Into the Creative Spectrum Episode 4 with Stefan Marx

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Ever wondered who was behind Smallville records' quirky cover art? Stefan Marx, an artist/drawer and part of the Smallville family, successfully represents Smallville as it is: A unique, friendly, open minded and creative "institution". Smallville stands out due to many reasons, one important reason being Stefan's art work. He has designed record sleeves for artists on the Smallville roster such as Christopher Rau's Asper Clouds and Moomin's The Story About You, and he is the designer behind Smallville's idiosyncratic logo: 

 

smallville

 

Stefan Marx, like most of his Smallville people, is based in Hamburg. Aside from designing awesome record cover art work and covering Smallville's windows with extraordinary creatures, he also runs his own T-shirt label, "The Lousy Livincompany", designs skateboards for Cleptomanicx, and publishes his own zines and books with Nieves Books. His latest exhibition took place in his home town, Hamburg, where he showcased his "This Sounds a Bit Like Goodbye" (2012) art work at the "IM FRÜHLING, DARLING" exhibition, which invited international artists to create postcards, with the theme of longing. Stefan's poignant quotes never fail to create an emotional response. It is no surprise therefore, that many of his quotes he uses in his art work come from musical lyrics. Curious to find out which tracks inspired him to represent the lyrics in a bold white statement behind a black background, and the back stories behind the rest of his works, we asked Stefan about some of our favourite works by him: 

 

1) The quotes you use for your art are a defining characteristic of your style. You have said before that your quotes are taken from lyrics from songs or sayings that you’ve heard voiced from friends and random passersby. Can you tell me who originally said these quotes? 

 

a.S1

This is a quote from Herman Dune, from his song AT YOUR LUAU NIGHT:

that's three blocks away but too far already
with the rain that crashes and the people walking
but i'd rather sit here a little longer
and i don't think you care and i don't think you're really waiting
and even if you do this is just kind of what i owe you for what happened before
and tell me all about it:
"were you drunk or not when you said you missed me?"
i want a haircut that kills, i want it in front of my eyes
i wanna wear tight jeans and raglan sweaters and dance at your luau night
and drive away with your best friend and make you cry
sipping on gin and tonic and talking about my band
telling everybody how fun it is to be touring across the new world
when you alone would listen and know how it hurts sometimes
and i would tell you all about it and you would kiss my forehead and smile
i don't know where i'm going, baby
i don't know where i'm going, baby
i don't know where i'm going, baby
i don't know where i'm going, going
i don't know where i'm going, going

 

b.S2

This is one of my favorite Songs from Yo La Tengo, its name is TAKE CARE. It is originally a song by Big Star, and Yo La Tengo covered it... Georgia Hubley sings it in such an amazing way. 

 

2) Are your drawings based on people you’ve seen as well? Why do you turn them into cartoon characters?   

S5

Yes, these drawings are based on people I see. And I just draw them, I don’t turn them into Cartoons. I publish these drawings mostly in Zines and Books, after a good time of traveling. Mostly with my publisher NIEVES.

 

3) What is so special about sunsets? 

S6

 I think mostly the light. 

 

4) What do you feel about Mondays?

S7

I kind of like mondays, people are awake again, things are getting back to the process. My favorite place opens again on monday. The Goodbye Mondays is a zine I made for my exhibition Goodbye Mondays in New York in 2012, at PRIMETIME. I left the city on wednesday and it was a one night only drawing exhibition after I spent some good weeks in the city. It was a fun goodbye party too.

 

5) If you could get rid of something, what would it be? 

S8

 All the difficult situations in the future.

 

6) Who is this? And what brought you to Marriott, Financial Center Hotel in New York?

S9

I once had a meeting there and took the notepad.

 

7) What are some of your rarest pleasures? 

S10

Long distance flights

 

8) What is the saddest song you’ve ever heard?

S11

 Take Care by Yo La Tengo:

 

9) What do you like to do during the weekend? Are you a weekender?

S12

I like weekends but hate Sundays. I think I’m not such a good weekender. I can have fun, but l like doing things people do on weekends during my week. 

 

10) What does Smallville mean to you?

S13

Smallville means freedom, friendship, places, music and record covers. 

 

11) What is something nice to say to Mule on their 10th birthday?

S14

 Happy Birthday Toshiya! Toshiya is great, Mule is great, Japan is great, so looking forward to all the future Mule releases. 

  

12) Can you describe the sounds of Jacques Bon’s Two Hearts EP on Smallville Records?

S15

 Its a special Jacques sound of two hearts, a warm Paris, and the future in his very personal way I think. I love this release and I’m very happy how the cover turned out. 

 

13) The artwork on Julius Steinhoff’s new record, “Flocking Behaviour” is inspired by...

S16

 Julius. His fantastic personality, his music & family and our friendship.

 

Stefan Marx and Smallville owner, Julius Steinhoff, have kindly offered Smallville's latest releases: Jacques Bon’s Two Hearts EP and Julius Steinhoff's debut solo album, Flocking Behaviour, plus an original Smallville Tote Bag, all for one lucky Meoko reader!

  

S15

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To win, please email us your favourite quote represented by Stefan Marx to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with 'Stefan Marx' in the subject title. Winner will be announced in 3 weeks. Thanks to Stefan Marx and Smallville <3

 

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