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🎵 IT211: Tinto
✏️ Annabel Hewitson
🗓 19.09.23

Annabel is an illustrator and comic artist based in London, UK.

Howdy Annabel. Can you tell us a little bit about your tape and your song selections?

This is a playlist about a spy called ‘Tinto’, a character who crashes through life leaving behind broken hearts and conflicting stories. The playlist is built around the song “Summer Wine” by Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood and includes riffs on classic spy instrumentals and 60s/70s music with themes of love without commitment and fleeting encounters with a mysterious stranger.

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

I knew from the start that I wanted my cover art to focus on the character of Tinto, and that they should be holding a glass of wine in some way. The name ‘Tinto’ has a long story behind it for me but the music selection was largely inspired by its meaning of ‘red wine’ in Spanish and my favourite drink to order in Spain - Tinto de Verano (summer wine).

Aside from the wine it took me a long time to decide on what Tinto should be doing here, I played with a few variations on having them jumping/climbing out of a window after being caught spying but I ended up settling on this image of them turning round in the act of being spotted listening in on radio transmissions (or some other similar spy shenanigan). I loved that it echoed the act of listening to music and I also really liked the subtle callback to the album cover of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlemere’s Summer Wine with the similarity in pose.

I created this drawing in Procreate on my iPad (the time-lapse is almost 10 hours long! With more than half of that being redrawing compositions…) and I used mostly a mixture of the selection tool with auto fill and some pen and pencil-like brushes that I bought a while ago and use on everything. For a similar default brush, the Shale brush is pretty similar to the pencil one I use!

I also have a collection of textures that I use in my drawings from old projects and interesting printing mistakes etc so I used one of those here in the background. I really enjoyed playing with the text on this too, I’ve been putting more thought into fonts and text in my art lately and I was super happy with how the hand-lettering came out here!

 Nancy & Lee - Nancy & Lee
1968, Reprise Records
Cover design/photogaphy: Ron Joy

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

The Olympians - The Olympians
2016, Daptone Records
Artwork: Max Löffler

I am 100% biased towards anything with an illustrated cover – I often find new music just from clicking on exciting looking covers like with this album by The Olympians. The colours and the use of texture just really called out to me! I’ll be honest, most of the time the album covers I like don’t match up with the music I most like to listen to so I was glad when I turned out to enjoy this album for the music too.

The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Pt. 2 - Saint Motel
2020, Elektra
Artwork: Max Löffler

I also love Saint Motel and tend to like all their covers, but I wanted to give special mention to The Original Motion Picture Soundtack Pt. 2 – the songs on this album were originally released as 3 smaller albums and the design of these really intrigued me with the hints to upcoming songs. I remember being so excited about these at the time. It’s not the illustrated/textural kind of imagery I was talking about with The Olympians but I think it just works really well. Their music video for Move was also the first thing I saw in VR and that totally blew me away.

Time - ELO
1981, Jet Records
Artwork: Guy Fery

I should also mention ELO’s Time and Public Service Broadcasting’s The Race For Space - both of these are albums I really love, and I’m pretty sure print-outs of them lived on my wall at uni for a good while!

The Race for Space - Public Service Broadcasting
2014, Test Card Records
Artwork: Graham Pilling

What did you listen to growing up?

I listened to a lot of ELO, at first because my parents played it and later as a teenager I made it my mission to listen to every song they’d ever brought out (which turned out to be 12+ hours of music…).

My teenage years were soundtracked by a lot of My Chemical Romance and Greenday too, and I Monster’s “Daydream in Blue” always makes me think of sitting in my old kitchen as an 8 year-old.

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

I’m having a serious funk phase at the moment! L’Imperatrice, Jungle, and Alfie Templeman appear on a lot of my recent playlists and as for other genres I think the previously-mentioned “Daydream in Blue” has managed to beat almost all the songs from my Tinto playlist to be my 2nd-most listened to song this month behind Summer Wine. I think I’ll always be listening to anything and everything jazz as well, Billie Holiday especially gets a lot of plays from me.

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

I’m currently working on a comic for One Shot books’ second anthology! It’s a short sci-fi story about AI and creativity and centres on a woman slowly going mad after seeing an exhibition on AI art.

I also have a lot of smaller projects in the works - I’ve got a whole list of new things I want to make for some conventions coming up so there’s plenty to keep me busy! If you’re based in the UK I’m at MCM London in October and Thoughtbubble in November so come and say hello in person! :-)

Where can we find you?

annabelhewitson.com instagram.com/annabelhewitson

Thanks Annabel 👋🏽

Nancy Sinatra - Summer Wine / The Surfrajettes - Toxic / La Luz - Floating Features / SEATBELTS - Tank! / Saint Motel - Bullet / The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Anemone / Bernard Estardy - Monsieur Dutour / Saint Motel - Snake Charmer / I Monster - Sickly Suite Part Three: Gone / Dusty Springfield - Spooky / The Zombies - She's Not There / Nancy Sinatra - Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) / Little Simz - Point and Kill (feat. Obongjayar) ︎