Illustrated Tapes 102: Art School Education

Curated by Brandon Land
19.03.21

spoti.fi/3c70Yad



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Originally from Oklahoma and currently based in Oakland, CA, Brandon is an artist, illustrator, art director, hooper, zinester, pizza punk... whatever.

Hi Brandon. Can you tell us a little bit about your tape and your song selections?

Quarantine has me swimming in deep end of nostalgia, and I’ve been trying to channel that into my personal work. One of my favorite parts about writing is listening to bands or mixtapes that align with certain time periods.

In this mixtape, I’ll be focusing on those last few years of Art School and heading into the job market. Meeting new people, finding your tribe, getting excited about the possibilities to come. Completely content with being broke and bored. It almost felt like we were living out the plot to a 90s alternative kid movie or something.

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

There were a few key discoveries back then that really molded my work into what it’s become. Jay Ryan gig posters and Jeffrey Brown comics were huge inspirations. They both had this sense of controlled chaos. A perfect combination of meticulously crafted compositions and messy environments which felt super vulnerable. Almost as if you were getting a peek into their personal lives.

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


Something to Write Home About – The Get Up Kids
1999, Vagrant
Artwork: Travis Millard


One of the more significant discoveries in art school. I found a used copy of this CD and 4 minute mile, which are both currently in my glove box.

Amnesiac – Radiohead
2001, Parlophone
Artwork: Stanley Donwood


This is the album my wife and I listened to on our first date. We got a hot chocolate, took a walk around campus, and hung out in her car listening to Amnesiac.


Wincing the Night Away – The Shins
2006, Sub Pop
Artwork: Robert Mercer


I bought this album while working at Starbucks. It completely transformed my perception of design. I wasn’t very technologically adept and didn’t own a computer. I was struggling in design school as a result. Seeing that hand-inked cover empowered me. I could do this.



Introverted Romance In Our Troubled Minds – P.S. Eliot
2009, Salinas Records
Design - Jacquelyn Sullivan

A lot of the bands I gravitated toward were from neighboring states. Discovering the Crutchfield Sisters were from Wichita or The Get Up Kids being from Arkansas turned on a light in my head. Amazing talents can come from anywhere, and I could do this shit too? Sick!

One of my favorite memories from this period of life was seeing Waxahatchee and Swearin at a house show in OKC. I was completely blown away. Talk about talent!

Here’s a video: youtube.com/watch?v=CrREiXSr1E8

What did you listen to growing up?

I grew up in a pretty conservative household.

When I was younger, I listened to christian bands like Five Iron Frenzy, MXPX, Relient K, Underoath, or whatever was on the radio. In High School, I was all over the place. Notorious B.I.G., Lil Wayne, Outkast, 2Pac, Nas, The Shins, Brand New, Copeland, and Dashboard Confessional were heavy rotations.

Art School was where I really started to figure shit out. My friends started putting me on to better bands and I found a good record store. Skramz, Math Rock, Shoegaze, and some Hardcore.

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

Lush by Snail Mail never gets old.

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

Currently working as an art director/illustrator in the Bay Area. Occasionally freelance on the side.

My wife and I just bought a Risograph printer and hope to table as Drums in the Deep when this craziness is over. Yes, it’s a Lord of the Rings reference. I know...

Where can we find you?

︎ brandon-land.com
︎ @brandonland
︎ @BrandonLand

Thanks, Brandon!
Mark