Illustrated Tapes 106: endlessly

Curated by Julia Yrkoska

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Julia is an artist and illustrator born and raised in the capital of Poland, Warsaw, nowadays residing in Chicago.

Cześć, Julia. Can you tell us a little bit about your tape and your song selections?

The concept for this tape centers around love, trust, and a lot of fear. I’ve been planning on moving back to Europe, this time I’m bringing my life partner along. We’re soulmates, running away together. The song selection is intimate and somber, alternating between two voices promising to not quit on each other. It’s supposed to invoke a tension, an anxiety about the future, calmed by the fact that you are never alone.

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

I wanted to visualize a gentle, and comfortable place. Not necessarily a warm or inviting environment, a snowy forest is somewhere I’d love to be with my soulmate. Running away, finding ourselves alone in the middle of the night, we’re safe, because we have each other. I made sure to include texture in my cover, a wash and watercolor or sort. The composition is inspired by ‘The Evening Star’ by André Edouard Marty.

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

Until – Fewjaw
2016, S.M.I.L.E
Artwork: Sven Ballenthin
Design: Jakob Joiko

Obey EP – Priest
2019, Lövely

I Sold My Soul To The Devil When I Was 12 – GRLwood
2019, SonaBlast! Records
Artwork: Jordan Lanham

“Delta” [Music video]  – C2C
2013, On And On Records
If there’s anything I want to say, it’s how much this music video means to me. I discovered ‘Delta’ in highschool and I’ve seen the video at least 100 times. I watch it when I’m sad, uninspired, or don’t have the energy for a movie. It’s a major reason why I’m drawing today, why I believe symbolism and detail is so dear to my work. Additionally, around the time I watched it for the first time, I read The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin. Both narratives have been paired in my mind ever since, inspiring me to brainstorm my own stories.

What did you listen to growing up?

My parents both mildly participated in the alternative scene at their youth. As result, I’ve inherited a mix of their tastes that alternate between mellower folk music and harsher sounds like industrial metal. Artists I remember from my early years include AC/DC, The Beatles, Guns N’ Roses, Amy McDonald and a lot of Polish bands like Kult, Dżem, Enej, and Lady Pank.  

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

Currently, I’m heavily indulging with Priest, Petshop Boys, Lord Huron, Banshee, Żywiołak, Wulfband, and my one true muse IAMX. For years now, about once a month I listen to the entire Jeckyll & Hyde: The Gothic Musical Thriller, that musical is always on my mind, I hold a strong belief there should be a well produced movie based on this particular version.

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

These days I’m quite busy working for a Bachelor’s degree in Illustration. I’m concentrating to learn about printmaking and narrative work, hopefully choosing one or the other to pursue once I graduate.

Where can we find you?

︎ @gargoyleclaws
︎ @gargoyleclaws

Thanks, Julia!