Ashley Fayth is crowd-sourcing art for new EP
I introduced you to recording artist Ashley Fayth (above) back in May of 2012, when I interviewed her about her earlier career as a journalist with the Clarenville Packet.
Fayth is a talented singer and songwriter with an expressive, ethereal voice that is winning her some renown here and in the United Kingdom, where she lives.
Fayth is hard at work on her second release and is taking a novel approach to illustrating it, something more sweeping and ambitious than your typical 5” by 5” CD sleeve. In fact, it is quickly turning into a gallery show in its own right. And if you have an artistic side, keep reading: there may be a place for you in here as well!
In an electronic interview, I asked Fayth to elaborate on her novel approach.
“Initially, my idea was just to contact a few of my very talented artist friends and ask them to help me out with artwork for my new EP,” Fayth explained. “The title track, ‘I am the Bird’, features six verses about six different birds/concepts. So I thought, it might actually be nice to have a different piece of artwork for each bird.
“When I put a call out for help on Facebook, I actually got an overwhelmingly positive response. Almost immediately, 30 professional and amateur artists voiced their interested in getting in and participating.”
So instead of selecting six artists and turning away the others, Fayth decided to create an online gallery and invite more talented and creative people to join the IATBEP art project (IATBEP being shorthand for I Am The Bird EP).
“In the beginning, I had only really thought about painters and sketchers – but now, we’ve had proposals by screen printers, sewers, crafters, woodworkers, and beyond! In a sense, I didn’t really develop this project; it developed itself. If anything, the contributors have played such a huge part in setting everything up and getting the ball rolling.
“So right now, we’re focusing on promoting the project and spreading the word – getting as many artists and crafters on board as possible… We're inviting professional and amateur artists, as well as students and even kids, to get involved by selecting a verse of the song and using their artistic skill, be it photography, painting, drawing, knitting, carving, sculpting - whatever! - to create something personal and creative. A unique interpretation of the lyrics.”
To help inspire them, artists who participate will each receive a copy of the song lyrics, plus an acoustic rendition of the soon-to-be-released single, Fayth said, adding that there is an added incentive to complete the artwork.
“Everyone who participates will get a free digital copy of the EP, an #IATBEP goody bag, and will have their art featured in a gallery on www.ashleyfayth.com. We're also hoping to compile a set number of images (we'll have 3D art professionally photographed) in a booklet to be released with the EP. We’re also happy to include contributors’ websites or email addresses, so you can promote your own work.”
As well, Fayth wants participants to document their creative process, everything from acquiring materials to early sketches to written comments about the project and post them to the hashtag #iatbep. “(This way) all of their posts, photos, tweets and tags can be viewed in one place online (www.tagboard.com/iatbep) and we'll be able to watch the whole process as it builds!”
Fayth said she’s already had requests from a children's illustrator, comic strip designer, graphic artists, oil painters, and a few people who have offered to sew and build things.
“I think it's a great way to foster creative talent, and more importantly, to bring lots of different creative minds together … to create a kind of patchwork art project. In a strange and wonderful way, this is turning into something really fun and interesting, and a lot bigger than me, or the EP. The idea that my song is going to be the starting point for so many different creative projects is really exciting and humbling - but it is just the starting point. We don't want to give any further direction because we want to see how one subject can inspire people in so many different ways, and in how many directions it can be taken.”
Any creative types who want to get involved should email firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the lyrics and additional project information. But you’d better get moving: deadline for receipt of submission is April 27th. Information is also available at www.ashleyfayth.com.
And if you want to hear ‘I Am The Bird’ for yourself, go here and listen. Please. You will not be sorry.
You might even be inspired.