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Sam Bailey

Work / Graphic Design

Hardcore bands, basketball and YouTube experiments – introducing designer and illustrator Sam Bailey

South London-based designer and illustrator Sam Bailey was self-taught “other than a college graphic design course”, and cut his teeth by making white label work for high street labels and for publications. “I did a lot of work with bands when I started out, and then some internships at a creative agency and a magazine,” he tells us. “From there, I worked at a fashion supplier creating graphics for high street labels, then more work doing layouts and artwork at magazines. A lot of this work I don’t have on show, but I have these jobs to thank for experience, developing skills as well as paying the bills.”

Mixing commissioned work with personal projects (“it’s always been important for me to have a personal output”), in recent years, Sam tells us “most of my exposure and contact for new work has been made through Instagram, where I post a lot of what working on.”

Among the projects Sam has been working on lately are a series of basketball videos “converted into a long images using code”, artwork for Leeds Hardcore band Higher Power and a series of experiments. Over to Sam to tell us more…

Basketball
“I like the idea that an element of the process is beyond your control; I saw a John Cage work at Tate Modern recently that got me interested in the incorporation of chance as a creative strategy. These are basketball videos converted into a long images using code, I then dissected parts from the long image files to create individual pieces.”

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Higher Power
“Higher Power are a Leeds-based Hardcore band, they approached me to design cover art for their album. Their reference points were 90’s shoegaze album art — oversaturated colours etc. I started out manipulating some live photos they gave me and went from there. It was fairly fluid process from start to finish, and while I started out only meaning to create the front cover, I ended up laying out the whole thing.”

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Experiments
“I watch ​a lot of ​YouTube tutorials and try to learn new software, this results in a lot of experimental work and artwork to test out new ideas. There’s no set process but some of my favourite things to do include warping and wrapping ​images in 3D space. I do more conventional and functional design work as well, but this is more freeform — trying to find new combinations and methods.”

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