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Illustrated Tapes 023: Ex Libris

Curated by Sprankenstein


Mixcloud / Spotify

Jade Spranklen aka Sprankenstein is the founder and art director of creative agency Sprankenstein Studio, based out of Margate and London. 

Hey Jade! Can you tell us a little bit about your tape and your song selections?

I was sketching in a coffee shop, using a book called ‘Death’ I found at the Wellcome Collection as inspiration and noticed at the beginning of the book there was a label that said ‘Ex Libris’, and that pretty much guided my choices for the tape! ‘Ex Libris’ is a bookplate inscribed to show the name of the book owner. My tape is a selection is split into three parts - a beginning, middle and end - much like a book, or a lifescape. Start with hope, then a little bit of pleasure/pain/loss, and then it slows down a bit…

How did you go about the artwork?

I created the artwork digitally using a mixture of coding and after effects. The background was made up of various code I’d written that creates and animated for as long as you run it. It just goes on and on, and overlaps to create different densities and colours. So I let the code do it’s thing for a bit, then grabbed a moment and created the neon type on top playing around using After Effects.

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

I am a big fan of Sufjan Stevens and I especially love the album artwork for The Age of Adz as it was made by Royal Robertson, who Sufjan wrote the whole album about. It’s about Roberston’s life, and his delusions which then lead to the destruction of that life. He was a self-proclaimed prophet and a recluse who prophesied about the ‘End of Days’ and aliens sending warnings to him through the use of complex numerology. You can see the loss of his mentality through his drawings and sketches as it all took hold of his life.

Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz
2015, Asthmatic Kitty
Artwork: Royal Robertson

What did you listen to growing up?

When I was really young, my Dad literally glued me in front of Kerrang TV, so I was raised on bands like Linkin Park, Staind and Limp Bizkit. My Mum on the other hand was into George Michael and Queen.

My parents used to play this one mixtape on every car journey and never got sick of it, and quite a few of those songs feature in the playlist - namely Champagne Supernova by Oasis and Perfect Day by Lou Reed.  

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

At the moment I’m working on a few projects, but mainly I’m just experimenting with creating digital art through code. I have a few animated projects coming out soon to keep an eye out for (I just can’t tell you exactly what they are yet without getting in trouuuuble).

Where to find Jade and Sprankenstein Studio:

︎ sprankensteinstudio.com
︎ sprankensteinstudio


01. Washed Out - Amor Fati
02. Taken By Trees - To Lose Someone
03. Jidenna - Bambi
04. Youth Lagoon - Montana
05. The National - Pink Rabbits
06. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - Don't You Forget About Me
07. Art School Girlfriend - Moon
08. Tame Impala - Eventually
09. Beach House - Take Care
10. Keaton Henson - You
11. Sufjan Stevens - For the Widows in Paradise, For the Fatherless in Ypsilanti
12. Jon Hopkins - I Remember
13. Sufjan Stevens - Vesuvius
14. Wild Beasts - End Come Too Soon
15. Sébastien Tellier - La ritournelle