Pratt BFA Communication Design Thesis

Anna Barber Graphic Design

Bedroom Pop Artist

Animation
Branding
Human-Centered
Illustration
Music
Social Media
Video

Bedroom pop is a genre of music in which bands record at home–music you can make in your bedroom. Since anyone (under the age of 30 with a decent singing voice, songwriting skills, natural attractiveness, and a laptop) can become a bedroom pop artist, I turned my friend, Sarah Hooper, into “HOOPLA.” We reinvented her original songs to fit the sounds of the genre and I led the design of her brand, including social media accounts, album artwork, and music videos. This project is a critique and an embrace of bedroom pop; seemingly easy to pull off but authentic enough to influence an entire generation.

For the documentation of the project, I referenced The Manual (How To Have A Number One The Easy Way). This book, written by the band The KLF in the 1980’s, is a very humorous approach to the music industry. It outlines everything from booking studio time to writing lyrics for the next top hit. Using The Manual as a model, I created an Are.na channel with all of my research and conclusions to serve as my own guide, “How To Become A Bedroom Pop Artist.” The website print.are.na allowed me to transform the content of the channel into a book, the final format of my manual.

Following my own guidelines, I created social media accounts, shot rolls of film to use for content, and released HOOPLA’s acoustic cover of “Toxic” by Britney Spears. I recorded a performance video and posted the song on YouTube and Soundcloud. Once the first song was out, though, our world got turned upside down. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, I lost sight of the project for a while; I had to face the fact that we could no longer have brainstorm sessions, record music, or shoot any photography or video together. I was shocked and feeling lost, but a few weeks into our sheltering, Sarah reached out with a demo of a song she had just written and recorded that day. The song, “quarantune,” is about navigating life in quarantine. I immediately connected with the lyrics of the song and it reminded me that I wasn’t the only one going through this uncertain time. I started to see the connections between the project and the current time we are living through. As everyone is ordered to stay home, it is sort of the perfect opportunity to explore the “bedroom.” The genre of bedroom pop is all about spending time in your room and feeling comfortable enough to unlock your creativity. The circumstances have enforced these rules on everyone, so why not take advantage of the solitude and see what we can create? The obvious answer for me was to spend the time animating a music video for Sarah’s song using the resources I had at home, allowing me to reflect on the circumstances and to connect with other people.

“How To Become A Bedroom Pop Artist”

instagram.com/soundshoopy

annabbarber.com