Access All Areas
Alex Everson on art direction for The Recycling Bin

We're back like we never left with a special design edition of Access All Areas. This week, we got to chop it up with our very own Creative Director, Alex Everson, specifically getting into his process for the cover design of Aesop Rock x Blockhead's limited vinyl pressing ofThe Recycling Bin.


RSE - What inspired the art direction for The Recycling Bin? 

ALEX -I wanted to incorporate the overall concept of recycling and the theme behind Garbology into the artwork. I had a small up-cycling business a friend, and I started where we made candles, apparel, and decor out of discarded materials, and I wanted to take that theory and put it into practice here. Taking the literal item of a recycling bin and trying to figure out how to make it cool and intriguing was the challenge. When thinking of a recycling bin, the initial thing that struck me was that synonymous blue color. On Aesop’s previous release Spirit World Field Guide, we had run CDs with blue bottoms, and knowing that one of the tracks from that release was remixed on The Recycling Bin, I had the perfect tie-in. Add in the silver mirrored disc surface on a standard CD, and I had my color for the arrows.

RSE - So this artwork was made from recycled Aesop Rock CDs? 

ALEX - When manufacturing print and physical items, you are typically tied into a specific over/under tolerance. It often leaves you with some leftover components that cannot be completed into a total package and sold; they end up sitting around or getting recycled. I remembered that we had some overage of Spirit World Field Guide CDs sitting at our warehouse, and I proceeded to check if there was any from Skelethon & None Shall Pass, which feature the other tracks remixed on The Recycling Bin. Sure enough, I had my materials. From there, it was figuring out how to make this material a workable medium. I began cutting the discs into small pieces, and the idea of making my first mosaic formed. It was the most challenging puzzle I have ever attempted. 

RSE - What does it mean to you to be working with Aesop Rock, Blockhead and other artists at Rhymesayers? 

ALEX - It means the world to me to work with the artists that I do and to play any part in what they release into the world. Not only do I work with the highest caliber of musicians, but I also love who they are as people and have personal tie-ins of why they are so important to me. I lost my friends at a very young age, and Aesop’s lyrics about his struggles, contemplations, and sometimes humorous takes on death hit me in profound connective ways. I was going to school for music 18 years ago and began losing my direction and passion. That was when I first discovered Brother Ali’s music and message, and it enthralled me. I was lucky enough to have Kevin Beacham put me on the Rhymesayers street team and give me a guest list spot to see him perform for the first time. I remember waiting around after the show to try and meet him. I wanted to let him know how much his music meant to me. Finally, I got my opportunity, did so, and said, “Someday, I hope to work for you.” 4 years later, I started my job at RSE.