Hip-Hop artist and collage-maker Louis Cypher designed the cover of this DIY-themed issue of LeftLion. Here’s the story behind it…
As a Hip-Hop artist, sampling and remixing is something that is intrinsic to the art… but I’ve only started creating visual pieces in the last year or so.
My aesthetic is naturally messy and collage is amazingly analogous to Hip-Hop! It’s a new vibe for me, one I’ve been on since May 2023. Before then, the idea of me doing anything other than music seemed unfathomable. The concept that I would be sitting here creating a cover or writing about it was not even tangible at that time. Now, even as I write this, it seems surreal.
Creating collage has been cathartic, meditative, inspiring and actually made me a little bit of money, which music rarely has. It's also helped me deal with loss and helped me engage with my own creative temperament in new ways.
As new branches of creativity sparked, so did my interest in other people who have developed multiple artistic outlets. Listening to the likes of Rick Ruben and Blindboy during lockdown as I watched the music industry essentially go down the pan, I craved other avenues for myself. I observed some of my friends make loaf after loaf of bloody sourdough bread or look glum on Zoom calls… on the flip side, to combat the monotony of lockdown, some were creating amazing art and new ways to work around the restrictions that were imposed on us.
Creativity is a part of me and the creative process, regardless of medium, is something that I find absolutely intriguing. It’s what draws me to a lot of people, to learn more about how and why they do what they do. So much so that I have blagged an article in this very magazine (find it on pages sixteen to eighteen) about an exhibition I’m organising in February. It’ll highlight the multidisciplinary skills of some of Nottingham’s finest creatives and people I’m proud to call friends… go check it out.
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