Day in the life of… album sleeve illustrator Sophie Bass

13th February 2019



Ever wondered what it’s like to be an illustrator who designs album sleeves? Bristol based Sophie Bass works with artists including Naim Label’s Yazz Ahmed, Quiet Dawn and more recently SEED Ensemble, who recently released ‘Driftglass’ on Jazz re:freshed. 

Inspired by ‘music, feminism and symbolism’, Sophie has a style which is instantly recognisable amongst record collectors of a particular taste. Smooth, thick and rounded lines accent her creations, which are bold and often use warm and regal colours. 

If you’re yet to start an art collection, then exploring the work of your favourite record sleeve designers is a great way to begin – although let’s not ignore the fact that Sophie has also been commissioned for restaurant displays, T-shirts, and has worked with brands like Dr Martens and Adidas.

To get a glimpse of what the life of a music-dedicated illustrator looks like, we asked Sophie Bass to take us through a typical working day. 


Every day starts with coffee and a big breakfast! I like peace and quiet in the morning, so the first thing I do is admin at home. I check my emails, post something fun on my Instagram, check my big cartel for any online sales and update my stock lists. 
My studio is just down the road in St Werburghs, Bristol. When I get in, I have a little play with our resident puppy, Flo, and then I get down to it! I respond to any emails – usually these are enquiries about commissions, updates on current work or orders from stockists – I update my big timetable for the week with my deadlines and I package online orders.
I walk to the post office with my bag of prints to send off. Sometimes when I’m there I have a nice surprise parcel waiting for me – like a record cover or T-shirt I’ve designed. 
Back at the studio I begin my commissioned work. At the moment I’m working with Late Night Tales and Ash Walker on a series of underwater themed gouache paintings.  Music is very important whilst I work; I either listen to the music I’m currently designing a cover for, or I zone into something that’s bass-heavy.
I break from work to pick up prints and framed work for exhibitions. My last show was ‘She Did That’, curated by Victoria Topping – an exhibition celebrating women artists working within the music industry. Lucky for me, my printer Neil at 212 Productions works in my Studio, Unit 8, so I don’t have far to go for that! The studio space is great. It’s full of friends who work in a variety of creative industries – record label owners, stage builders, light box makers, fashion designers, DJs etc. 
I head to my amazing framer J.M.Smith Framing at BV Studios in Bedminster. As well as collecting my framed pieces I’m there for a late lunch date, as Josh who runs the business is one of my best mates. 
In the early evening I usually work on my own projects, unless I’ve got big deadlines looming.  At the moment I’m working on a colouring book for adults; Around the World in Traditional Folk Costume. This entails a lot of visual research, and a LOT of drawing. I love rifling through old ethnographic books in charity shops for reference material. For a project like this I’ll fill whole sketchbooks full of drawing, most of which no one will ever see but me!  
In the evening I meet my girls for dinner, and to have a meeting about our ‘Artivism’ collective. We’re using our creative skills for political campaigns. Right now we’re working around the Housing Crisis in the UK. Watch this space!
Sophie bass illustrator

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *