In the Wild





Tommy Guerrero album cover “A Little Bit of Somethin’”

Album Artwork by Margaret Kilgallen

I stumbled across the musician Tommy Guerrero on one of my endless YouTube spirals, in which I scour the depths of the “instrumental chill-hop” playlists and suggested videos in the sidebar for an eternity, searching for the perfect soundtrack to draw to. I knew I had finally found the right jams to match my vibe, when this album cover popped up on my screen. I was immediately drawn to the warm colour palette, the bold line drawings of the characters and the “Old Western” style typography used in the album name “A Little Bit of Somethin’”.  This album artwork was done by Margaret Kilgallen, a painter and printmaker from Colorado. Kilgallen had a BFA in studio art and printmaking from Colorado College, and went on to have a few solo exhibitions in New York and California during 1997 through 1999. Unfortunately, Kilgallen did not have a lengthy art-career or a large body of work, as she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001- and opted to forego chemotherapy so she might carry her unborn-child to term. She died three weeks after giving birth. Fortunately, her work is still being displayed in various galleries across the US, and has had retrospectives written on her.


Kilgallen’s album cover for Tommy Guerrero has many influences. The hand-painted Old Western font gives a “folksy” feeling to the cover.  Kilgallen was also inspired by Mexican artists, and employed the use of warm colours and imperfect perspectives that showed the craft and handmade quality in her work. The choice of these design elements lend themselves to the genre of music she is trying to emulate in the album cover. The warm tones match the warm guitar chords, the sharp line-drawings and mix of styles are reminiscent of the music on the album, it IS a little bit of something, and a mix of many things. The type at the top is just as stylistic as the illustrations, and the album cover reads like a sequential narrative. The stylistic choice to leave Tommy Guerrero’s name in a sans-serif, hand-lettered font at the bottom of the composition expresses that Guerrero is not the main focus, as the focus is on his instruments and music, not his voice. Overall this graphic design made me interested in the album, from just observing the cover I could tell I was about to listen to something with warm, beachy vibes and I promptly added it to my ever-growing study playlist. Thanks for visiting my blog.






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