Art on your sleeve

Episode 19 – David Storey

In this episode of Art on your sleeve, I speak with painter and former graphic designer, David Storey. David’s career designing record sleeves began in the 1970s when he landed a job straight out of design school working for Elton John’s Rocket Records. This position provided a crucial platform for him to build a career in the industry leading to his renowned work for the 2 Tone record label. 2 Tone spawned a raft of charting artists including Madness, The Specials, Bad Manners, The Selecter, The beat, The Bodysnatchers and so many more, all of whom received the design treatment of David, often under the creative direction of label boss (and member of The Specials), Jerry Dammers.

I spent an hour with David at his painting studio in Hove, near Brighton on the south coast of England where we looked back at his incredible catalogue of design, exploring the above and so much more, including work for artists lost in the mists of time, anyone else remember the late Matt Fretton?

David is now an established painter, having moved away from the music industry in the 1990s. More recently, however, he has combined his love of fine art and painting with a return to record sleeve design with some beautiful works for ex-Housemartin/Beautiful Southerner, Paul Heaton with his more recent collaborations with Jacqui Abbott which brings the episode right up to date. These recent releases show the more painterly talents of David Storey who provides some narrative to his practice below.

From David’s website:

“My paintings offer ‘glimpsed’ or half-remembered figures and faces – re-imagined people standing on the edge of living memory, recovered from a personal archive of the forgotten. Ideas come from material that comes to hand, an old photograph for example might chime or resonate. I then embark on a quest to unlock the essence of the material in a way that is somehow extra-visual. This journey of development and discovery can take anything from 5 days to 5 years until a kind of alchemy takes place and things seem to harmonise of their own accord in a way that can be very rewarding. I like to paint in an expressionistic way using rags and sponges because the physical marks and textures are a fundamental element of what I’m trying to achieve.”

This episode is an audio supplement to a five-page Pop Art feature in the July/August edition of Classic Pop magazine, issue 76, published in June 2022. The magazine is available in all good UK newsagents and online in digital format:

Find out more about David Storey’s work online:

Official website:
Record sleeve archive:
Instagram: @david_storey_art

I hope you enjoy this episode, if you do, please subscribe at Apple Podcasts HERE and if you’re very nice, you could give the podcast some stars or a positive review. Art on your sleeve is also available on most popular podcast platforms including Spotify,  Soundcloud and Google Podcasts.

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