Illustrated Tapes 011: Bad Haircut

Curated by Nicole Cmar

Mixcloud / Spotify

Nicole is an illustrator and designer based in Columbus, Ohio.

What’s up Nicole, can you tell us a little bit about your tape and your song selections?

Hi Sam! It’s 20 songs for people who are awkward, shy, or socially-anxious. A playlist for wallflowers to unwind to after a long day filled with overthinking everything and attempting to blend in at parties. It includes a good variety of artists, starting with Daniel Johnston and ending with Shel Silverstein. Some of the songs are sad like “Ryan’s Song” by Joe Jack Talcum, but a good few of them have a comforting tone like “I’ll Be Your Mirror” by The Velvet Underground.

How did you go about the artwork for the tape?

I drew a guy who’s blushing because he got a little crazy with the scissors and cut off the middle section of his hair. He probably cut a piece too short by mistake and kept unsuccessfully trying to fix it till there was nothing but two strands left. Similar to what my bangs looked like in kindergarten after my dad accidentally cut them extremely crooked :^ )

What are your fave album covers, records with a great music and artwork combo, or musical projects with a visual component?

Sesame Street - Bert & Ernie Sing-Along
1975, Children’s Television Workshop

 Is there even a question as to why?! They are the most beautifully elegant singing duos in music history. But seriously the color and typography of this cover is what makes it one of my favs.

Nisson - Pandemonium Shadow Show
1967, RCA Victor
Artwork [montage]: Donald Burgess
Photography: Jeff Gold

This album features some great Beatles cover songs and the surreal “She Sings Hymns Out of Tune.”

John Lennon - Woman [single, from Double Fantasy]
1981, Geffen
Photography: Jack Mitchell

A single featuring my favourite time heroes John and Yoko. John my hero from the past and Yoko my hero of the present. This photo makes my heart melt lol.

The Flaming Lips - It Overtakes Me EP
2006, Warner Bros.
Artwork: Wayne Coyne

Design: George Salisbury

All of the Lips album covers are beauties but I chose this one because of the mind-blowing lettering.

What did you listen to growing up?

I started with a lot of motown and Tiny Tim. I loved my grandma and that’s what was always on in her old Cadillac. Her car had this amazing scent of cigarettes and perfume so anytime I smell either of those things I think of Frankie Valli haha.

What’s happening in your creative world at the moment?

I’m in a studio called Pretty Picture Club, so I’m usually working on a monthly theme piece or scheduling Q&A’s with other illustrators for our blog. Right now we are all preparing for our first group show together called Octobercup. Our buddy Wijtze Valkema of Drip for Drip is organising it and we are super excited to be designing our own coffee cups!

Where to find Nicole:

︎ nicole_cmar
︎ @nicolecmar


01. Daniel Johnston - Grievances
02. The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band - I Won't Hurt You
03. Belle & Sebastian - Expectations
04. Moses Campbell - Wallflower
05. Yusuf / Cat Stevens - Don't Be Shy
06. AJJ - Brave as a Noun
07. Jeffrey Lewis - Cult Boyfriend
08. Turner Cody - Better Days
09. WHY? - Into the Shadows of My Embrace
10. FIDLAR - Awkward
11. Oberhofer - Sea Of Dreams
12. David Bowie - Lady Stardust - 2012 Remaster
13. Simon & Garfunkel - I Am a Rock
14. Tiny Tim - I'm a Lonesome Little Raindrop - Demo Session #6
15. Joe Jack Talcum - Ryan's Song
16. The Velvet Underground - I'll Be Your Mirror
17. Sledding With Tigers - The Devil and a California Burrito Are Raging Inside Me
18. The Flaming Lips - The Gash - 2017 Remaster
19. Lou Reed - Waves of Fear
20. Shel Silverstein - Bury Me In My Shades