I’ve been looking at the vast amount of work Beck has produced over the last 24 years, and it’s evident that he’s a really creative man. His first album ‘Golden Feelings’ was an experimental collection of humourous and nonsensical lyrics with a rough, folk rock sound and after his second album ‘Mellow Gold’ (my favourite) I noticed the variety in style more than the progression in production quality – not because the quality doesn’t improve, but because Beck lets himself be influenced by a range of genres. His ability to switch styles within an album (and even within some songs) and for it not to seem disjointed is impressive. I think this diversity is a key factor when taking into consideration the amount of quality work he’s produced. Beck’s lyrics are interesting – although a song may not make literal sense completely, he manages to get across the main idea of each song well. He admits in an interview with NME that most the lyrics in the first few albums were pretty much nonsense, and were mostly scratch recordings, made up to fill in the blanks when first recording the tracks.
I think it would be an interesting challenge to portray parts of Beck’s songs through my artwork. I’ve been studying the lyrics and so far I’ve decided to focus on a trio of songs which depict girls – Nitemare Hippy Girl, New Pollution and Girl. My vision for the final outcome of these is a triptych of A3/2 size illustrations, maybe all portraits. Another idea I have is to create a short animation depicting a scene from one of Beck’s songs – some of the potentials are Truckdrivin’ Neighbours Downstairs, Painted Eyelids, Hollywood Freaks, Lazy Flies, Sleeping Bag. I like the idea of creating an animation on a backdrop of film footage.