︎ ︎ ︎

🎵 IT188: Nihilistic Bubblegum
✏️ Reinout Dijkstra
🗓 23.11.22

Reinout is an in-house illustrator based in Zwolle, Netherlands.

Hoi Reinout. Can you tell us a little bit about your tape and your song selections?

This playlist has lots of catchy pop songs. Mostly featuring synthesisers and mostly recorded before I was born. Underneath the poppy and shallow facade of these tunes, there’s a message to deliver or a moody atmosphere to convey.

There’s something about songs of the 80s. They seem to be both hopeful and worrisome. Maybe it’s the endless possibilities that the synthesiser gave to artists. And maybe it’s the constant threat of a bomb falling on your head. Or maybe it’s the side-effects of using hairspray. Who knows!

I like it when you’re listening to a catchy song, and while you listen, you start to realise that there’s more to it. I had an absolute blast selecting these eerie songs.

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

For the cover I drew a seemingly care-free environment. A swimming pool. Someone’s taking a swim. But the main protagonist’s thoughts seem to be elsewhere. It’s a mirror of what I tried to select with the songs; looks like fun, but makes you think.

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

Most album covers feature a photo of the band posing for the picture or playing somewhere live. I instantly like all albumcovers who do something different. It takes guts to not show off your most recognisable product, but instead trying something different. Like a certain vibe, a mood or just an image that supports the concept of the album. Like Bloody Tourists from 10cc. Or Year Of The Cat by Al Stewart. Or even Plantasia by Mort Garson.

Bloody Tourists – 10cc
1978, RCA Victor
Artwork: Colin Edge, Hipgnosis

Year Of The Cat – Al Stewart
1978, RCA Victor
Design, photography: Hipgnosis
Graphics: George Hardie

Mother Earth’s Plantasia – Mort Garson
1976, Homeworld Records
Artwork: Marvin Rubin

What did you listen to growing up?

I had the privilege of having three older brothers, whose music taste really rubbed off on me. I grew up up knowing every phonetic word of every song by Queen. But I also listened to bands like AC/DC and Guns n’ Roses. Then I discovered The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac and Led Zeppelin in my teens.

At the time I had a strong opinion that real and authentic music should be made with guitars, and definitely not with computers or synthesisers. It defenitly kept me from exploring new genres of music. Then my mother did me the biggest favour of gifting me Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for my thirteenth birthday. That’s when I really started to fall in love with the electro pop of the 1980s. It has really made me more open to other genres of music. If you look past your own preconceptions and past the stadium-filling rock bands, there is a treasure of music, just beneath the surface.

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

Last months I listened to a lot of Wu-Tang. Also a world of its own with gems to discover. But I also listened to Unknown Mortal Orchestra thanks to my studio mate. :-)

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

This summer, I took a hard turn on my career path. I basically stopped freelancing and found a new job as a full-time illustrator for a design agency called Today, in Utrecht. So now I’m learning to make and then switch between different styles depending on the client. I’m seeing a whole new part of the creative field and it has changed my perspective on illustration. Because of this new job, I finally have some time at hand to work on some personal projects that have been laying on the shelves. Eh, until our baby wakes up from her nap, that is. Haha (Love you Okke!)

Where can we find you?



Thanks Reinout 👋🏽