As if Muse, Joni Mitchell and Courtney Barnett weren't already talented enough
Alexandra Pollard
12:34 1st October 2015

It's not uncommon, if you're a a creative person, to have fingers in many artistic pies. That doesn't make it any less impressive *cough* and nauseating *cough* that these world-famous musicians also happen to be great artists.

Some greater than others, admittedly - we're not sure Bob Dylan's Self Portrait, painted for the album of the same name, would have been hung anywhere other than on his mother's fridge were he not a globally famous singer - but great nonetheless.

From the beautiful painting on Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now to the photocopied face of Dominic Howard on Muse's self-titled EP, here's 10 album artworks that were drawn and designed by the band themselves. 

  • The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses: This Jackson Pollock-influenced piece, titled Bye Bye Badman and which makes reference to the May 1968 riots in Paris, was created by the band's guitarist John Squire. The background is based on the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland, and the lemons reference the antidote to tear gas used by French rioters.

  • Muse - Muse EP: The band's drummer Dominic Howard, channeling the favourite pastime of 15-year-old school kids, decided to photocopy his own face in several different positions. Amazingly, the resulting multi-coloured collage actually makes for an excellent piece of cover art.

  • ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - The Century Of Self: The band's lead singer, after aspiring as a child to be an artist for Marvel Comics, commonly incorporates his art into Trail Of Dead's album art. This, drawn by Conrad Keely entirely in ballpoint pen for the band's sixth album, is perhaps the most impressive.

  • John Lennon - Walls And Bridges: This one, as is proudly written across the top, was designed by The Beatles singer when he was just 11-years-old. The triptych comprises a football match, Native Americans on horseback and the moustached bottom half of a man's face.

  • Cat Stevens - Tea For The Tillerman: Stevens attended the Hammersmith School Of Art, and briefly considered a career as a cartoonist. Thankfully, he chose music, but he kept up his passion for art by designing his own album artwork.

  • The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots: Coyne has always had a fondness for experimental art - he even made a Flaming Lips screen print out of his own blood - and he used his talents to create the psychedelic artwork for The Flaming Lips' best known album.

  • Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit: Barnett spent two years of art school, and has been known to display collections of her art at the venues in which she's performing. Speaking of the process behind this artwork, she said, "I had books of drawings of the album art and I had the title Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit , and I thought, 'Ok, chairs.' So I just started doodling and then before I knew it I had a big collection of chair pictures."

  • Daniel Johnston - Hi, How Are You: A simple drawing, but one worn on t-shirts by music fans across the world, partly due to the fact that Kurt Cobain was photographed in one back in the '90s. The artwork perfectly represents this beautifully bizarre, lo-fi, self-released cassette, recorded while Johnston was suffering a nervous breakdown.

  • Bob Dylan - Self Portrait: Without wishing to be too rude, we can't see a huge amount of likeness between the real Bob Dylan and this self-portrait. The portrait, as well as the album itself, has since been spoken of disparagingly by Dylan. "There was no title for that album," he explained. "I knew somebody who had some paints and a square canvas, and I did the cover up in about five minutes. And I said, 'Well, I'm gonna call this album Self Portrait.'"

  • Joni Mitchell - Both Sides Now: Though the album was released in 2000, Mitchell painted most of its cover when she was in her early 30s. With just a few weeks until her 2000 album's release, while looking for inspiration for its artwork, she stumbled across an old painting of hers. "And I looked at it," she explained, "and the fold of the sleeve had a heart in it. I went, 'Heart on the sleeve, that's romantic, that'll do!' So I grabbed it, and then I had to put jowls in it, you know, I had to age the face a little."


Photo: Artwork