45 Day 2020 DJ and Artist MiSTerSalT designs custom sleeves for 45s. We found out more about what inspires him and his techniques.
Creatively, I go by the name MiSTerSalT, real name PaulSalt. I bought my first pair of turntables in 1989 at the age of 17 but I had already been buying records and making compilation tapes for many years before that. It all started though with 7” singles bought from Woolworths with my pocket money. I have a very strong memory of the counter in there with the Top 40 singles all displayed up on the wall behind the cashier. I was really into all the different sleeve designs even back then. The colours, the bands logos and the vivid photos all fascinated me. My older brother and me used to draw that Madness man everywhere when we were young wanna be rudeboys! The Madness logo and the whole 2 tone thing for its simplicity. The bold black and white imagery really stood out to me. I also remember buying Sigue Sigue Sputnik-Love Missile F1-11 which had a really simple but strong image. I think my brother would have to be my biggest artistic influence. He’s a couple of years older than me and was always that bit better at drawing then me. this is what drove me in my younger years. To be as good as big bro!
Once I left school and went on to study Art at college a whole new world of influences opened up to me. Not only through learning about art history but also through the new social life college gave me. It was 1989 and a new club night called “introspective” was being run on a Friday night in a local dive. This is where I was introduced to LSD, my second biggest influence. Let’s be honest! I think if an artist truly wants to express themselves then they need to take LSD at least once in their lives. I think that boost of expression timed with the learning I was receiving at college contributed to me developing some sort of artistic style.
So, fast forward to now. Currently I’m producing custom painted 7” sleeves to order and 12” canvas paintings of 45 label art. The idea for the sleeves came out of the boredom of living through a pandemic on furlough. I started to customise a few of my own. I know some people love plain white sleeves and it can look great when you see a collection all labelled and ordered but that’s not for me really. My records aren’t super organised but I can pretty much grab anything within a few seconds. I go for the visual cue of the sleeve so it kind of came from that really.
As for what I use to create the sleeves, I use bullet tip permanent markers for the outlines and either sharpies or acrylic paints for the colours. Paint does tend to warp the sleeves as it dries though so it is predominantly pen. When it comes to the canvas, they’re all painted including the lettering using acrylic and a fine brush then given a marker pen outline to the outer and inner label circles to sharpen the image up.
I’ve taken a few orders for sleeves and there seems to be a bit of interest in this unique product. They don’t take long to produce and for that reason I only sell them at £3 each so it’s never going to make me a rich man. In the future I’m looking at setting up a screen printing studio at home, maybe that will, but for now it’s paint and pens! I’m currently working on a new label painting as a surprise gift for someone so that ones under wraps for now. It’s nice to sell art but it’s also nice to just give it away sometimes!
We liked Paul’s designs so much we asked him to make us some custom sleeves to represent Funk, Reggae and Hip Hop. Get in touch with him through the socials or email him for more details – firstname.lastname@example.org