Under the Influence – 4AD/Pixies

by just 'Hooper'

During my college years in the early nineties, one of my big influences was the record label 4AD. Not only did they have a great roster of artists but the artwork was inspirational – the work of Vaughn Oliver and Chris Bigg was amazingly beautiful and haunting at the same time and led me to see how a strong single image could create such a deep narrative in conjunction with the audio. Luckily i got to meet both of them and about a year ago could say thanks to Mr.Oliver when he came to talk at John Moores University.

One of the artists, Pixies, were (are) an amazing indie rock band of whom i though – their sound is how i want my drawings to look – if that makes any sense? Cartoonish yet menacing and familiar. Strangely enough the combination of the 4AD artwork and one of Pixies last great singles, ‘Planet of Sound’ had a singular eyeball on the cover! I also took some inspiration at the time from Steven Appleby, who had illustrated the sleeve notes of their final album, and made some cardboard badges which i’ve just dug out of a drawer.


The sci-fi themes and dotted textures still haven’t left me.