MARK Wilkinson, whose fantasy-inspired paintings have been commissioned by everyone from Marillion and Judas Priest to Robbie Williams and The Darkness, spoke to WMF about music-related artwork to inspire people to enter Worcester Arts Workshop’s open art exhibition…

“Creating artwork for the world of music, from album covers and posters to t-shirts, was always a dream of mine. In the late sixties I can remember staring at album covers for ages in my local independent record shop near to my school, and I often bought an album on the strength of the artwork.

“Artwork must grab the viewer instantly – within a few seconds – that was always my guidance from the record companies when I first started as a record sleeve designer. You must imagine a customer flipping through the LP sleeves in a record store rack looking for an impulse buy, they said, and if your artwork intrigues them enough to explore the music, your work is done!

“Of course, record stores are few and far between now and ‘flipping through the racks’ is almost a thing of the past.

“However, artwork is still important in 2013 now that vinyl is making a comeback. It will never be like it was, of course, but what is? No point in mourning that loss…everything moves forwards. Even in this digital age, you might flip through the digital thumbnails of album covers on your friend’s iPod and see something that attracts you, or see a poster advertising a band, or in a music magazine, and if it has interesting artwork, investigate further. And the cycle continues!”

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