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Art & Design Education

CD-cover – review: Boulevard of Broken Dreams

CD Artwork Review

“The Boulevard of Broken Dreams”, Illustrated by Kim Hoorweg

review by Danai Fuengshunut,

1st of December 2015


In November 2015 I received a special present from one of our Illustration students. Kim Hoorweg had sent me a copy of her (latest) CD: “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”. I found it special to receive this product in which she had combined both her talent as a singer as well as an illustrator.

Illustrators who make music don’t seem to be a rare combination. As course director at the Willem de Kooning Academy I have met several Illustration students who had the talent to combine illustration and music in their careers. For example; Bruno Ferro Xavier da Silva, Coen Hamelink, Marvin Pieters, Nina Roothaan, Clemens den Exter, Frank Stok (Franky Sticks).

Last year we also had an Illustration student who graduated with his alter ego; “Ying Yang Murda” who was a gangster-rapper. Lizer van Hattem designed the visual identity for his alter-ego, which included the video-clip: “Only Big in Japan”. In his own words Lizer explained that his voice was not suitable to become a gangster-rapper, but this didn’t stop him from becoming his alter ego in his graduation project.

However unlike Lizer; Kim Hoorweg appears to be a most talented and professional singer. And not only according to my personal taste. She’s not a newcomer either, because this is already her 5th album. “Opusdesoul” considers her to be one of Netherlands “biggest jazztalents”, and he’s very positive about her latest album (Opusdesoul, 2015). Anneke describes her latest work with Benjamin Herman as a “beautiful ode to Django Reinhardt’s Paris” (ontopofMusic.com, 2015). Julien Serge writes a “Tinkerbell-singer with magic elves dust, and a clear voice with joy and warmth” He considers her latest CD: “a heart-warming embrace of love, sentiment and respect” (Maxime.nl, 2015).

I found it interesting to read her reviews and listen to her songs, because to be honest I know her primarily as an illustration major student. However I do see a relationship between how her music is described by others, and how I experience her as an illustration student. She’s very passionate in both dimensions. She loves to draw and tell stories. She loves printmaking, and for example published an enticing zine, “Katzen in der Hitze” together with another talented illustrator: Karida van Bochove. Furthermore I believe she has had a great experience as an exchange student to study Illustration at the School of Visual Arts  in New York, where she was inspired by teachers such as Sam Weber.

When I take all those things into account and look at her CD artwork; my conclusion is it simply makes sense. I could talk about target-audience, communicative value, typography, lay out or technical skill in execution, but there seems to be no relevance in asking those questions here. Her well-balanced color pallet, and clear shaped-illustrations all seem naturally connected to each other. Her sober selfportrait on the cover seems honest and sincere, and not misplaced or boastful. Furthermore I love how she combines traditional techniques such as ink and drawing with digital layers and collage. It leaves me wondering which layers she has left hidden.

When I compare her design to “35 Best Album Covers We’ve Seen in 2015” . I find Kim’s design very strong because of the integrity and outspoken personal Illustration style.  Covers such as “FKA Twigs” or Melanie Martinez’s “Cry Baby”, maybe visually outspoken, but I don’t feel the same integrity. With Kim’s design it feels as if she has found a balance between herself, her music and the artwork. Not a boring balance for that matter; but more a dark, warm, provocative, enticing and dreamlike balance.


Danai Fuengshunut

Course Director Illustration

Willem de Kooning Academie,

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