Illustrated Tapes 157: Bookish

Curated by Karin Söderquist

Karin is a a freelance illustrator and sometimes a graphic designer, based in Stockholm, Sweden.

Hej Karin! Can you tell us a little bit about your tape and your song selections?

I’ve made a mixtape on the theme of books where all of the songs mention books, reading, libraries, librarians or authors in some way. I’ve always liked reading and for me it, as well as listening to music, has always been the ultimate escape from reality. And I think we all need a break from that at times.

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

I wanted to try to visualise a little bit of the magical experience that reading can be. That feeling when you’re reading something you’re really into and you just forget everything else and become completely absorbed with the story. I sketched a few different concepts but I ended up using my first idea. When working on my own illustrations (not client work) I always try to go for the idea that I think would be the most fun to work on!

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

Isle of Dogs – Tigercats
2012, Acuarela Discos / Fika Recordings
Artwork: Duncan Barrett

One of the tracks included in the playlist, Harper Lee, is from the album Isle Of Dogs by Tigercats. It’s a great album, filled with catchy pop gems, and I love the illustrations on the cover as well, made by the band’s singer Duncan Barrett.

Kakashi – Yasuaki Shimizu
1982, Better Days
Artwork: Yasuaki Shimizu

Another great album with a cat themed cover is Kakashi by Yasuaki Shimizu, who also made the painting on the cover. Anyone who knows me knows I love cats!

The Raincoats – The Raincoats
1979, Rough Trade
Artwork: Pang Hsiao-Li

One of the reasons I first started listening to The Raincoats was seeing the cover for The Raincoats in some magazine. I just thought it looked so cool. The painting on the cover is by Pang Hsiao-Li, who apparently was only nine years old when she made it!

You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever – Orange Juice
1982, Polydor
Design: Steve Bush
Photography: Jill Furmanovsky

Brilliant record with a brilliantly kitschy cover, it makes me happy just looking at it!

What did you listen to growing up?

When I was a kid I liked very typical music for someone growing up in the mid/late 90s: Spice Girls (I was Geri), Roxette, Backstreet Boys and Alanis Morissette. In my teens I started listening to more alternative music and indie pop. Some of my favourites were Belle and Sebastian, The Wannadies, Sparklehorse, Sleater-Kinney, Pavement and Elliott Smith.

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

I’ve been listening a lot to Molly Nilssons new album Extreme lately and to Journey in Satchidananda by Alice Coltrane.

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

In keeping with the theme of books I’ve recently published my first kids book En liten bok om stora känslor (A small book about big feelings). It’s only available in Swedish at the moment but I’m hoping to publish it in English at some point soon! I’m also preparing to take part in a street art festival in Stockholm at the end of May.

Where can we find you?

You can find my work on instagram: @karinmsoderquist and on my website:

Thanks Karin! 👋🏽