Artwork

SIMON VAETH

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Simon Væth is a Danish illustrator and graphic artist based in Copenhagen. He works with a wide range of media, with a particular interest in linocut printmaking.

It was the unique style of these prints that drew us to Simon’s work. We approached him to work with us in Summer 2014 and we are happy to say the rest is history!

We asked Simon a few questions to find out more about his life as an artist, his influences and inspirations and his relationship with music.

With your great linocuts and illustrations you have been an integral part of Chapter 24 so far and we want to thank you for that. Can you tell us a bit about how you came to be an illustrator?

It’s a good question, with a simple answer. I’m an illustrator because it’s what I do the best and like the most. Almost all illustrators have one thing in common, and that is that they never stopped drawing, and if you do something for a long time you end up being good at it.

When I was younger and studying in a design school, I was planning on working as a graphic designer, and I was very keen on it, but at some point I discovered many of the school projects ended up being figurative and illustrative, and I thought to myself, “oh! illustration is what I’m good at!”

Who or what are your main influences and inspirations as an artist?

I find inspiration and in many different sources, everything from 19th century children’s books to contemporary photography.

But one theme or illustrative genre that I always find big inspiration in, is the naïve, simple and rough art forms, such as all sorts of folk art, medieval frescoes or illuminated manuscripts, children’s drawings or mental patient art.

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Is this the first time you have collaborated with a record label or musician?

No, I have collaborated with many different bands and record labels before, especially the small non-profit, DIY label ‘Red Tape’ which focused on genres like post punk and new wave.

Do you listen to music while you work?

Yes absolutely! But I’m also a big consumer of radio, podcasts and audiobooks.

I usually listen to music when I’m in the idea phase of an illustration, because I can’t concentrate on listening to information and talk while I have to think and solve an illustrative challenge. But when the idea is in place, I can draw and listen to anything.

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Do you favour any particular genre? What do you think of when you think of house and techno music?

I listen to many different genres of music, but I guess genres like folk and lo-fi rock would best describe many of the bands I listen to.

I have never really listened much to techno and house music. When it comes to the electronic genres in music, I’ve been listening to drum and bass, glitch music or trip hop.

We found you while researching artists who work in linocut, as we were attracted by the similarity to the physical process of cutting grooves in vinyl, a medium for which we have great respect, and are planning future releases for.

Why do you have a preference for working in linocut? How does the process work?

I like working with linocut because of the the limitations and the aesthetics. When you work in linoleum there are a lot of uncertainties, you can’t correct mistakes and you can’t control the result 100%, and I like that, the lack of control sets the creative process free.

What are the themes of the covers you have been making for us?

The themes of the covers we’ve been working on are Aesop’s Fables. Aesop was a slave and storyteller in ancient Greece, and many of his fables have survived to the present day and have been told, rewritten and reshaped by artist and writers for centuries.

In connection with the covers we thought that it would be a great theme to work with, it had the right elements of mystery and the storytelling that albums also contain in their music.

Speaking of fables, do you have a favourite?

I haven’t found one that I would call my favourite yet, but I love that these stories have survived for more than 2,400 years and are used still today. Some of the morals of the fables are also lovely, rough and direct, like “don’t be an idiot” and “misery loves company”.

We have to say we like ‘the fox and the goat’, which we use for our Gather Round events.

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So, tell us: which is your favourite release so far on Chapter 24?

I think I’ll say the released KatrinKa – Echo Gnomic EP {CH004}. It has a good energy to it.

What does the future hold for you as an illustrator? Have you got any exciting news to share.

Right now I’m focusing on the illustrations for a children’s book and later this year I’ll be working on my first private publication – a book about different tragic or dramatic events and destinies among my ancestors. A picture book for adults, you could say. And of course more linocut covers of fables for Chapter 24.


VISIT SIMON’S WEBSITE

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