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Each mailing of Stack America comes with at least one independent magazine (though we don’t seem to be very good at sticking to only one – seven mailings in, and we’ve actually sent our happy subscribers 15 publications so far), plus something that we call The Designers Series: a selection of exclusive prints created by artists, typographers and art directors, on the theme of “magazines.”

The most recent image was a beautiful, hand-drawn creation by the incredibly talented JP Thurlow, who made for us a re-interpretation of this cover of Wire magazine. There’s a miniature version below, but it really doesn’t capture the thing of beauty that is the full-size print.

His full explanation for the image and its inspirations is below. And as for the next mailing… we are honored to announce that it will be an exclusive creation by the former design director of The New York Times, Khoi Vinh. Sign up to Stack America by the end of February to receive it.

By JP Thurlow

Original artwork: Wire Magazine #294, August 2008, Tricky photographed by Jake Walters

Tricky is about the same age as me. I spent my teenage years in Bristol as he was laying the foundations of his initial success. Tricky was the kind of guy who’d chat up the pretty blond girls in my circle of friends whilst we we tried to get into the Moon Club underage…. It got annoying… for him too as he wasn’t always as successful with ladies as he would have liked.

Anyway… It seemed success came quickly for him via Massive Attack and although I liked his music I couldn’t disassociate his public image from what I knew of him before he was famous. Until recently i felt ambivalent about him… but as his fame ebbed and flowed he became more interesting to me. I like his cult status; a dark poetic hooligan who grew up and got darker. This cover of Wire would seem to capture that maturity… he looks here like a cross between William Burroughs and Snoop Dog, which is pretty amazing. The lighting in the original is expert and really emphasises his bone structure, I’m very much drawn to how his face is ageing, he looks gaunt but not deathly. He looks like the real deal.

In the original he has silver eyeshadow above his right eye. It didn’t take much to make a connection to the famous Penguin paperback cover of A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. It just seemed to work, so I flipped the makeup situation around and got on with drawing it.

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