Illustrated Tapes 130: Digital Love
Curated by Lydia Maltby

Lydia Maltby is a freelance digital illustrator based in the North West of England.

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Hey Lydia. Can you tell us a little bit about your tape and your song selections?

Hi! My tape is an appreciation of all things digital in music, the beauty of technology, and how electronic music can sound so different but at its core it's all digital! Like in the live versions of ‘bmbmbm’ by black midi the distorted vocals at the beginning are just a clip of Nikki Grahame on Big Brother played through a phone into a guitar pickup. I just think all these songs sound cool and I’m hoping that nobody is disappointed that I put a Daft Punk song that wasn’t ‘Digital Love’ after literally taking the title from the Daft Punk song ‘Digital Love’.

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

My cover art is a very direct interpretation of my mixtape title. I let myself have fun with this one and just did what I really wanted to do. I think the arrow through the heart with the cracked glass is a good visual representation of how a lot of the songs on the playlist sound to me, beautiful in like a chaotic, glitchy kind of way. I do all my illustrations digitally which fits perfectly with the theme, this one specifically in Procreate on an iPad. I love using textured brushes and I think it gave this a nice bit of grit to the cover art because when you think of digital you probably think smooth and sleek so it’s a nice contrast. I think I work best when I limit my colours too and went with a classic neon looking pink and blue palette.

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

I may be biased because I thought it was the best album of 2020 but the album cover for Phoebe Bridgers’ ‘Punisher’ is one of my favourites ever, such a striking image and fits the tone of the album perfectly. ‘Titanic Rising’ by Weyes Blood is also up there. One project that has a great visual component is Magic Oneohtrix Point Never – Oneohtrix Point Never. Robert Beatty who made the album artwork also designed illustrations for every song on the album that went into the double LP insert.

Punisher – Phoebe Bridgers
2020, Dead Oceans
Design: Nathaniel David Utesch
Photography: Olof Grind

Designs for Magic Oneohtrix Point Never – Oneohtrix Point Never
2020, Warp Records
Design: Robert Beatty

What did you listen to growing up?

Growing up I listened to a lot of the stuff you’d probably find on a throwback emo playlist, Paramore in particular. They were the first band that I was truly obsessed with and I still think they’re making great music! I remember listening to the Foo Fighters quite a bit because my dad liked them and an awful lot of Bryan Adams courtesy of my mum. To this day I still probably remember a lot of the lyrics after listening to all his songs on repeat on car rides over the years.

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

A lot of Charli XCX, A.G Cook, that kind of stuff. I’m currently liking a lot of the songs from Lady Gaga’s Chromatica remix album, so many incredible people featuring on that. Japanese Breakfast’s latest album Jubilee has also been on repeat since it came out earlier this year.

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

At the moment I’ve had some time to focus on some personal work that I’ve been wanting to do for a while, gif making and animating. I’m also always making gig posters and album art for fun that I post on my socials, so if you happen to be looking for someone who does that get at me!

Where can we find you and @lydiamaltby on twitter and instagram.

Cheers, Lydia!