Illustrated Tapes 147: Here is Where You Belong

Curated by Tom Stockwell
09.02.22

spoti.fi/3HJ78uk


Tom is an illustrator, designer and chronic over-thinker. He’s based in London, UK.




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

Hi! So I’ve been travelling back to my home town, Goring, a lot recently, and while I’ve found a lot of peace there, it’s always been sad getting on the train back to the big smoke. I began curating a list of songs that bring some comfort and really dispel those homesick blues, which has now evolved into my portable home-away-from-home. I think a lot of people can relate to feeling displaced, disheartened, and unsure of things right now, so I would love to share some of my favourite musical remedies to help anyone feeling lost or homesick.

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

I wanted to create something that resonated with a lot of people; something that felt universally nostalgic or invoked peoples’ own memories of happier times. I also wanted to capture the otherworldly feel of my home village after sunset, where the sky opens up and reality just feels different. I ended up coming up with waayyyy too many ideas and routes I could go down, so decided to keep it simple; someone on the roof of their house, escaping the world and listening to music as the sun went down. I’ve been replaying Kentucky Route Zero a lot recently, and I think a lot of the visuals and emotion from that leaked into the final cover. Definitely check it out!

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


Things That Happen At Day // Things That Happen At Night [EP] – Milo
2015, Fiction Records
Artwork: Jee Shaun Wang


Not sure if this is allowed as this double EP has two covers! This was one of the first hip-hop mixtapes I got into, and before I even listened to it I knew it was something special, just from Jee Shaun Wang’s surreal and beautiful artwork. I think it really captures the world Milo exists in in these songs; it’s mystical and oddly soothing, full of cool little details and lots of soft lines.

Oddments – King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
2014, Flightless
Artwork: Jason Galea


This is hands down one of the best album covers of all time - the amount of detail and weird cartoon-y monsters hidden within it is mad. The album itself is a collection of B-sides and odd songs written over the course of the band’s early career that didn't fit anywhere on their previous albums, and the cover really captures that hodge-podge, mismatched nature of the tracklist. It feels like it’s from another universe, and I am absolutely here for it.


‘Two Against One’ (feat. Jack White) [music video] – Danger Mouse, Daniele Luppi
2011, WMG / Parlophone
Dir: Chris Milk & Anthony Francisco Schepperd

I thought I’d include my favourite music video on this list - which is for ‘Two Against One’ by Daniele Luppi and Danger Mouse. The only way I can describe it is pure fluidity - it creates this eerie, haunting atmosphere while telling this fascinating story of loss and guilt, all without narration and just over two minutes long. It is a masterclass in animation and visual storytelling, and I cannot recommend it enough



All Of Me – Masayoshi Takanaka
1979, Kitty Records

Okay I know this one isn’t illustrated, but this album popped up on YouTube one day and I mean, come on, look at him, he’s so happy! It puts a smile on my face every time I see it.


What did you listen to growing up?

I was lucky in that both my parents shared a lot of their different music with me while growing up, especially on long journeys. My dad listens to a lot of northern soul and two-tone, while my mum listens to a lot of music from the seventies (Steely Dan, Wings, David Bowie). I definitely didn’t appreciate a lot of it when I was young, but those albums and songs just feel like home to me now. I think my first album was Demon Days by Gorillaz (which is a flawless masterpiece and I will die on this hill), followed swiftly by NME’s Best of 2006 compilation CD. From there it spiralled into alt rock and landfill indie… I was so obsessed with all of that NME fodder that there were a lot of amazing artists and albums from that time that I completely missed, and I’m only now playing catch up.

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

I’ve been re-listening to my top albums of 2021 lately, including Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine’s A Beginner’s Mind (which I HIGHLY recommend if you’re into your films - each song is written about a different movie), Valentine by Snail Mail, and Sling by Clairo, so lots of soft singer-songwriters. I recently got into Ram by Paul McCartney which has been a really fun listen, oh and also lots of Herbie Hancock and Dave Brubeck to top it all off.

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

Well, my aim for this year is to design a lot more prints to be available on my shop (tom-stockwell.com/shop) so expect to see a lot more merch on my ‘gram (@tomstockwell.in), as well as trying to finish inking a collab comic that has been kicking around my to-do list for a while now. Oh, and my other goal is to write six songs this year, so wish me luck!

Where can we find you?

Here are some of my links:
Website - tom-stockwell.com
Instagram - @tomstockwell.in
Shop - tom-stockwell.com/shop

Or you could hire a private detective to hunt me down; I won’t put up much of a fight.

Ok, watch your back, Tom 👋🏽