Five Questions with Tunde Adebimpe
Why did you accept the invitation to design the Fall 2021 edition of All-Story?
I’m a big fan of the publication and was really honored to be asked. I had spent a lot of the pandemic drawing and painting, just to draw and paint more, so I was in that mindset when the opportunity came up. I also hadn’t made anything to be printed in a book or art-book format for a long while and was excited to have a venue for all these new images.
Were there any surprises in the design process?
I had a lot of material to work with and a vague framework in mind. I was surprised at how quickly things came together after an initial draft and back-and-forth with Anne, the managing editor, and Sfaustina, who facilitates the layout. I wanted to leave a lot in the editors’ hands, as far as the placement and order of images went. It worked kind of like a recipe, whereby I would receive a draft and be able to see if it needed a little more of a certain feeling or tone; and if it did, I would find or make new images to add to the mix. The image that ended up as the cover was one that I sent as a Here’s this thing that probably doesn’t work, but it’s another option in case you need to fill a page . . . sort of thing. I’m so glad that Sfaustina tried it out as a cover, because it really feels perfect.
Not really! It was a very easy and inspiring process.
Might you offer any advice to future designers?
Whatever you want to do, go for it! You may get talked down, but it’s far more likely that (a) you won’t, (b) you’ll be encouraged, and (c) eyeballs everywhere will be the better for it.
What’s inspiring you of late?
Jennifer Packer’s solo show at MOCA—Every Shut Eye Ain’t Sleep—is amazing.
The art books Toyin Ojih Odutola: The UmuEze Amara Clan and the House of Obafemi, Hard Art, DC 1979 by Lucian Perkins, and Mexico Masks Rituals by Phyllis Galembo.
Also, my daughter’s drawings. She’s five and very good. Her style is wild!
The Idiot by Iggy Pop
Nightclubbing by Grace Jones
Motor Function by Binki
13-Point Program to Destroy America by Nation of Ulysses
Montero by Lil Nas X
JP4 by Junglepussy
Super Ape and Return of the Super Ape by Lee “Scratch” Perry
Earth and Ocean Songs: Canciones del Mar y de la Tierra by Suni Paz
All About Love by bell hooks
The History of Bones by John Lurie
Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon
Dayglo!: The Poly Styrene Story by Celeste Bell and Zoë Howe
The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster by Richard Brautigan
As Serious as Your Life by Valerie Wilmer
Living Meaningfully, Dying Joyfully by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Visual + Textual (i.e., graphic novels):
Jimbo: Adventures in Paradise by Gary Panter
Red Colored Elegy by Seiichi Hayashi
The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist by Adrian Tomine