Illustrated Tapes 053: A Robot Dreams

Curated by Kristyna Baczynski
13.02.20

spoti.fi/2SwUZjV



Sequenced playlist, made to be played in order.

* * *

Kristyna is an illustrator, comic book artist, and designer hailing from Yorkshire and currently living and working in Leeds.

Hiya Kristyna. Can you tell us a little bit about your tape and your song selections?

Hi ITHQ, happy to be here. The year is 2020, that’s wild! That number feels so futuristic, I wanted my tape to sound like a science fiction cityscape, with a woozy, dreamy vibe. I listen to a lot of instrumental music while I work, and I draw a lot of robots, so inevitably I end up thinking about what robots might think about. I imagine they’re melancholic, conflicted and a little bit horny. My hope is that our future A.I. overlords really rate this mix.

What direction did you take with your cover art, and what was your process?

I put together the mixtape first, then played it on loop while I was sketching ideas. I knew I wanted it to be spacey and cosmic, so that was my starting point. I love character design, so I came up with an android babe, who was originally on a balcony with a cityscape background, but it got trippy and dissolved into something more abstract and far out. I sketched with a regular pencil and did the artwork digitally with a futuristic pencil in Procreate.

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

I love the cover to Talking Heads - Little Creatures. It’s so detailed and intense, full of characters and stories. When I played this record for the first time, I stared deeply at the artwork and the visuals and music all fused together in one big happy memory.


Talking Heads - Little Creatures
1985, Sire
Artwork: Rev. Howard Finster

Wilderness by The Handsome Family is similarly hypnotic, but it feels like a witch drew it. Cursed in a good way.


The Handsome Family - Wilderness
2013, Carrot Top Records
Artwork: Rennie Sparks


The first time I became aware of album design was when I got into a lot of the Warp ‘90s - ‘00s electronic/experimental releases as a teenager. Loads of the covers were by The Designers Republic and got me thinking about design as a career.


Autechre - Envane
1997, Warp Records
Artwork: The Desigers Republic

What did you listen to growing up?

My first job was working in a specialist metal music shop, so I was into sludgy, doomy stuff like Electric Wizard and Orange Goblin during my teens. Not so much anymore, but those fuzzy waves still ripple.

And what’s on heavy rotation for you at the moment?

Lately I’ve been doing a deep dive into ‘70s and ‘80s city pop. It’s a new world and I want to get lost in it. Junko Yagami - Full Moon and Masayoshi Takanaka - Alone are absolute gold.

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

I’ve had an unexpectedly busy start to the year. I thought January was the freelance graveyard? I wanted to haunt some personal projects. Oh well. I just wrapped up a project with Thought Bubble Festival about fair pay for artists which was a delight to illustrate. I’m currently working with a national museum archive to illustrate objects from their collection, which is a bit of a dream project. Comics-wise, I’m excited to be writing a short story for 2000AD and then brewing up my second graphic novel later in the year.

Where can we find you?

︎ kristyna.co.uk
︎ @kbaczynski
︎ @kbaczynski

Thanks Kristyna

Mark