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Behind The Artworks: Final Coil - Convicted Of The Right! (2020)

Jola Stiles: I have spent most of my life attached somehow to art and design and the visual form. I come from a family where art is a big part of the daily routine, where from the youngest age we were encouraged to create our own vision of the world and express our feelings in all sorts of ways, exploring new techniques from drawing, oil painting, graphics, sculpture, digital designs and architecture. I have grown up with artists who spend hours of their lives on mastering their skills to a perfection, something I greatly admire. My biggest interest is landscape architecture, although I was always keen on trying to develop my skills in digital designs because that gives a lot of freedom in terms of combining different techniques to express ideas. As such, I enjoy using a wide range of tools available in programs like Photoshop and Corel, which is the main software I use. Creating interesting artwork has always been a big deal for our band. From creating gig posters and CD covers, to working on an image in photography and videos - we collaborate with artists from all fields to create a coherent narrative, based around our music and lyrical themes. It is a great adventure to be able to share our passion with other artists, who take their own twist and create something truly remarkable. Being a member of a band I am very close to what is happening with the music, so I try to use my skills to support areas which need additional work, or just to take a more active part in the discussions we have about the band's aesthetic.

With every design/artwork there is always a story behind how it happened – and with our recent EP – Convicted of the right – there is one as well. It all started when the idea of the video was put forward and we were trying to put the narrative together on a piece of paper, frame by frame, like you see in a comics books for Jay Hillier, who filmed the video clip. Having an idea is one thing – but to make it happen is a big challenge. From finding a good location to having a great actor to perform the story, all while trying to fit into our budget... we had to use all possible resources to make it happen. One of our little tricks was to dress up our guitarist Richard as a soldier, place him against our living room wall and shoot footage of him singing the song in the character of a despotic drill sergeant. This video n was used in the final video as a TV show (real? Imagined?) that was “re - indoctrinating” our actor, Mag (who was playing a traumatized veteran). Mag really took that part of recording seriously and was hypnotized by that image. The whole story was so fascinating that, later on, I decided to use one of the frames of Richard's recording to draw a picture of a soldier. That drawing I incorporated into the EP cover.

As always, trying to create the final art was difficult and we had a few hot disputes about EP design before coming to the conclusion that the best way to present the cover would be to create an old propaganda poster. I was looking for inspiration in those late 30’s wall posters, which were all hand- made with no art school techniques attached to them . They were made by people for people and they were so eye catching because they had a very strong message behind. It seemed perfect. So as soon as we agreed the concept, I put together a few proposals for the front and finalized the design in the way that it would also be possible to use for our social media. For me personally art is the whole process of creation, which is very dynamic and can fly in time and only sometimes come to the surface to disappear soon after, but leaving its message as a trace of its existence - and the ways to achieve that are in artists hands.

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