• Hero1

    White Fence: For the Recently Found Innocent (crop)

Behind The Scenes

We talk to Tim Presley of White Fence about his new artwork and what makes a great record sleeve

Posted by Liv Siddall,

Think about the sheer amount of books, articles, lectures and podcasts there must be floating around the earth on what makes a good record sleeve. We tend to consult designers, or record labels about the images that, thrown against sound, create something that sticks with you your whole life, that you could probably draw from memory. It’s rare when get an artist who creates the music and the artwork that makes it shine, but Tim Presley does.

LA-based Tim is the man behind White Fence, which is some of the best music you’ll probably hear today, and he recently created the artwork for his imminent album that’s got everyone talking. Turns out Tim used to be – and kind of still is – a designer, which is probably why the White Fence artwork has been consistently brilliant since their first release. Tim very kindly agreed to speak with us about creativity, sound, vision, and the new sleeve that everyone’s talking about.

I know everyone seems to be talking about the cover of For The Recently Found Innocent, but could you tell me briefly about how that painting came about?

That painting was kind of accidental. Originally I was trying to make an abstract painting, and then it morphed into a human face, and then I think it started to resemble me. What a fucking narcissist! I can’t do anything without it resembling my beautiful face. When I make cake it resembles me too. Which is weird because when I look in the mirror I see a dickhead. But seriously, yeah, that’s the story. Kyle from King Tuff and I were joking and thought Accidental Self Portrait would’ve been a good album name. But then I thought record snobs would think it was a piss take on Dylan’s self portrait.

How often do you paint?

It all depends if my cat will allow it.

  • 7

    White Fence: Family Perfume Vol.1

When you hear or play music, do you naturally start to visualise things in your mind?

Not always. But a good song or album will do that.

How important is artwork for a band, and do you think it truly can affect the way people hear the music within?

I think it’s very important. It can be a window to the imagination or brain of the musician/band. Or a hint at what you should be seeing while listening.

How much freedom do artists get when it comes to how the record looks, and should that change?

100% freedom. I don’t really hang out with huge rock stars on demanding major labels, so I don’t really know.

  • 5

    White Fence: Cyclops Reap 7"

To me the artwork for Family Perfume and Is Growing Faith looks exactly how the music sounds, even though they are visually so different to For The Recently Found Innocent. Can you tell me about the artwork for those albums?

I don’t really know what to say about that. But I remember wanting those to be simple for some reason.

I know it seems like an obvious question, but I’d really like to know which other artwork from now or past periods of time and genres you think is particularly great

I’ve always liked Gee Vaucher’s collage’s for Crass. Also work by Raymond Pettibon, and Elizabeth Peyton’s paintings. Lately I’ve been obsessed with Francesca Woodman and her photos. She was the last artist to make me want to make art and music.

What music are you into at the moment?

Alice Coltrane Turiya Sings. And of course Painter man by Creation.

  • 6

    White Fence: Family Perfume Vol.2

  • 3

    White Fence: White Fence

  • 2

    White Fence: Cyclops Reap

  • 4

    White Fence: Is Growing Faith

  • 1

    White Fence: For the Recently Found Innocent

Ls-300

Posted by Liv Siddall

Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our editors. She oversees itsnicethat.com and has a particular interest in illustration, photography and music videos. She is also a regular guest and sometime host on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Behind The Scenes View Archive

  1. Main

    No magazine gets snapped up and devoured like Apartamento when it arrives into the It’s Nice That studio – there’s something about its size, understated beauty and incomparable wit that makes it irresistable. It states that it’s an “everyday life interiors magazine,” but it’s so much more than that, providing in-depth interviews with some of the coolest people who walk on this earth, with snooping photographs of their dwellings to boot. Now on its 14th edition, I wanted to ask Omar Sosa, the magazine’s much-loved founder, a little about this issue, those in the past, and where Apartamento is headed.

  2. Main1

    Embarrassingly, I only recently realised the magic and majesty of The Paris Review. I came across it when a recent issue was illustrated by one of my favourite artists, Chris Ware. Eager to see who was responsible for this decision, I tracked down their art editor and came across Charlotte Strick. Charlotte is a fantastic, intelligent book jacket designer who is utterly seeped in the work that she makes, so much so that she writes about design almost as much as she practices it. I was keen to speak to Charlotte about what she did and what got her there, but I wasn’t prepared for the level of detail she was to go in. – she gives a truly spectacular interview. Here she is…

  3. List

    It’s a well-established fact that even the most conceptually exciting product designs can fall flat on their face if they’re photographed poorly. Imagery can often make or break these projects. And while of course this isn’t the be-all and end-all, it’s worth taking this part of the process seriously to maximise the chances of your work cutting through the noise.

  4. List

    A couple of weeks ago, Channel 4 aired a documentary (below) which saw photographer Giles Duley (himself a triple amputee) meet some of the disabled victims of the war in Syria. It was a difficult watch but an extremely important story to tell, and one that meant a lot to Giles. He got in touch to say that although The Guardian ran an in-depth piece on the same theme, he had some photographs which weren’t used that he was really keen to get out there.

  5. List

    Lawrence Zeegen has never been one to mince his words. The illustrator, writer and dean of design at London College of Communication has recently launched his new book Fifty Years Of Illustration which he co-wrote with Grafik editor Caroline Roberts. It’s an impressively ambitious undertaking with the duo condensing five decades into 1,000 images by 240 illustrators from 30 countries. Lawrence admits it’s a “pretty personal selection” but one that aims to “represent the movers and shakers across each decade according to the work I believe was instrumental in shaping the discipline.”

  6. List

    In December last year we received a zine in the post from Yorkshire-based photographer Christopher Nunn that documented a small selection of images he’d gathered in Ukraine. Kalush offered a unique perspective on a region that was thrust suddenly and violently into the public consciousness, showing us the quiet, everyday side of a place that – from television coverage at least – you’d have been forgiven for assuming was razed to the ground.

  7. Main

    Victoria Siddall has worked at Frieze for just over a decade and two years ago was made Director of Frieze Masters. Excitingly, just a few weeks ago she was appointed Director of Frieze Masters, Frieze New York and Frieze London. As well as being one of the most powerful women in the art world, Victoria is also my sister, so I was curious to find out how she’s feeling on the dawn of her new career.

  8. List

    Forget what you think you know about surfing; the “gnarly dudes” on the hunt for “tubular waves” (I’m basing most of this language on Sean Penn’s character in Fast Times At Ridgemont High, but you catch my drift). Finisterre’s latest surf film is more in line with Jonathan Glazer’s legendary Guinness ad than any piece of footage you’re likely to see for O’Neill or Billabong. For one thing it’s not set in an exotic location – there are no bikini-clad babes – as they’ve traded warmer waters for the icy depths off the coasts of northern Scotland and Ireland.

  9. .jpg?1413390909

    All too often these days we stumble across a jaw-dropping example of set design, only to discover the impressive final image is actually the result of some clever visual trickery and digital manipulation. That’s an impressive art unto itself, don’t get me wrong, but pure CGI can leave me feeling a little shortchanged.

  10. List

    When David Mckendrick told us he was leaving Esquire and setting up a new venture with Wallpaper* art director Lee Belcher, we were fascinated to see what the fruits of such a top-notch collaboration might look like. Last week we got our answer, when a copy of the new Christie’s magazine came dropping through our letterbox.

  11. Main

    Ever see those massive billboards of ice-cold beverages and think “who actually photographs those?” Well now we know, it’s Nick Rees, a still-life photographer who specialises in drinks. From pints of Guinness as black as night, to a mouthwatering, fizzing glass of ice cold Coca-Cola, Nick manages to fill your mouth up with saliva with every image he takes. Want to know the best bit? He doesn’t even use CGI – he states that each of his images is “100% a photograph.” We caught up with Nick to find out the ins-and-outs of this niche branch of photography…

  12. List

    Flickr is one of those magical treasure mines of the internet that’s sure to yield gems if you just look hard enough, and every now and again on our travels we stumble across a great hunk of uncut diamond. To continue the metaphor, Dave Glass is one such treasure.

  13. Main

    London-based brand Heresy presented its new collection this week in the guise of its Autumn Winter 2014 lookbook. Entitled Forming, the collection is a quiet amalgamation of illustration and traditional workwear, combining illustrated elements and hand-drawn type with carefully crafted structural staples made from loop-back jersey and felted wool.